Hon. Faiyaz Siddiq Koya, Minister for Commerce, Trade, Tourism and Transport of Fiji with the Secretary General of the Pacific Islands Forum, Dame Meg Taylor.
PIFS HQ, Suva, FIJI: Pacific Trade Ministers from Forum members of the World Trade Organisation (WTO), will meet the nominated candidates for the Director-General of the World Trade Organisation this morning.
The meeting is an opportunity for Pacific Islands Forum WTO Members to assess the candidates and inform their voting preferences. Each candidate will have the opportunity in the virtual meeting to speak directly to the Forum WTO Trade Ministers of their vision for the global body, and how this vision aligns with regional priorities such as fisheries subsidies, trade and climate change, oceans and sustainable development.
“The position of the Director-General of the WTO is clearly pivotal in ensuring that global trade body is progressive, responsive, inclusive and that its benefits are shared by all its 164 members including the smallest and the least developed”, says Minister Faiyaz Siddiq Koya, Minister for Commerce, Trade, Tourism and Transport of Fiji and the current Chair of the Forum Trade Ministers .
The decision to meet with the WTO candidates also comes after the annual trade ministerial meeting this February, where Pacific Islands Forum Trade Ministers reaffirmed their commitment to the WTO’s multilateral trading system. Ministers had noted threats to the stability and predictability for world trade from unilateral action. They reiterated their commitment to delivering an outcome on fisheries subsidies, encouraging Forum members to work closely together to implement the Pacific Future of Fisheries Roadmap Ministers also recognised the multilateral trading system of the WTO as a platform to progress regional trade priorities, including addressing the impact of fisheries subsidies on sustainability.
“This is a decisive moment for the WTO members to select a Director-General that can rebuild trust amongst the WTO Members, instil confidence in the global trade body and help members shape a WTO that will not only help deliver prosperity and sustainable development equally to all Members but will be responsive to the needs of economically vulnerable Members of the global community”, says the Secretary General of the Pacific Islands Forum, Dame Meg Taylor.
The outgoing Director-General Roberto Azevedo announced his resignation in May, a year short of completing his term next August. Eight candidates from Egypt, Kenya, Korea, Mexico, Moldova, Nigeria, Saudi Arabia, and the United Kingdom are in the race for the position which Azevedo will vacate this weekend.
Following their special meeting with the candidates, Pacific Forum WTO Members Australia, Fiji, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, and Vanuatu join other WTO members to continue rounds of consultations towards the announcement of a new WTO Director General, in November 2020.
Access the photos and videos of the Speeches HERE
Lisa Williams -Lahari
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Communications & Public Affairs
Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat