BUENOS AIRES – The 11th Ministerial Conference of the World Trade Organization (WTO) concluded on Wednesday with a “disappointing” lack of results, Director-General Roberto Azevedo said.
In his speech during the closing session of the biennial meeting, Azevedo regretted the failure of the WTO’s 164 member-nations to reach “substantive agreements.”
“Progress was going to require a leap in members’ positions. We didn’t see that. We need to do some real soul-searching,” he told the senior officials gathered in Buenos Aires.
“There was commitment and effort to find genuine solutions, but insufficient results,” said the conference chair, Argentina former Foreign Minister Susana Malcorra.
At the same time, she pointed to the achievement of accord on a framework to discuss fishing subsidies.
“Buenos Aires will be remembered as the conference where the fishing negotiations were launched,” she said.
Missing from Wednesday’s final session was the voice of the world’s largest economy, as United States Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer left town the night before.