Ministry of Economic Development of the Russian Federation
Ministry of Economic Development of the Russian Federation
WTO Secretariat noted Russia’s role in the work of the organization in 2020, including on the environmental agenda
30 August 2021 12:35

The WTO Secretariat has published a report on the Organization’s activities in 2020 which notes Russia’s contribution, including on the environmental agenda and countering protectionism.

The report points out that in 2020 the WTO faced a number of serious challenges that had a negative impact on the work of the entire Organization. The particularly emphasized problems include the crisis of the WTO Appellate Body, the rapid development of the COVID-19 pandemic and the related postponement of the 12th Ministerial Conference to 2021, as well as the early resignation of Director General R. Azevedo.

Despite all the difficulties, however, the WTO was able to demonstrate its indispensability as a universal framework of the multilateral trading system aimed at creating relevant and uniform “rules of the game”, including for the resolution of global trade problems and challenges. The most illustrative example was the successful resistance to the attempts of WTO members to adopt new protectionist measures and extend the existing ones, especially regarding medical products.

The report places special emphasis on the new trade claims voiced during meetings of the WTO working bodies, including Russia’s claim made in the framework of the Council for Trade in Goods, regarding the then planned development of the EU Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism.

Environmental issues in trade also have a prominent place in the report: in 2020 fourteen WTO members initiated an informal dialogue on plastic pollution and sustainable trade in plastics, and fifty four members joined a new initiative on trade and environmental sustainability. The report was noted the presentation of the Russian national project “Ecology” during the meeting of the WTO Committee on Trade and Environment.

Special prominence is given to the package of six initiatives to promote the participation of MSMEs in international trade adopted by the Informal Working Group on Micro, Small, and Medium-sized Enterprises. The package includes the Russian initiative based on Russia’s experience in taking account of the interests of MSMEs in the procedure of assessing the regulatory impact of the adopted statutory regulations, and the joint Russian-Canadian initiative on acquisition and maintenance of information about MSMEs.

The focus continued to be on the process of accession of new members, including the resumption of WTO accession negotiations by Uzbekistan and obtaining the observer status in the Organization by Turkmenistan, negotiations on limiting the subsidies that contribute to illegal, unregulated and unreported fishing; and negotiations on trade-related aspects of e-commerce.

Дата публикации: August 30, 2021
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