WTO postpones first ministerial meeting

Sat 27 Nov 2021, 10:42:33
World Trade Organization (WTO) has become the first major diplomatic casualty of the new Coronavirus variant 'Omicron', as it has postponed its first ministerial meeting in four years due to the deteriorating health situation.  The WTO said that its members have agreed to postpone the ministerial conference after the new variant outbreak led to travel restrictions that would have prevented many ministers from reaching Geneva. No new date has been set

for a rescheduled meeting.

Switzerland, home to the WTO yesterday banned direct flights from South Africa and the surrounding region and imposed test and quarantine requirements on travel from other countries, including Belgium, Hong Kong, and Israel.

WTO Director-General Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala said the postponement did not mean negotiations should stop.

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