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Good morning, this is Kasmira. With the World Trade Organization’s 12th Ministerial Conference just two weeks away, delegates in Geneva are rushing to get negotiations on fisheries subsidies, and a waiver on vaccine intellectual property rights – among many other issues – closer to the finishing line. There’s a lot at stake.

The success of the meeting “will be crucial in determining the role of the WTO in the multilateral trading system”, as one EU minister said at a trade meeting in Brussels on Friday. We look at some of the key issues on the agenda.

photo journaliste

Kasmira Jefford


On our radar

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World Trade Organization director general, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, (front right), outside the organisation’s headquarters at the WTO Public Forum in October 2021. (Credit: WTO/Jay Louvion)

🤝 Countdown to MC12. In two weeks, trade ministers will gather in Geneva and online for the World Trade Organization’s (WTO) major biennial meeting with the aim of reaching an agreement on a raft of issues, from ending harmful fisheries subsidies to ensuring access to essential medical goods during a pandemic. The four-day conference will end with a ministerial declaration. The question will be which issues ministers from the 164 countries will be able to come together and agree on. Here are some of the items that could feature in the declaration.

Geneva Solutions (EN)

🗣️ Youth activists speak up. This annual Young Activists Summit is taking place on 18 November, with the focus on young leaders’ who have come up with innovative solutions to some of the world’s biggest challenges. The 2021 laureates range from 21-year-old Stacy Dina Ahiambo from Kenya, who has created an app to help fight female genital mutilation (FGM) and a 26-year-old Lual Mayen from Sudan, whose pioneering video game is helping build peace within the country’s young people.

Young Activist Summit (EN)

Here's what else is happening

Dispatches from women in Afghanistan

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Afghan women take part in a protest to demand that the Taliban government allow the reopening of girls schools and provide employment opportunities for women, in Kabul, Afghanistan, 21 October 2021. (Keystone/EPA/Stringer)

Protests show women will never give up, says Afghan activist. Since the Taliban seized power in August, women have taken to the streets of Afghanistan day after day to fight for their rights to education, work and freedom. But it is becoming increasingly difficult and dangerous for women to protest as the Taliban tightens its grip on the country. However, Rahila Jafari, an Afghan civil society activist, tells us women will never give up.

Geneva Solutions (EN)

Also on the agenda

📌 15 November | Reconciling ecology and economy: a realist approach with Bertrand Piccard. Organised by The Graduate Institute in partnership with the Club Diplomatique de Genève and the Solar Impulse Foundation, this event will address how ecology and the economy can be mutually beneficial, for example, in developing clean technologies.

The Graduate Institute (EN)

📌 16 November | Mapping changes in Media Distribution. The European Broadcasting Union’s annual two-day conference, Forecast, looks at the evolution of media distribution technologies and asks how this affects future distribution options for media organisations?


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