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Philippines pursues agriculture outcome at 12th WTO Ministerial Conference

GENEVA, Switzerland -- The Philippine delegation to the 12th WTO Ministerial Conference (MC12), co-headed by Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Undersecretary Ceferino S. Rodolfo and Department of Agriculture (DA) Undersecretary Fermin D. Adriano, underscored that an outcome on agriculture at MC12 is indispensable. 

Speaking at separate ministerial meetings of the Cairns Group and the G33 in Geneva, Undersecretaries Rodolfo and Adriano highlighted the vital role of agriculture in progressing the Agenda 2030 Sustainable Development Goals, and in responding to global challenges such as food insecurity, geopolitical conflicts, climate-induced vulnerabilities and related disasters and the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We must ensure that the promise of agricultural reform delivers balanced and concrete results across all the pillars of agriculture,” Undersecretary Rodolfo stressed.  For his part, Undersecretary Adriano emphasized the need to minimize distortions and keep open the trade of food and agricultural products and inputs, to prevent artificial shortages in times of crises.

The Undersecretaries urged reciprocity in making commitments to substantially reducing trade-distorting domestic support proportionately, and reiterated that appropriate and effective Special and Differential Treatment should be an integral part of the agriculture negotiations.

The Philippines reaffirmed its support for the right of developing Members to an effective Special Safeguard Mechanism (SSM), the work program of which should be strengthened towards negotiating modalities in finalizing the SSM design by the 13th WTO Ministerial Conference.  In addition, it looked forward to the expeditious resolution of a permanent solution on Public Stockholding for food security purposes (PSH), as mandated at the 2015 Nairobi Ministerial Conference.

The Cairns Group is an alliance of 19 WTO member countries founded in 1986 aimed at ensuring that agricultural trade issues would be given a high priority in multilateral trade negotiations. 

The G33 is a coalition of 47 members pressing for flexibility and limit in the degree of market opening required of developing countries, established prior to the 2003 Cancun Ministerial Conference.  (DA)

Ministers and Heads of Delegations at The Cairns Group Ministerial Meeting

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Kate Shiene Austria

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Information Officer III under the Creative and Production Services Division of the Philippine Information Agency. 

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