WTO, IICA to deepen cooperation on farm trade, food security

Published : 07 Dec 2023 07:21 PM

The WTO and the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) at the COP28 climate summit in Dubai on 5 December that will deepen collaboration between the two multilateral organizations.

The framework agreement of understanding, signed by WTO Director-General Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala and IICA Deputy Director General Lloyd Day, representing the Institute's Director General, Manuel Otero, aims to contribute to achieving a fairer agricultural system while addressing new challenges affecting trade and markets in food and agriculture, including food security, environmental sustainability and innovation.

As part of the agreement, the WTO and IICA identified as areas for joint work developing the trade capacity of Latin American and Caribbean countries to participate effectively in WTO discussions and negotiations on agriculture through actions such as organizing and implementing specific training activities.

The two organizations have also agreed to mutually participate in activities of common interest in the field of agriculture, including seminars, workshops and conferences, in order to exchange views and deepen understanding of relevant issues, including those being negotiated at the WTO.

The signing of the MoU was preceded by a meeting between the WTO Director-General and the IICA Deputy Director General on the importance of strengthening the active participation of Latin America and Caribbean members in the WTO.

The WTO is the only global international organization dealing with the rules of trade between nations. At its heart are the WTO agreements, negotiated and signed by the bulk of the world’s trading nations and ratified in their parliaments. The goal is to ensure that trade flows as smoothly, predictably and freely as possible.

The IICA is a specialized agency of the Inter-American System, with more than 80 years of experience, whose mission is to "stimulate, promote and support the efforts of the Member States to achieve their agricultural development and rural well-being through international technical cooperation of excellence".