‘G7 Plus WTO Accessions Group’ Launched

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Selected WTO members and acceding governments launched the g7+ WTO Accessions Group, a new platform designed to help post-conflict and fragile economies through WTO membership.

Launched as a sub-group of the larger g7+, the g7+ WTO Accessions Group aims to facilitate the integration of post-conflict and fragile economies into the multilateral trading system through WTO accession-related reforms, including the establishment of credible economic and trade policy frameworks and institutions, and the promotion of transparency and good governance.

It also aims to support the efforts of the WTO acceding governments in the Group, including through information and experience sharing.

The g7+ WTO Accessions Group includes eight members – three recently acceded least-developed countries (LDCs) members (Afghanistan, Liberia, Yemen), four acceding LDCs (Comoros, Sao Tome and Principe, Somalia and Timor-Leste) and South Sudan which has submitted an application for WTO accession to the 11th Ministerial Conference.

The g7+ WTO Accessions Group is a sub-group of the larger g7+ group, which is an association of 20 fragile and conflict-affected states.

Its motto is “Nothing about us without us” and it was formed in 2010 in response to the gaps identified by conflict-affected states in the achievement of Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

Advancing to the next development stage in order to forge pathways out of fragility and conflict, and enabling peer learning on how to achieve resilience and support between member countries are its main objectives.

Other members of the g7+ group, which are all original WTO members, include: Burundi, Central African Republic, Chad, Cote d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of Congo, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Haiti, Papua New Guinea, Sierra Leone, Solomon Islands and Togo. Currently, Sierra Leone is the chair of the group.

The Group adopted a ministerial declaration in which it called upon WTO membership and development partners to continue and strengthen technical assistance and support for the trade capacity building efforts of fragile and conflict affected states, during WTO accession and post-accession.

The Group also urged the WTO membership to positively consider the request of South Sudan for WTO accession which had been submitted for consideration by the 11th WTO Ministerial Conference.

Afghanistan and Liberia acceded to the WTO in July 2016, and Yemen acceded to the WTO in June 2014. Comoros has been in the process of accession to the WTO since October 2007, Sao Tome and Principe since May 2005, and Somalia and Timor-Leste started their accession processes in December 2016.

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