[size=36]Omicron mutant blows up a scheme for the World Trade Organization[/size]
After an emergency meeting on Friday, the 164 members of the World Trade Organization agreed to postpone the twelfth ministerial conference "indefinitely" in the wake of the spread of the "Omicron" mutant, which prompted many governments to impose severe travel restrictions, which will prevent many ministers From heading to Geneva," the organization said.
"This does not mean that negotiations should stop ," said WHO Director-General Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala. On the contrary.
” Annabel Gonzalez, WTO Deputy Director-General, said on Twitter that the ministerial meeting was “postponed and all members supported the decision.”
"It was the right decision," Gonzalez added.
4,000 people were supposed to attend the WTO conference, from November 30 to December 3.
This ministerial conference was initially scheduled to be held in Kazakhstan in June 2020, but was postponed after the first cases of Covid appeared at the end of 2019.
After a period of relative decline in the pandemic in recent months in Europe, the World Trade Organization decided to hold the ministerial meeting in Geneva. But the fifth wave of the virus that the world is witnessing, and the emergence of the new mutant "Omicron", dashed hopes that it could be contracted.
"The postponement of the meeting has just been confirmed," a diplomatic source told AFP, shortly after Switzerland announced travel measures in an attempt to deal with the emergence of the new mutant.
According to the World Trade Organization, Okonjo-Iweala told diplomats that an online meeting could not allow for "complex negotiations on politically sensitive issues".
The European ambassador to the World Trade Organization, Joao Aguiar Machado, acknowledged that the decision to postpone the meeting "was not an easy choice, but it is the right decision."
Many observers considered it difficult for the 164 WTO members to be able to conclude major agreements during this 12th WTO Ministerial, particularly on fishing and the issue of intellectual property rights during the pandemic. But many still hoped that this meeting would at least break the deadlock in the discussions.
"The ministerial conference offers the possibility of finding political solutions to issues that cannot be solved by technical solutions alone," said Dmitriy Grozubinsky, director of the Geneva Trade Platform.
The World Trade Organization is the first international organization in Geneva to bear the consequences of the emergence of the mutant "Omicron", which was initially detected in the Republic of South Africa, and was classified by the World Health Organization as "worrisome" a few hours before the postponement of the Ministerial Meeting of the Trade Organization.
According to the European Union's health agency, the new mutation represents a "high to very high" risk for Europe.
Attention now turns to the World Health Organization, whose 194 members are due to discuss a pandemic treaty next week. Ended 29/b 88