WTO Dispute Settlement Body: UK statement under Agenda 9

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WTO

The WTO is based in Geneva, Switzerland.

Thank you, Chair.

The United Kingdom continues its support for this proposal for the launch of the selection process and we refer to our previous statements on this agenda item. We also support the statement made by Mexico on behalf of all co-sponsors.

This month marks a year since the Appellate Body has been able to hear new appeals, and a year since Members have had recourse to a two-stage dispute settlement system. At a time when the wider trading system is under strain, ensuring the fulfilment of rights and obligations of all Members under the Dispute Settlement Understanding is essential.

We have listened carefully to concerns and recognise the need for reform. We encourage all Members to reaffirm the value of, and Members’ investment in, the rules-based multilateral trading system. We look forward to working with all Members to ensure that we do not become accustomed to the current impasse on dispute settlement.

Finding a solution and engaging in reform discussions should not stand in the way of Members accessing two-stage dispute settlement, a central pillar of the multilateral trading system. We therefore call on all Members to launch the Appellate Body selection process for all seven vacancies so we can restore the system to full functioning while we prioritise discussions on a permanent solution.

Thank-you.

Published 22 December 2020

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