Conciliation and Mediation

At MC12, Ministers committed “to conduct discussions with the view to having a fully and well-functioning dispute settlement system accessible to all Members by 2024.” Members spent much of 2023 in informal sessions doing so. Deep and broad discussions led to an ambitious “Chair’s Text”.

At MC13, Ministers instructed officials “to accelerate discussions in an inclusive and transparent manner” to achieve the objectives set forth at MC12.  

A thorough review of the Chair’s Text, including on alternative dispute resolution, confirms that the optimal framework for most matters of trade concern, especially for developing and less developed Members, would be a strengthened conciliation and mediation facility as a complementary procedure. The Chair’s Text is an important first step in the right direction. proposes a path forward within the WTO as an early harvest element of reform to ensure the relevance of dispute settlement to all Members.