The Steering Committee of the Parliamentary Conference on the World Trade Organization (PCWTO) reaffirmed its support for “an open and rules-based multilateral trading system with the WTO at its core”, saying that it believed that “free and fair trade is a powerful engine for growth”. The Parliamentary Conference is a joint initiative of IPU and the European Parliament.
In a statement issued at its 41st session held in Brussels on 24 and 25 April 2018, the Committee the Committee urged the filling of existing vacancies in the Appellate Body of the WTO to allow it to do its work effectively.
The Committee also stressed the importance of bringing the WTO closer to citizens and their concerns, for example, on how trade can help in women’s economic empowerment. Parliamentarians could play a vital role in this which is why it was important to involve them in the work of the WTO.
Other issues discussed at the meeting were electronic commerce and micro, small and medium-sized enterprises and involving MPs in the implementation of WTO recommendations and the outcomes of the PCWTO.