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Press Brief on the G33 Trade Ministers Meeting in Abu Dhabi preceding the MC 13- 25 Feb 2024

New Delhi :- 

The G33 Trade Ministers met on Sunday, 25 Feb 2024, preceding the 13th Ministerial Conference. The G33 group of countries has long been seeking the permanent solution to the public stockholding programmes for food security purposes for developing countries, including the LDCs.

The meeting was coordinated by Indonesia. India urged all the members to continue the strong cohesion of the group, it also highlighted the joint efforts of G33 and the African and ACP Groups, consisting of more than 80 countries and more than 61% population resulting in the comprehensive proposal on PS to PSH in the JOB/AG/229. India also highlighted that the text based negotiations had started on the basis of 229 text. Further, the textual suggestions by India resulted in a COASS Chair’s text for consideration of the MC 13, which contains a decision on PS to PSH at the MC 13.

It highlighted PSH’s importance for developing countries, including the LDCs, in handling the hunger of the poor and the vulnerable.  Emphasising that Food Security is National security and that it is a non-trade concern as per the Agreement on Agriculture, India also shared its experience of PSH programmes that helped India handle the COVID-19 crisis by ensuring free food grains to more than 800 million people.

In conclusion, India urged all the members to strongly argue and achieve the PS to PSH in the ensuing Ministerial Conference MC 13. India also highlighted that a Special Safeguard Mechanism was another mandated issue on which the MC had to deliver, without linking it to Market Access.
A G33 Ministerial Statement was also circulated by the WTO on this occasion.