These special week-long events bring together representatives of WTO member and observer countries who do not have Permanent Missions in Geneva, and therefore cover WTO matters from other European capitals or from their capitals.
The purpose is to inform these non-resident member countries and observers about recent developments taking place at the WTO. The 26th Geneva Week welcomed twenty-four countries to Geneva (sixteen member and eight observers.)
The representatives from The Bahamas participated in consultations on outstanding matters that will assist the Government in its accession to the World Trade Organisation.
Aid for Trade, the Importance of Service in Value Chains, Promoting Access to Medical Technologies and Innovation, and the recent WTO Dispute Settlement Activities were some of the matters discussed.
The representatives from The Bahamas also took the opportunity to tour the Commonwealth Small States Office (SSO) in Geneva, where The Bahamas has signed a tenancy agreement. The SSO in Geneva provides subsidised office space for small and developing states to establish a diplomatic presence for accreditation and engagement with the many multilateral organisations in Geneva, and possible bilateral accreditation in Europe. Technical support is also available to resident and visiting small states’ delegations, through the availability of Commonwealth experts on trade and human rights.
In addition, the representatives were able to visit the Advisory Centre on WTO Law and participate in an African Caribbean Pacific (ACP) Group Meeting on overcoming technical barriers to trade.
Preparations for the MC9 (Ministerial Conference) scheduled to be held in Bali, Indonesia in December 2013 were discussed, including the issues facing Least Developed Countries and the Draft Agreement on Trade Facilitation.
Attendance at the 26th Geneva Week allowed for The Bahamas to further build the technical capacity to meet the requirements for accession to the World Trade Organisation.
Additionally, The Bahamas was able to update the World Trade Organisation on the various steps taken thus far to move closer to accession during private consultations.
Caption: (L-R) Ms Rita Kaufmann, Financial and Trade Officer, Ministry of Financial Services; and Mr. Michael Guy, Second Secretary, Embassy of The Bahamas London; at the 26th Geneva Week in Geneva, Switzerland, 29 April to 3 May 2013.
(Photo Credit: Embassy of The Bahamas, London)