WTO meeting moving closer to food-security deals

Members of the World Trade Organization are believed to be making progress on food-security agreements.
Ministers at a WTO conference in Geneva are aiming to work out a deal aimed at avoiding countries imposing controls on their food exports.

The meeting covered specific themes on its second day on Monday. On food security, representatives discussed ways of dealing with price surges.

The hikes are the result of supply disruptions caused by the coronavirus pandemic and Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

Reports say the participants are moving closer to an agreement to abide by WTO rules to keep food markets open, rather than unnecessarily restricting them.

The representatives are also aiming for a deal that would exempt from export restrictions purchases by the UN World Food Programme for humanitarian purposes.

The ministers touched on the pandemic's impact. They reportedly discussed fair distribution of vaccines and other medical supplies. Discussions also covered a waiver of vaccine patents so emerging economies can produce vaccines.

The WTO plans to issue a ministerial declaration. The conference ends on Wednesday.