Sierra Leone’s Minister of Trade and Industry, Alpha Ibrahim Sesay, participated in the 13th World Trade Organization (WTO) Ministerial Conference (MC13) held from February 26th to 29th, 2024, at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC) in the United Arab Emirates.

The MC13 brought together ministers from around the world to discuss the current state of the multilateral trading system and chart a course for the future of the WTO.

Discussions centered on navigating challenges arising from conflict, geopolitical tensions, potential global economic fragmentation, and the impacts of climate change. The aim was to develop practical solutions that can be implemented by individual countries.

Ministers explored topics related to trade and sustainable development, including industrial policy, policy space for industrial development, and trade inclusivity.

The conference chairman, H.E. Dr Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, emphasized the WTO’s role in ensuring transparency, stability, and productivity in international trade. He commended the organization’s contribution to improving trading standards and opportunities for its members.

WTO Director-General, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, expressed gratitude to the UAE government and people for hosting the MC13. She acknowledged the UAE’s leadership in becoming the first member to accept the Fisheries Subsidies Agreement and its contributions to the WTO Trust Funds.

The opening ceremony concluded with a signing ceremony by the presidents of Comoros and Timor-Leste.