At a plenary meeting of the IFD Initiative, the two co-Coordinators of the Initiative, Ambassador Sofía Boza of Chile and Ambassador Jung Sung Park of the Republic of Korea, announced that four new participants – Cameroon, Angola, Malawi and Mozambique – have joined the group since the last plenary meeting in December 2023, bringing total participation in the Initiative to almost three quarters of the WTO’s membership.
Several other members have also indicated an interest in joining the Agreement. “So, we hope to receive more good news in the coming days,” Ambassador Boza added. The vast majority of IFD participants are developing country members, including 25 least-developed country (LDC) members.
The result of more than six years of discussions and negotiations, the IFD Agreement, open to all WTO members wishing to participate, was finalized in its English version in November 2023.
With the French and Spanish versions of the Agreement now finalized as well, the participants have agreed to issue a Joint Ministerial Declaration on IFD at a dedicated Ministerial event on the margins of MC13, by which Ministers participating in the IFD Agreement will officially announce its finalization and make it publicly available, Ambassador Boza noted. In addition, they have agreed to request a consensus decision by the WTO Membership for the inclusion of the IFD Agreement under Annex 4 of the WTO Agreement, which would formally incorporate it into the WTO legal framework.