The Chairperson of the Working Party on the Accession of Iraq to the World Trade Organization (WTO), Ambassador Omar Hilale (Morocco), visited Geneva on 16-18 June.
Building on his earlier visits, the purpose of the Chairperson's meetings in Geneva was to identify steps and mobilise support in relaunching Iraq's accession process which had been challenging due to the security situation in the country.
During his visit, the Chairperson met with: Iraq's new Ambassador Abdul-Karim Hashim Mostafa in Geneva; WTO Director-General, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala and Deputy Director-General Zhang Xiangchen; the Executive Director of the International Trade Centre (ITC), Ms. Pamela Coke-Hamilton, and Acting Secretary-General of the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), Ms. Isabelle Durant. Moreover, he held several bilateral meetings with WTO Members, and with representatives of the World Bank.
The Chairperson left Geneva with a very positive assessment of Iraq's accession process. He felt that there was a renewed political engagement from the Iraqi government, as well as from the mission in Geneva.
He believes that as soon as the Secretariat receives the necessary negotiating inputs, the 3rd Working Party meeting could be held before the end of 2021.