top of page

ICC Secretary General John Denton’s open letter to trade ministers ahead of MC13


21 feb. 2024

ICC Secretary General John W.H. Denton AO has issued a letter to trade ministers urging them to make every possible effort to ensure that the World Trade Organization’s 13th Ministerial Conference (MC13) delivers tangible outcomes to bolster the multilateral trading system.

The WTO’s 13th Ministerial Conference (MC13) is taking place on 26-29 February 2024 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. Ministers from across the world will attend to review the functioning of the multilateral trading system and to take action on the future work of the WTO.  

In his letter, Mr. Denton warns that the gradual erosion of the WTO and the proliferation of unilateral and protectionist trade measures are weakening economic resiliency, inhibiting job creation, and exacerbating inequality. He warns that the WTO system should not be taken for granted –  multilateral trade rules are not only a driver of economic growth and development but also an essential safety net.  

Emphasising the global business community’s steadfast support for the multilateral trading system, Mr. Denton stresses the need to see outcomes at MC13 in three key areas:  

  • Strengthening the WTO – we are urging WTO members to reaffirm their commitment to the foundational principles of the WTO, align behind a holistic vision for reform covering all three pillars of the organisation – negotiating, monitoring and deliberation, and dispute settlement – and agree on a tangible work programme for reform. 

  • Renewing the WTO E-Commerce Moratorium, a key safeguard for small businesses across the world, and  introducing much needed ambitious digital trade disciplines at the WTO, including on data flows and localisation 

  • Accelerating the discussions on trade and environmental sustainability to eliminate growing trade frictions arising from the proliferation of national sustainability policies. 


Read ICC Secretary General John Denton’s open letter to trade ministers ahead of MC13

bottom of page