December 2022 - You are accessing an archived version of our website. This website is no longer maintained or updated. The Sustainable Development Knowledge Platform has been migrated here:

Trade for Peace: addressing Fragility Through Economic Integration and Shared Prosperity: The case of WTO membership for Liberia and Afghanistan
Thursday, 8 July 2021
7:30 AM - 9:00 AM
Virtual (NY Time)

Side Event

World Trade Organization (WTO)

The disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic have reminded the importance of open and predictable international trade, particularly for fragile and conflict affected (FCA) states. Currently, the WTO has 164 members, with Liberia and Afghanistan as its latest members after having joined the Organization on 14 and 29 July 2016, respectively. Their WTO memberships, which aimed at using trade integration as a lever to build and sustain peace, have inspired not only new applicants such as Somalia, Timor-Leste and South Sudan, but also other acceding governments, half of which have been affected by conflicts, such as Iraq, Libya, Sudan and Syria. To assist FCA states, the WTO launched the Trade for Peace Programme in 2017 and works closely with partners from the trade, peace and humanitarian communities.

In celebration of the 5-year anniversary of the WTO membership of Liberia and Afghanistan, the panel will discuss how the integration into the multilateral trading system has provided an opportunity to consolidate their peace building efforts after years of conflicts through policy and institutional reforms that promote transparency, predictability, the rule of law and good governance. The session will also explore how trade could support economic and social recovery, build forward better and leave no one behind in the context of the 2030 Development agenda.

  • Mr. Xiangchen Zhang, Deputy Director General, WTO

  • Hon. Mawine G. Diggs, Minister of Commerce and Industry, Liberia
  • Mr. Sulaiman Bin Shah, Deputy Minister of Commerce and Industry of Afghanistan

  • United Nations