• Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture
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Ministerial Conference in Nairobi: results in agriculture and some implications for IICA member countries

Event Date: 
San José, Costa Rica
  • Description
  • Program
  • Speakers
  • Live Transmission


Date: Thursday, April 21.

Time: 8:00 a.m. – 10:15 a.m. (Central Time, Costa Rica).

Resources: All the event recordings are available in the "Live transmission" tab in this site

Purpose: To improve knowledge among IICA member countries of topics that are relevant to agricultural trade and their implications for the Institute’s member countries, within the framework of the Flagship Project entitled “Competitiveness and Sustainability of Agricultural Chains.”

General objective: To inform IICA member countries of the results of the Ministerial Conference in Nairobi, particularly those related to agriculture.

Specific objectives:

  • To share the results of the Ministerial Conference in Nairobi.
  • To provide an opportunity to reflect on possible implications for the member countries of IICA.


At present, the governments of IICA member countries are all full members of the World Trade Organization (WTO), with the exception of the Bahamas, which is an observer member and is currently engaged in accession negotiations.

Held in December of 2015, the Ministerial Conference in Nairobi demonstrated the importance of the WTO in international trade governance, since it culminated in the adoption of the "Nairobi Package," a series of Ministerial Decisions on agriculture. The Package’s decisions cover public stockholding for food security purposes, a special safeguard mechanism for developing countries, and measures related to cotton. Decisions were also made regarding preferential treatment for least developed countries (LDCs) and the criteria for determining whether exports from LDCs may benefit from trade preferences.

Another important accomplishment at the Ministerial Conference was the expansion of the Information Technology Agreement (ITA), since more exporting countries are participating by eliminating tariffs on these products.

This represents an important step for the multilateral system, following the conclusion of negotiations on a Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) at the Bali Ministerial Conference (2013); the TFA was the first agreement reached since negotiations began at the Doha Development Round in 2001.  

The IICA is an organization member before the Committee of Agriculture at the WTO since 2010 and has maintained a strategic alliance with the WTO for more than a decade. This has led to the joint creation of the WTO Reference Center at IICA since 2012, creating spaces of reflection and knowledge in international trade rulings on agriculture.

In view of the foregoing, it is important that governments, enterprises and academia in IICA member countries become aware of possible implications of the Nairobi Decision on Agriculture for trade policy creation and development as well as for international business.

Guest Specialists:

Present at the event will be specialists from the WTO Agriculture and Commodities Division, the Ministry of Economy and Trade of Guatemala (MINECO) and the Ministry of Agriculture of Guatemala (MAGA); as well as renowned agricultural policy researchers, including Eugenio Diaz-Bonilla (IFPRI), Jose-Maria Garcia-Alvarez-Coque (Universitat Politeìcnica de Valeìncia-UPV) and Tim Josling (Stanford University).

The Reference Centres Programme of the World Trade Organization (WTO), the Reference Center of the WTO in Guatemala; the IICA Delegation in Guatemala, the IICA Delegation in The United States and the IICA Delegation in the Permanent Office for Europe, are assisting in the organization of the event.


8:00 – 8:10Opening of the technical forum by the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA).Dr. James French Principal Officer of Competitiveness and Sustainability of Agricultural Chains
8:10 – 8:45Presentation on the Nairobi Package and its results in agriculture.Marie-Bel Martínez-Hommel - Ulla Kask World Trade Organization (WTO).
8:45 - 9:00Questions and commentsWTO Reference Center at IICA
9:00 – 9:15Presentation: “The Experiences of Countries in the Negotiations and Possible Implications for Developing Countries: the Experience of Guatemala”Alex Salazar, MAGA - Débora Cumez, Advisor at the Office of the Guatemalan Mission in Geneva before the WTO
9:15 – 9:45Commentator for the Northern Region (United States/Canada) Commentator for Latin America Panelist for the Caribbean RegionEugenio Diaz-Bonilla (IFPRI), Jose-Maria Garcia-Alvarez-Coque (Universitat Politeìcnica de Valeìncia-UPV) and Tim Josling (Stanford University)
9:45 – 10:00Questions and commentsWTO Reference Center at IICA
10:00 – 10:15Conclusions and close of event.Dr. Joaquín Arias, Coordinator of Policies and the Institutional Framework
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