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International relations

Faced with wartime crises, WTO struggles to remain relevant

Members divided on critical food and supply chain issues

World Trade Organization Director-General Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala speaks at a news conference ahead of the WTO Ministerial Conference in Geneva on June 12.   © Reuters

GENEVA -- The World Trade Organization faces a major test for its future this week as its highest decision-making body meets here to discuss supply chain disruptions and a brewing food crisis caused by the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

The WTO's Ministerial Conference kicked off Sunday with representatives from more than 100 member countries, the first major meeting in four and a half years. Chronic disagreements between developed and emerging economies have long stymied decision-making at the organization.

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