13th Ministerial Conference of WTO Kicks off in Abu DhabiKenyan sickle cell patient seeks to medically end his life in Belgium

The 13th Ministerial Conference of the World Trade Organization (WTO) commenced today in Abu Dhabi, the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Ethiopia is attending the four-day meeting as an observer member of the organization. At the conference, WTO members will have for the first time dedicated discussions on sustainable development. Moreover, groups of WTO members will present concrete outcomes and next steps for their respective initiatives on plastics pollution, trade and environmental sustainability, and fossil fuel subsidies reform. Minister of Trade and Regional Integration and Chief Negotiator for Ethiopia's WTO accession Chala Gebremeskel, Foreign Affairs State Minister, Ambassador Mesganu Arga, State Minister of Finance, Eyob Tekalign, and Ambassador of Ethiopia to the UAE, Oumer Hussien are among members of the Ethiopian delegation. The conference is expected to deliberate on a range of issues that are affecting the world including multilateral trade system, WTO's institutional reform, food security, t ax and tariff reform activities. Ambassador Athaliah Lesiba, Chairperson of the WTO General Council, delivered a report highlighting progress on implementing commitments from the previous conference, including strengthening trade reviews and advancing negotiations on fisheries subsidies and e-commerce. Accession processes for Comoros and Timor-Leste are nearing completion, paving the way for their WTO entry. Discussions are ongoing regarding the Ministerial Declaration, with a draft document circulated for further consultations. Dedicated sessions are planned to finalize the declaration. According to Ministry of Trade and Regional Integration, Ethiopia is working to complete its accession to World Trade Organization. Source: Ethiopian News Agency At just 29 years old, Joe Mudukiza has been battling sickle cell anaemia for years. Despite his struggles, he has remained resilient, determined to find a solution to his debilitating condition. However, his journey has taken a devastating turn as he now faces a heartbreaking decision. 'The doctor tried to manage the pain; I declined painkillers because I don't want to depend on them. We just wanted to manage the pain using hydration but couldn't since all my veins and IV lines have collapsed,' Mudukiza revealed, shedding light on the challenges he has encountered in his quest for relief. Despite his efforts, Mudukiza had been unable to raise the KSh 750,000 needed for treatment. Multiple online appeals have yielded little success, leaving him with few options. However, a glimmer of hope emerged when the Belgium Euthanasia Board offered him KSh 3 million to undergo mercy killing. According to Belgian laws, the board cannot transfer the money to Mudukiza for treatment. Faced with limited resources and moun ting medical expenses, Mudukiza made the difficult decision to seek euthanasia assistance in Belgium, where it is legal. Latest reports have it that Mudukiza is set to undergo the treatment that he could not afford earlier. With the support of some organizations, he is hopeful that he will finally receive the care he desperately needs. Source: Cameroon News Agency