The Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland has announced that it has committed to provide support to the Advisory Centre of WTO Law (AWCL) in total of EUR 1,3 million over the next four years. Established in 2001, the ACWL is an international organization located in Geneva that provides developing countries and least-developed countries (LDCs) with the legal capacity necessary to enable them to take full advantage of the opportunities offered by their membership in the WTO and in the rules-based multilateral trading system.

Developing countries and LDCs face significant resource constraints in participating in WTO dispute settlement proceedings, obtaining legal advice on the WTO-consistency of their domestic laws, as well as other countries’ laws, and fully understanding the legal implications of negotiations of new rules in the WTO.   The ACWL offsets these constraints by providing its developing country Members and the LDCs – at present, 79 countries – with permanent access to specialised legal advice on these matters.   The ACWL thus contributes to the fair and inclusive nature of the rules-based multilateral system.

The ACWL provides the following services:

  • Free legal advice on all WTO legal matters
  • Support at all stages of WTO dispute settlement
  • Training on WTO law through annual courses, a secondment programme for government lawyers and other seminars and workshops

At a meeting in the margins of the WTO Ministerial Conference in Buenos Aires to mark Finland’s announcement, Niall Meagher, Executive Director of the ACWL, thanked Kai Mykkänen, Minister for Foreign Trade and Development of Finland for this support:  “Finland was a founding Member of the ACWL and has been a consistent supporter of its activities.  We are therefore very pleased that Finland is continuing its support for the ACWL.  I would like to thank all our Finnish colleagues in Geneva and Helsinki for their hard work and enthusiasm in enabling this continued support.  We look forward to continuing this successful relationship”. Minister Mykkänen said: “We very much appreciate the work of the ACWL in ensuring that developing countries and in particular the least-developed countries obtain a full understanding of their rights and obligations under WTO law and have an equal opportunity to defend their interests in the global trading system”.

For further information on ACWL’s support to developing countries and LDCs please follow this link:

12 December 2017


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