Afghanistan has notified the WTO that its Parliament has ratified its Protocol of Accession, clearing the final hurdle for its WTO membership. According to WTO rules, Afghanistan will become the 164th member of the Organization on July 29th, 30 days after its instrument of acceptance was deposited at the WTO.
Afghanistan’s ambassador, Dr Suraya Dalil, deposited the instrument of acceptance of the country’s Protocol of Accession with Director-General Roberto Azevêdo. The country’s accession Protocol was ratified by Afghanistan’s parliament on June 18th. Afghanistan applied for WTO membership in 2004, with members of the accession working party concluding the negotiations on November 11, 2015. WTO members officially approved Afghanistan’s accession during a special ceremony at the Nairobi Ministerial Conference on December 17, 2015. Afghanistan’s First Deputy Chief Executive Mohammad Khan Rahmani co-signed the Protocol of Accession with DG Azevêdo. Afghanistan is the 36th government and the ninth least-developed country (LDC) to join the WTO following accession negotiations since the WTO was established in 1995. Liberia, also an LDC, will meanwhile become the 163rd WTO member on July 14th. LDCs represent a fifth of the WTO membership.