G20 trade ministers have acknowledged the "urgent need" to discuss current events in international trade and the ways in which to improve the World Trade Organization (WTO).

In a statement following the recent G20 Trade and Investment Ministerial Meeting in Argentina, ministers for the international forum said they recognised the need to mitigate risks and enhance confidence in international trade.

"We stepped up our dialogue on current international trade developments, recognising the urgent need to discuss current events in international trade and ways to improve the WTO to face current and future challenges. In this context, we discussed what the G20 can do to address the current situation in a collaborative manner.

"We encouraged all G20 members individually and with other interested parties to continue to come forward with ideas to ensure that the WTO continues to be relevant."

In addition, ministers recommended G20 leaders consider "these important topics" further at the next summit in Buenos Aires.

"The fact that we are talking about the reform of the World Trade Organization means that we all agree that we need to have an organisation that allows us to establish rules and allows us to work within the framework of international trade," The New York Times quoted Jorge Faurie, the Foreign Minister of Argentina, as saying.

Last week, the European Union presented an initial set of ideas to modernise the WTO in a move aimed at making "international trade rules fit for the challenges of a global economy".

Its approach to WTO reform was outlined in a concept paper presented to EU partners in Geneva during a meeting on the subject convened by Canada on Thursday (20 September). The concept paper will continue to be discussed with various WTO partners in the coming weeks with a view to preparing concrete proposals.