Countries in the World Trade Organization are resuming stalled negotiations on fixing its dispute settlement system by the end of this year, a document showed on Friday, after they overcame difficulties in choosing a chief negotiator.

The talks aim to replace and reform the trade watchdog's appeals bench, which has been mothballed since 2019 because of opposition to judge appointments by the United States, which cited overreach. This has left more than 30 trade disputes unresolved.

Ambassador Usha Dwarka-Canabady from Mauritius, a career diplomat, was announced as chief negotiator this month after at least three other ambassadors turned the role down, trade sources said.

The previous facilitator, Marco Molina from Guatemala, was abruptly dismissed by his government in February despite widespread praise for his approach which, unlike other WTO talks, sought to reduce haggling by encouraging co-authorship of new rules.

In an email sent to countries, Dwarka-Canabady has called WTO delegates in for consultations at the WTO's Geneva headquarters next week to "identify priority issues for future discussions".

The U.S. delegate welcomed her appointment.

"While we recognize that considerable work remains and that achieving fundamental dispute settlement reform will not be easy, United States remains committed to continuing an interest-based approach to the discussions," the U.S. delegate told a WTO meeting on Friday.

(Reporting by Emma Farge, Editing by Timothy Heritage)