Sunday, April 15, 2012

Multi-stakeholder Panel of the WTO - Way forward?

I had blogged here in the context of the Doha round the establishment of a panel of multi-stakeholders of the WTO to look into various dimensions of international trade in the 21st century. The WTO website reported the constitution of the panel thus:
"At the WTO's 8th Ministerial Conference in December 2011, Mr. Lamy suggested that the profound transformations in the world economy require the WTO and the multilateral trading system to look at the drivers of today and tomorrow's trade, to look at trade patterns and at what it means to open global trade in the XXI century, bearing in mind the role of trade in contributing to sustainable development, growth, jobs and poverty alleviation. The analysis of these world trade drivers, which will be produced by the 12 panellists in early 2013, can make an important contribution to debate between Members on the best way to tackle these challenges, Mr. Lamy said.
“The difficulties we, and many other multilateral institutions, have encountered in recent years is indisputable proof that yesterday's solutions simply cannot be applied to the problems we face today. This panel encompasses experts from all corners of the world and nearly every field of endeavour. Their analysis will spark debate and open new channels of thinking on how we can best confront the stumbling blocks that today's rapidly evolving world has strewn in our collective path,” said Mr. Lamy.
The “WTO Panel on Defining the Future of Trade”, will meet several times in 2012. In the autumn, it will have the opportunity to hear the views of WTO Members over these challenges. The first meeting of the group will be on 16 May in Geneva.
The panellists are:
Mr. Talal ABU-GHAZALEH, Chairman and Founder, Talal Abu-Ghazaleh Overseas Corporation, Jordan
Ms. Sharan BURROW, Secretary-General, International Trade Union Confederation, Brussels
Ms. Helen CLARK, UNDP Administrator, New York
Mr. Thomas J. DONOHUE, President and CEO, US Chamber of Commerce, Washington
Mr. Frederico Fleury CURADO, President and CEO, Embraer S.A, Brazil
Mr. Victor K. FUNG, Chairman of Fung Global Institute and Honorary Chairman of the International Chamber of Commerce, Hong Kong, China
Mr. Pradeep Singh MEHTA, Secretary-General, CUTS International, India
Mr. Festus Gontebanye MOGAE, Former President of Botswana
Ms. Josette SHEERAN, Vice Chairman, World Economic Forum, Geneva
Mr. Jürgen R. THUMANN, President, BUSINESSEUROPE, Brussels
Mr. George YEO, Former Foreign Minister, Singapore and Vice Chairman of Kerry Group Limited
Mr. Fujimori YOSHIAKI, President and CEO, JS Group Corporation, Tokyo"
Would be interesting to see the methodology the panel uses to identify the issues at hand as well as the conclusions it comes to in terms of the future challenges for the WTO.

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