Thursday, November 8, 2012

Next WTO chief - Should geography matter?

I have blogged about the news of the selection of the next WTO chief here. Should "geography" matter in the selection process of the next WTO Director General after Pascal Lamy whose term ends in August 2013? Pascal Lamy himself contended that geography should not be the deciding factor in the selection of his successor. Should the next chief be from an emerging economy (Argentina, Mexico) or from the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China or South Africa) member countries? Should nationality matter at all? Would having a person from the developing world at the top post make the organization more "representational"? Is it not representational yet? Would it make the WTO more "sensitive" to developing countries interests? Is it not so yet? Would the nationality of the chief have a bearing on the interpretation of the trade agreements? Would the chief being from Africa make a difference to the participation and interests of African nations in the WTO?

I am not sure it will have an impact on the dispute settlement mechanism. However, would the strategy of the negotiations change or the role of the WTO secretariat in dealings with the Doha impasse change? Is selection of a person from the developing economies (non-US non-EU) merely a representational, symbolic step or a more substantive step? Reuters covered some of the issues here.

Too many questions. Not sure if there are answers to all of them ...

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