Director General of WTO is least suitable person for chairperson of  Trade Negotiating Committee

Following the WTO Ministerial Conference in Doha, an imminent development in the WTO in Geneva is the establishment of a Trade Negotiating Committee (TNC) and the appointment of its Chairperson. The TNC (which was established in Doha through a manipulative and undemocratic process) will be a powerful body overseeing and coordinating the negotiations and other discussions decided on at Doha. Its chairperson will thus have immense influence on the negotiations.

According to sources in Geneva and in several capitals, there is a move by some governments to nominate WTO Director General, Mr. Mike Moore, as the TNC chairman. We the undersigned civil society organisations are strongly opposed to such a move.

Firstly, as Director General, Mr. Moore should not be involved in negotiations which should remain the domain of the member states. The WTO Secretariat should be neutral in servicing negotiations which are certain to be contentious in many areas; its Director-General should not lead the negotiations, especially in a supposedly member-driven organisation.

Secondly Mr. Moore’s term as Director-General is ending in August/September 2002 in line with the decision in the controversial fight for the Director-General’s post in 1999, in which Mr. Supachai of Thailand will succeed him after 3 years of a normal 6-year term. If Mr. Moore is appointed TNC chairman and remains in the post beyond his term as Director-General, this would result in a most disturbing situation where Mr. Moore will continue to hold the powerful position of TNC chair and his successor as Director General would be deprived of authority including the servicing of negotiations.

Thirdly and most importantly, Mr. Moore has a record of being extremely partisan and manipulative as WTO Director-General and this disqualifies him as a candidate for TNC chairman. Instead of playing the role as an international civil servant which has to be neutral and seen to be neutral on substantive issues and in processes of negotiations and decision-making, Mr. Mike Moore has proved to be extremely partisan on behalf of one set of countries (which include the major developed countries) at the expense of many other countries (including a great number of developing countries), especially in the recent Doha Conference and in the many months leading to it. In particular, Mr. Mike Moore has been strongly campaigning for a New Round with negotiations on new issues such as investment and competition, when a majority of developing countries had been against this.

In the months before Doha and at Doha, Mr. Moore played a pivotal role in a shameful process of manipulation, non-transparency and application of pressure. These disgraceful tactics included the refusal to include the views of many developing countries in successive texts of the Ministerial Declaration (resulting in increasingly one-sided texts) and the holding of non-inclusive “Green Room” meetings (to which only a few countries were invited).

By this behaviour, Mr. Moore has brought disrepute and shame to the reputation of the WTO Secretariat as a discriminatory and partisan and undemocratic body that promotes the interests of rich countries against those of developing countries.

We therefore urge all member states of WTO to strongly reject any proposal to appoint Mr. Moore as Chairman of the TNC. Instead, his previous behaviour should be censured and he should be directed not to continue his partisan behaviour in the remainder period of his term.

Organizations supporting or endorsing this Statement:

Adey Environmental Protection and Development Association

Africa Trade Network

Afro-Asian Institute (Austria)

Amis de la Terre (France)

AM-Net (APEC Monitor NGO Network, Japan)

Anti Globalisation Network

Arab NGO Network on Development

Asia Indigenous Women’s Network

Asian Regional Exchange for New Alternatives-ARENA (Hong Kong)

ATTAC (Berlin)

Australian Greens

Awami Committee Pakistan

Bayan (Philippines)

Begegnungszentrum fuer aktive Gewaltlosigkeit (Austria)

Belgian Cooperation (Belgium Embassy, Ethiopia)

Blueridge Institute (Switzerland)

Biological Society of Ethiopia

Carribean Gender and Trade Network

Carribean Association for Feminist Research and Action

Centre for Study of Global Trade System and Development (India)

Chile Sustentable (Chile)

Citizens of Lee Environmental Action Network -CLEAN (USA)

Coalition for Jobs and the Environment (USA)

COECOCeiba-FoE Costa Rica

Collectif des ONG au Lebanon (Lebanon)

Committee for the Defence of Human Rights-CDHRB (Bahrain)

Consumers’ Association of Penang (Malaysia)

Consumers Education Trust of Uganda-CONSENT

CorpWatch (USA)

CORPORACION Region (Colombia)

Council of Canadians (Canada)

Cumberland Countians for Peace and Justice (USA)

DAWN Southeast Asia

Development Innovations and Networks - IRED (Zimbabwe)

Development VISIONS (Pakistan)

Devil’s Fork Trail Club (USA)

Drug Study Group -DSG (Thailand)

Earths Rights Institute (USA)


EcoPravo-Kyiv Environmental Law NGO (Ukraine)

ECOROPA (France)


Environmental Development Action (Ethiopia)

Environmental Monitoring Group (South Africa)

Environmental Protection Bureau of Addis Ababa (Ethiopia)

Equations (India)

EWNHS (Ethiopia)

Finnish WTO Campaign (Finland)

Flemish Support Group for Indigenous People - KWIA

Focus on the Global South (Thailand)


Food First/Institute for Food and Development Policy (USA)

Forum for Environment (Ethiopia)

Foundation The Court of Eden

Friends of the Earth (England, Wales and N.Ireland)

Friends of the Earth Finland

Friends of the Earth France (Les Amis de la Terre)

Friends of the Earth International

Friends of the Earth Malaysia/Sahabat Alam Malaysia

Friends of the Earth Netherlands

Friends of the Earth Norway

Friends of the Earth Paraguay (Sobrevivencia)

FSPI (Indonesia)


Global Exchange (USA)

Grupo de Relexion Rural (Argentina)

IBON Foundation (Philippines)

Indonesia NGO Coaliation on WTO (Indonesia)

Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy (USA)

Institute for Cultural Ecology

Institute for the Relocalisation of the Economy (France)

Institute for Global Justice (Indonesia)

Institute for Sustainable Development (Ethiopia)

Institute of Science in Society (UK)

Instituto del Tercer Mundo (Uruguay)

Instituto Latino Americano de Servicios Legales Alternativos (Colombia)

International South Group Network

International Gender and Trade Network - Asia

International NGO Forum on Indonesia Development-INFID (Indonesia)

Jubilee Kyushu on World Debt and Poverty (Japan)

Karnataka State Farmer’s Association - KRRS (India)

Legal Research and Resource Center for Human Rights

Low Income Families Together -LIFT (Canada)

Living Education Center for Ecology and the Arts (USA)

Mekrez Environmental Club

National Labour Academy (Nepal)

National Working Group on Patent Laws (India)

NESSFE (Japan)

Network for Environmental and Economic Responsibility (USA)

Netzwerk gegen Konzernherrschaft und neoliberale Politik (Germany)

Organic Producers and Processors Association (Zambia)

Pacific Environment (USA)

Patrick Environmental Awareness Group (Canada)

People-Centered Development Forum

Pesticide Action Network  (Columbia)

Pesticide Action Network (Indonesia)

Pesticide Action Network (Latin America)

Polaris Institute (Canada)

Project South: Institute for the Elimination of Poverty and Genocide (USA)

Public Citizens (USA)

Red de Permacultura Mexico

Research Foundation for Science, Technology and Ecology (India)

Rural Reconstruction Alumni and Friends Association (Thailand)

Save the Redwoods/Boycott the Gap Campaign (USA)

Sobrevivencia/Friends of the Earth (Paraguay)

StopMai Coalition (Western Australia)

Taking Responsibility for the Earth and the Environment -TREE (USA)

Tebtebba Foundation (Indigenous Peoples’ International Centre for Policy Research and Education), Philippines

Texas Fair Trade Coalition (USA)

The Clinch Coalition (USA)

The CornerHouse (UK)

The Edmonds Institute (USA)

Third World Network

Transnational Institute (The Netherlands)

U.S. Greens Abroad (Japan)

UBINIG (Bangladesh)


Uganda Consumers Protection Association-UCPA

Union Nacional Ecologica y Social (Venezuela)

United Church of Christ (USA)

Virginians for Wilderness (USA)

Virginia Forest Watch (USA)

World Development Movement -WDM (UK)

World Fisherfolks Forum WFFP Sri Lanka

World Fisherfolks Forum WFFP Uganda

World Forum of Fisher Peoples WFFP India

World Rainforest Movement (Uruguay)


Youth Development Africa -YDA (Uganda)

Individuals supporting or endorsing this Statement:

David Howenstein, JAMBO International Center, Japan

James M Nordlund

Janet Montgomery

Jean Garinger


Julie Carlson, University for Peace consultant, Costa Rica

Kindeya G/Hiwot, Mekele University, Ethiopia

Magdalena Frey

Mr B.M.Phillips

Margaret Wisner, Canada

Peter Appleton

Peter Koch

Sara Tewolde, Mekele University, Ethiopia

Tim Quigley, University of Saskatchewan, Canada

Signatories as on Saturday, January 26, 2002

Organizations: 129

Individuals: 14