south-north development monitor - SUNS [Email Edition]

SUNS #4413
Tuesday, 13 April 1999


Trade: Pressure on US over WTO-DG choice (Chakravarthi Raghavan)

Caribbean: Ponders 'collateral damage' from WTO ruling (IPS, Miami)

Mercosur: "Foreignisation" accelerated in 1998 (IPS, Montevideo)

Yugoslavia: Ecologists in Spain protest Radioactive Weapons (IPS, Madrid)

Yugoslavia: Refugees trapped in the Information War (IPS, Belgrade)

Kosovo: Good Ending for NATO appears doubtful (IPS, Washington)

Europe: Crisis in the Balkans widens (IPS, Brussels)

Excerpts from some articles:

Trade: Pressure on US over WTO-DG choice

Geneva, 10 Apr (Chakravarthi Raghavan) -- The United States was under pressure Friday to give up its efforts to prevent election of the leading candidate, Thai Deputy Premier Supachai Panitchpakdi, as the next Director-General of the WTO.

The pressure on the US came at an informal meeting of heads of delegations (HOD) to the General Council, convened by the Council chairman, Mr. Ali Mchumo, as a compromise to the call from the ASEAN and others for a formal General Council session on this.

The agenda of the 14 April General Council meeting has an item, the 10th item on its list, for the appointment of the next Director-General to succeed Mr. Renato Ruggiero, who is demitting office on April 30, when there may be attempts to force a decision.

Judged by the interventions and speeches of delegations on the 9 April informal meeting, trade diplomats said, it seemed that Dr. Supachai had a clear lead (and not a narrow one) over Moore.

While anything can happen in the non-transparent and non- democratic world of the WTO, as things stand there could be an impasse which may or may not be resolved by the time Ruggiero demits office.

According to some trade diplomats, various ideas are being floated in the event of no candidate being named to take over on 1 May -- naming an outsider (the name of Uruguay's Enrique Iglesias has been often mentioned by some Latin American diplomats, as a "developing country" candidate acceptable to the US), asking Ruggiero to stay on (which he has repeatedly discouraged) or asking one of the deputy directors-general to hold the fort.

[c] SUNS - All rights reserved. May not be reproduced, reprinted or posted to any system or service without specific permission from SUNS. This limitation includes incorporation into a database, distribution via Usenet News, bulletin board systems, mailing lists, print media or broadcast. For information about reproduction or multi-user subscriptions please contact <>