Moore sets up advisory panel on global trade

by Kanaga Raja

Geneva, 6 July 2001 -- A panel of experts has been named Thursday by the WTO Director-General Mike Moore to apparently advise him on the challenges and opportunities awaiting the organization and the global trading system.

The panel, whose composition seems to read like the who’s who of free trade advocates, has been charged with “examining how the WTO should respond to the needs of member governments and its citizens at a time when an increasingly integrated global economy has brought profound economic and political change.”

According to Moore - who has brought in the panellists to promote his agenda - among the functions to be carried out by the panellists are how the WTO could ensure the fullest participation of each member government as the organization expands to near universal membership.

As regards the interaction between the WTO and civil society, the panellists have also been asked to find ways of creating a more effective partnership between the WTO and civil society.

The WTO Director-General remarked, “I have asked this remarkable collection of talented individuals to join me in finding solutions to the problems that face us today. I have done so because I have a responsibility to consult as widely as I possibly can to look for these solutions. You can never have enough sound advice. Each of these people holds great experience in trade and economic policy-making and I’m sure that they will draw on their extensive knowledge to provide me with some fresh insights on how we can move forward in a manner which provides benefits for all.”

The advisory panel is composed of Prof. Robert Baldwin, Emeritus Professor of Economics, University of Wisconsin; Prof. Jagdish Bhagwati, Colombia University and Special Advisor to the UN on globalization; Dr Peter Eigen, Chairman, Transparency International; Prof. Victor Halberstadt, Public Economics professor, Leiden University; Prof. Koichi Hamada, Professor of Economics, Yale University and President, Economic and Social Research Institute (Cabinet Office) Tokyo; Prof. Patrick Messerlin, Professor, Institute of Political Studies, Paris; Dr Konrad Von Moltke, Senior Fellow, International Institute for Sustainable Development, Winnipeg; Dr Sylvia Ostry, Distinguished Research Fellow, Munk Centre for International Studies, University of Toronto; Prof.  Manmohan Singh, Leader of the Opposition and former Finance Minister and Governor of the Reserve Bank of India; Senator LeRoy Trotman, Former President , ICFTU and General Secretary, Barbados Workers’ Union; and Dr Ernesto Zedillo, former President of Mexico.

The panel is to be continuously available to advise the Director-General, both individually and as a group, before and after the 4th Ministerial Conference in Doha, Qatar. – SUNS4931

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