If this was an indication of members’ willingness to listen to the new director-general they had picked, then she must be disappointed
By Peter Ungphakorn
POSTED MARCH 5, 2021 | UPDATED JULY 25, 2021
‘It cannot be business as usual,” she had said when she was appointed. “It cannot be business as usual,” the ambassadors had echoed as they congratulated her. And at the next opportunity they did their utmost to demonstrate the exact opposite.
If Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala needed evidence of how much had to change at the World Trade Organization (WTO), her first few days as director-general offered her plenty to think about. Some who attended the WTO General Council’s first regular meeting of the year said it was one of the worst they could remember.
Continue reading “Dire WTO General Council meeting shows scale of Okonjo-Iweala’s task”
On the day she started her term as new WTO chief, Okonjo-Iweala faced a challenge to her vision
Explainer: The 18 WTO plurilaterals and ‘joint-statement initiatives’
Participants in the present plurilaterals: Technical note
For a taste of the intense debate on this in the WTO General Council,
see this 13-page extract from the minutes (March 2021 meeting)
There are also signs that the “plurilateral” approach can
produce results. See “‘Plurilateral’ WTO services
deal struck after breakthrough text released”
By Peter Ungphakorn
POSTED FEBRUARY 22, 2021 | UPDATED JANUARY 10, 2022
It’s tempting to call it a bombshell. But the warning signs have been around for some time. Nevertheless a new paper from India and South Africa signals a tough ride for the new head of the World Trade Organization’s ambitions to drive negotiations forward.
The paper criticises negotiations involving only part of the WTO’s membership. They are called “plurilaterals” and are seen as a way of breaking deadlock when consensus is elusive.
Continue reading “India and South Africa pour cold water on alternative approach to WTO talks”