These are dangerous times for the multilateral trading system. Never since its establishment in 1995 has the World Trade Organization been in such a perilous state. The shambolic 1999 Seattle Ministerial Conference previously represented the nadir in the fortunes of the organization but it rallied quickly afterwards and launched the Doha Round just two years later. Now no such recovery is in prospect. Dispute settlement apart, the WTO scene is characterised largely by drift and neglect, with no apparent light at the end of the tunnel. How did this state of affairs come about, and what are the potential consequences for the global trading system?
Stuart Harbinson will discuss the state of the multilateral trading system, tracing the gradual decline of the Doha Round negotiations and the emergence of new regional and plurilateral initiatives. He will answer the questions about this outside the WTO initiatives and its possible consequences on the multilateral trading system. Will they have a catalytic effect or rather fragment it?
You are cordially invited to a lunch seminar with Stuart Harbinson, a Senior Fellow at ECIPE and former Chairman of the WTO’s General Council overseeing preparations for the launch of the Doha round.