Sand in the wheels - attac international by linzhengnd


									                                                                                                 Newsletter 65 - page 1
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             Sand in the wheels
                       Weeklly newslletter - n °65 – Wed nesday 24 ttth Jan uary 200 1..
                       Week y n ews e tter - n° 65 – Wedn esd ay 24 h Jan uary 2001

                                                       Cont ent

1-   Davos – Porto Alegre, live
2-   The Green Beam
3-   WTO Tidbits
4-   The Fantastic Story of ATTAC Sverige
5-   Moore On WTO Cooperation With IMF, World Bank

Davos – Port o Alleg re,, lliive..
Davos – Porto A egre ve                                          official part of the World Economic Forum, the
                                                                 importance of seeking harmony is understood by
THE GLOBALIZATION DIVIDE                                         many notable WEF participants, who have agreed
Sunday 28 January                                                to attend as individuals.
Starting at 05:00 pm (Paris time)
                                                                 The independent programme will be produced by
Live broadcasting:                               the French production company Article Z on
                                                                 January 28 and be broadcast on the European
A special VISàVIS videobridge                                    satellite channel ARTE, WorldlinkTV in the USA,
                                                                 the Francophone global channel TV5, and other
THE GLOBALIZATION DIVIDE is a special                            television channels which elect to carry the
videobridge, an interactive television program                   program throughout the world. The event will
linking Davos, Switzerland and Porto Alegre,                     take place between 5 and 7 p.m Paris time.
Brazil, during the World Economic and the World
Social Forums (January 25-30, 2001). The two                     The organization is prepared to stream the entire
events, planned in parallel, will be articulating two            program (90 minutes)
different visions of globalization and its effects:              of     THE    GLOBALIZATION         DIVIDE     at
                                                       , with links to partner websites
In Davos, political, economic and international                  including One World Online, ATTAC, and
organisations look predominantly at the financial                Indymedia, once additional funding is secured.
aspects of globalization.
                                                                 Themes and Panelists :
In Porto Alegre, NGO's, unions and civic
movements look at globalization's social aspects.                Panelists on both sides will together be discussing
                                                                 topics like:
After protests in Seattle, Bangkok, Prague or,
more recently, Nice, rather than letting the gap                 THE ISSUES
get wider, we believe there is a need for civilized              How can the divides be bridged : at the age of the
public dialogue on the future of globalization. And              digital divide, between haves and have-nots, know
we think the media has a role to play in this.                   and know-nots             creation of wealth and
Participant in both places have agreed to use this               preservation      of    environment,   labor  and
televised forum to create a platform for                         management? Are the Powers that Be listening at
understanding which can serve the world as it                    all to what civil society has to say ?
enters the new century.
                                                                 THE FEARS
THE GLOBALIZATION DIVIDE is an official part of                  Is globalization erasing local cultures and stealing
the World Social Forum. While this is not an                     autonomy from sovereign states ? traditions from

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                                                                                                 Newsletter 65 - page 2
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the planet? Will slowing down global integration                 Fax : (33)1 55 33 52 62
lead to stagnant and recessionary economies                      email:
worldwide?                                                       web : &

THE CHALLENGES                                                   The Green Beam
                                                                 The Green Beam
Can the two side hear one another? Can
agreements be reached or protocols agreed to                          t
                                                                 Didn’ you dream, one day, of sending your
that will prevent a growing conflict to emerge ?                 “regards”to the people in Davos?

We have invited a number of people to participate,               Your dream can come true, but it should fit in 160
including the following, who are representative of               characters…
our aims. We are in discussions with those listed,
but it is too early to be definitive.                  
                                                                 A laser projector will beam your message (up to
Sunday 28 January                                                160 characters) onto the mountain side
Starting at 05:00 pm (Paris time)                                overlooking Davos, so that it can be seen by the
                                                                 hundreds of journalists and thousands of
Live broadcasting:                               politicians and business leaders attending the
Panelists (not yet confirmed):
                                                                 You can send messages daily between 17.00 and
In Davos :                                                       22.00 from January 25-29 either through this
Kofi Annan (UN)                                                  website. No messages can be sent at any other
Sir John Brown (British Petroleum)                               time.
Vernon Ellis (Arthur Andersen)
Pascal Lamy (Euro Commission)                                    Well it is more like a gadget that anything else,
Jean Marie Messier (Vivendi)                                     but knowing that the World Social Forum is
Michael Moore (WTO)                                              starting, knowing also that no alternative voices
Pierre Sané (Amnesty Int'l)                                      are authorized in Davos, since the demonstration
George Soros (Open Society Institute)                            is forbidden… there would be some “ regards”that
                                                                 we would want to send.
In Porto Alegre :
Walden Bello (Focus on Global South)                             WTO Tiidbiits
                                                                 WTO T d b t s
José Bové, (Farmer, Confédération paysanne)
Bernard Cassen (ATTAC)                                           1)Agreement on the elimination of 12 persistent
Luigi Vinci (European MEP)                                       organic pollutants
Eduardo Galeano
Aminata Traoré (former Minister of Culture of                    Among these, DDT, the PCBs, dioxines and furans
Mali)                                                            are not subject to total prohibition as are the 8
Joao Pedro Stedile (Peasants Without Land - MST)                 others. One of the most controversial themes has
                                                                 been the introduction of the "precautionary
THE GLOBALIZATION DIVIDE is a joint effort of                    principle" whereby toxic substances are added to
ARTICLE  Z    ,  ALTER  DOC,    INTERNEWS                        the list of prohibited substances even in the
INTERACTIVE , WORLDLINKTV.                                       absence of scientific certainty. The EU took the
                                                                 line that where there is evidence of a threat to
Production Team :                                                human or wild life or to the environment,
                                                                 measures of protection should be adopted even in
Author-Executive Producer : Patrice Barrat                       the absence of complete certainty. The US, like
Associate Producers : Gonzalo Arijon                             Japan and Australia, considered that the protocol
Production Coordinator : Pierre Peyrot                           was already sufficiently flexible, and that
Links Director : Kim Spencer                                     specifically to include this principle would add
Journalist Porto Alegre : Laurence Jourdan                       nothing new to the agreement.          In the end,
Administrative Director : Nezha Cohen                            however, the Conference kept the precautionary
                                                                 principle and included it in the treaty.         In
ARTICLE Z                                                        developing countries, where old stocks of POPs are
20, boulevard Poissonnière - 75009,                              still plentiful; financial and technical assistance
Paris. Tél. : (33)1 55 33 52 60 /

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from developed countries will be necessary to                    Since the Seattle muddle, the world has seen
eliminate them.                                                  increasing     numbers    of    bilateral  regional
                                                                 agreements. According to some analyses, this
Discussions on DDT were particularly animated.                   rise of regionalism could counterbalance the slow
Developing countries and health authorities who in               progress of liberalization at the multilateral level
recent years have had to deal with an increase in                and, where the Asia-Pacific countries are
cases of malaria (e.g. India and South Africa)                   concerned, serve as a counterweight to the
insisted on the fact that DDT still has an important             admission of China to the WTO, which could cause
part to play in saving human lives. Mexico, India                capital invested in South-East Asia to be re-
and China are the only countries still producing                 invested in China, thus endangering the economic
this substance, which is considered to be the                    stability of the region.
cause of various medical problems.
                                                                 3)Meeting of the Work Group              on   Relations
Under pressure from the developing countries, the                between Trade and Investments
conference allowed until 2025 to replace PCBs in
equipment like transformers. Thousands of tons                   It is the developed countries that are pushing for
of PCBs are still in use, although production has                the establishment of multilateral rules on DIAs.
been halted.       Neither dioxines nor furans,                  The developing countries, among them India,
produced by incomplete combustion, have been                     Pakistan, Egypt and Malaya are still hostile to the
completely eliminated, because of the affirmation                idea. They argue that the numerous bilateral
by the US that elimination of all sources of these               investment treaties already signed give sufficient
substances is technically impossible.                            satisfaction, and that a WTO agreement on DIAs
                                                                 would limit the scope of developing countries for
It is expected that ratification by 50 countries,                attracting the investments they want. Yet the
necessary for the treaty to take effect, will take 3             national investment plans of these countries –
to 4 years.                                                      especially where the car industry is concerned –
                                                                 are already under fire from the WTO.
2)The ASEAN        meeting     focuses    on   regional
concerns                                                         4)The US Department of Trade forced to take
                                                                 measures on GMOs intended for export
A few days after the APEC (Asia-Pacific Economic
Cooperation) meeting, which ended with a                         The USDA has imposed tests on corn intended for
declaration of total support for the opening of a                export in response to growing pressure from
new round of global multilateral negotiations, the               abroad, where protest movements against
ASEAN meetings had as their main theme the                       foodstuffs containing GMOs have arisen on several
development of their region.                                     continents. Japan, in particular, is getting ready
                                                                 to vote a new law forbidding import of products
Exemptions from the lowering of customs duties                   containing any percentage whatsoever of GMOs.
received particular attention. These exemptions
aim to help the regional economies respond to the                Meanwhile Novartis, after the controversy over its
rapid adjustments linked to trade liberalization                 Starlink corn, is considering following the example
and    to   aid   their    burgeoning     industries.            of Novartis and Astra Zenica, and getting rid of its
Discussions on the possibility of a free trade area              agro-chemical and seed-producing sector, to
being extended to include China, Japan and South                 concentrate on its pharmaceutical sector, which is
Korea (ASEAN + 3) were also thought desirable.                   in rapid expansion. Faced with the considerable
Yet the announcement by Ch. Barshefsky that an                   public hostility to agro-chemistry, investors are
agreement was to be negotiated with Singapore -                  wondering about the future develoment of this
an agreement which would include social and                      sector.
environmental clauses - took members of the
Congress by surprise. The Singapore ambassador                   5)Some of the bigger developing countries are
in Washington had been notified of this idea only a              disgruntled after the meeting of the Special
very short time prior to the meeting. Some fear                  Session of the WTO General Council
that setting up bilateral agreements could
prejudice ASEAN plans to set up its own free trade               These countries, among them Pakistan, Brazil and
area, while destabilizing the multilateral system.               Egypt, disagree with the final decision to put off
                                                                 the realisation of the measures of application until
                                                                 "no later than the 4th Session of the Ministerial

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Conference", still scheduled for end 2001.                       smear campaign against Attac, which was strongly
Pakistan declared that subjects of interest to most              defended by an important figure head Lutheran
developing countries (textiles and anti-dumping                  Archbishop K.G. Hammar (!).
measures, on which they demand that changes be
made) had not even been broached, and that                       Attac-Sverige¹s inaugural festivities started on
results had been "slender indeed", to use the very               January 6. in the ABF House, which contains half a
same terms as Mr Moore. Not only is the glass                    dozen large conference rooms.
not half empty, but "it contains practically no                  On this Saturday, 28 seminars were held by
water at all." Certain countries want to use this                wellknown journalists, university professors,
point as a bargaining chip in more global                        authors, researchers and other intellectuals. The
negotiations in the event of a new round taking                  atmosphere before the beginning at 10 a.m. was
place. Following objections from the US                          similar to an opening night on Broadway ! Attac
delegation, a reference in the GATS,calling for the              had hoped for 500 people. When 1100 had paid
suppression of administrative barriers which                     the entrance fee, doors had to close because of
hinder the implementation by the different parties               fire regulations. Yet several hundreds still waited
of commitments regarding the movement of                         in the street in freezing wheather. A waiting list
persons, has been removed.                                       was circulated. When someone left the building
                                                                 room was made for people outside. A smashing
Work      group     "International   Treaties"                   success ! The same was true for Attac-France¹s Wherever you live, you                   Pierre Tartakowsky, who got strong ovations
can help this theme work group. Just contact                     during his debate with Sweden¹s minister of
them! Thanks                                                     Foreign Trade Leif Padgrowsky. Although sceptical
                                                                 to the Tobin tax, he welcomed Attac to Sweden.
The fant ast iic St ory of ATTAC Sv eriige
The fantast c St ory of ATTAC Sver ge
                                                                 That evening there was a ball at the Stockholm
- Is this a Latin country, wondered Pierre                       university, north of the capital. Several popular
Tartakowsky, secretary-general of Attac-France,                  orchestras played, attendants danced, speeches
when seeing the wild enthusiasm of young and old                 were held. Earlier nervousness had given way to a
Swedes in Stockholm. Attac-Sverige was founded                   feeling of “                        .
                                                                              wow, we¹ve made it” Participants
6-7. of january 2000, the same dates Sweden                      started to drift home after 2 a.m.
took over the EU-chairmanship from France. The
former event was reported as frontpage news, in                  Sunday morning back to the ABF-House. During
editorials, radio interviews, debates and TV-                    four hours Attac¹s General Assembly debated,
programmes.                                                      adopted the statutes, and elected a Board. Its 15
                                                                 members (average age 35) come from different
- We started planning for this ten months ago,                   parts of the country, NGO:s and popular
explains Aron Etzler (27), one of the initiators,                movements. Paragraph 2 states that Attac is a
who built his organization on 100 young                          “non-party       political,    religiously    neutral
enthusiasts.. In july Attac-France¹s president                                 ,
                                                                 organization” which welcomes all democrats
Bernard Cassen visited Sweden to help prepare                    subscribing     to    the   platform:    Tobin   tax,
the ground by speeches and press conferences.                    abolishment of the debt of poor countries and
Cassen¹s visit was followed on several occasions                 fiscal paradises etc.
by Attac-France¹s vice president Susan George.
The whole time print media, radio -and TV gave                   - We on the Board want to know each other
wide coverage. During the Fall 20 local Attac-                   better, before electing a chairperson. Possibly we
associations were founded. Bim Clinell wellknown                 opt for three chief executives, says Lena Klevenâs
author, debater and journalist informed about                    (50), former MP of the social democrats. She also
Attac followed by many others. Attac was in                      announced that a parliamentary Attac-group will
focus...                                                         soon be founded.
                                                                 Following the General Assembly a manifestation
But the curious, yet positive, attitude towards                  was held at Sergels torg, in the very heart of the
Attac was not shared by all In august the Christian              Swedish capital. 1500 people listened to
Democratic leader, Rev. Alf Svensson, accused                    Tartakowsky, as he opened the event, enjoyed
Attac-associations     of     “hooliganism     and               street theatre portraying “      the Globalization
neonazism” The Swedish Employers¹ Association
            .                                                           ,
                                                                 Game” and hundreds signed up for membership.
(SAF), the federations of Commerce and Industry,                 Svensk Handel, the national commerce trade
the neoliberal think tank Timbro coordinated their               organization had grimly warned Attac, that it

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would sue for every shop window broken by                        hard, hard work. Not bad for activists with an
demonstrators. But after one hour 3/4 of the                     average age of 25 ! Others point out that Swedes
police force left. Later the police department                   have tired of neoliberalism, and want to go back
phoned Attac officials thanking them “  for the                  to their deep rooted social democratic sense of
perfect order, which had reigned throughout the                  equality,   brotherhood     and    solidarity. All
manifestation”(!).                                               explanations are certainly right !

And massmedia ? Svenska Dagbladet (owned by                      Michel Jerneval Groupe International
large Swedish industries) covered most of its¹                   Responsible of the Nordic countries
front page with a huge picture in colour about         
Attac. And its¹ leading article, furthermore filled
two pages inside. Dagens Nyheter (Scandinavia¹s                  ATTAC in Sweden:
biggest morningpaper) had gone from aggresive          
negativism to cautious praise. Attac was               
welcomed to Sweden, although the paper
regretted that “ new political movements like Attac              Moore On WTO Cooperatiion Wiit h IMF ,,
                                                                 Moore On WTO Cooperat on W th IMF
develop outside traditional party politics”       .              Worlld Bank
                                                                 Wor d Bank
Expressen, which earlier accused Attac of violence
and narrow nationalism, now welcomed “ the   all                 WTO NEWS: SPEECHES — DG MIKE MOORE
serious, intelligent, well informed Attac members
to Swedish political life” Expressen in addition                 General Council: Informal meeting
presented its apologies for previous “   unfounded               Thursday, 18 January 2001
accusations” .                                                   Coherence in global economic policy-making:
                                                                 WTO cooperation with the IMF and the World Bank
A hearty welcome was also presented by Prime
Minister Göran Persson, present chairman of the                  Speaking note for the Director-General
European Union. He said he looked forward to
meet with Attac. Wanja Westin-Lundby, new boss                   Our “ Coherence” mandate from Marrakesh gives
of LO, the trade union federation of blue collar                 us the opportunity to take a broader view than
workers was at Sergels torg “                    .
                                just passing by” But             usual of the importance of the work we are doing
she eagerly studied         information about the                in the WTO — to place it in the context of the
composition of the Attac Board. “    What broadness              inter-actions     between     trade,    structural,
of representatives, people from different walks of               macroeconomic,      financial  and    development
life and opinions. It looks fine indeed. Tell them to            aspects of economic policy-making, and to review
contact me” she declared. Malte Eriksson, of the                 our institutional cooperation with the World Bank
Graphic Workers Union had joined Attac, as the                   and the IMF so as to ensure that in these areas we
first secretary general of a trade union belonging               are following consistent and mutually supportive
to LO. Attac also has excellent relations with two               policies.
other unions, those of Commerce and Food
industries.                                                      As I have indicated to you in my annual report on
                                                                 Coherence for 2000, over the past twelve months
Thus Attac-Sverige, seemingly, has won the battle                our cooperation with the World Bank and the IMF
of public opinion. And this in Sweden, next to the               has focused in particular on assisting developing
U.K., the most neoliberal country in Europe ! On                 and least-developed countries to take greater
January 9. the 30 local associations were                        advantage from their involvement in international
launched; from Malmö in the south, to Umeâ not                   trade, and from their participation in the
far from the Polar Circle in the north. Our new                  multilateral trading system. This has coincided
member of the Attac-family already has more than                 closely with the attention that finance and
2 000 paid-up members. On February 24. it is the                 development ministers have been giving to steps
turn of Attac-Danmark to enter the scene, with                   that must be taken to rid the world of the problem
Finland following suit. Will Norway also join the                of widespread poverty. Poverty alleviation is the
Attac family ? Shall we bet that - it won¹t be long              predominant development challenge for our
?                                                                generation, and it is one of the main benchmarks
                                                                 against    which     the  success   of    economic
Swedish analysts explain Attac¹s success by                      globalisation is to be measured.
factors  such   as    perfect   launch     timing,
determination, patience, political intuition and

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I think we can all agree that bringing developing                accelerating growth and reducing poverty in
and least-developed countries more fully into the                developing countries. Debt relief and aid are not
WTO is a major priority, and it can make a major                 enough.
contribution to the fight against poverty. These
countries want trade to play a central role in their             - The second is that improved market access
economic development. But many are saying that                   opportunities must be backed up by more focused
they need help, and they need it urgently. That                  and generous support for developing countries,
came through more clearly than ever in the course                particularly the poorest among them, to help them
of our work last year on Implementation issues.                  build the human and physical capacity they need
Responding to requests from developing and                       to become diversified, world- class, trading
least-developed countries for assistance in                      nations.
implementing their Uruguay Round commitments
is one of our core responsibilities, and one I am                You will find these two conclusions reflected in the
particularly attached to. But these countries need               communiqués       of   both    the    Development
help also in training their trade officials, so as to            Committee and the IMF's International Financial
be able to play an effective role in the WTO's                   and Monetary Committee. I know that Trade
institutional machinery. And help in developing                  Ministers share the same conclusions. We have,
their domestic trade-related capacity more broadly               then, agreement at the highest policy-making
still,     through     institution-building      and             level among the international trade, finance and
infrastructural development.                                     development communities:

In the WTO, we are maintaining a high level of                   - Trade's role in the development process has
activity on technical assistance and training, and I             never been more widely accepted:
shall continue exploring with Members the
possibility of expanding our efforts in these areas.             - We know that if developing countries are to grow
We are looking at ways to facilitate the day-to-day              their way out of poverty, more must be done to
participation of non-resident and smaller Members                remove barriers facing their exports of goods and
in the work of the WTO. We shall shortly be                      services.
holding our Integrated Framework Seminar, on
“Mainstreaming Trade into Country Development                    - We know that the timing and sequencing of their
Strategies” And in the period ahead, I intend to                 own trade reforms is a critical issue.
build on initiatives such as Libreville 2000, Geneva
Week, and the provision of Reference Centres, to                 - We know that trade must be seen as part of a
further support the efforts of delegations to                    wider and more comprehensive development
participate in the WTO's work programme.                         strategy.

But there is only so much that the WTO can do on                 - We also know that bringing developing countries
its own in these areas. The great strength of our                more fully into the global trading system is key,
cooperation agreements with the World Bank and                   not only to a more equitable world economy, but a
the IMF is that while each organisation continues                more secure and stable one as well.
to focus on its core responsibilities, we are able to
explore ways of leveraging our collective                        The real question we have to tackle in WTO is how
resources in areas where our activities converge.                to move a meaningful trade and development
                                                                 agenda forward. What should be our next steps?
A tangible reflection of this was the result of the
IMF/World Bank Development Committee meeting                     First, we need to make real progress this year on
last April. Trade figured large in Ministers                     the mandated WTO negotiations on agriculture
discussions, alongside implementation of the                     and services.
enhanced HIPC debt initiative and of the new
Poverty Reduction Strategy process.                              - Rural poverty is the most endemic and corrosive
                                                                 form of poverty in the world. Continuing high
I drew two important conclusions             from   the          barriers to agricultural trade are a large part of
discussion on Trade issues:                                      the problem. We have got to start bringing them
- One is that further trade liberalization, in both
developed and developing countries, is an                        - Services liberalization is central to successful
essential element of a comprehensive strategy for                development strategies. It brings with it essential

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access to modern technology, more efficient                      governments, and it is inclusive of each country's
infrastructure,       lower    transport and                     full range of development partners. By aligning
communications costs, stronger and better                        the IF with the PRS process, we can substantially
functioning financial markets.                                   increase the possibilities for attracting generous
                                                                 donor financing to it.
Second, we need make progress quickly on a
generous package of measures to assist the least                 - For the WTO to be an effective partner in this
developed countries. With over ten per cent of the               process, we need to increase our resources for
world's population, they account for less than one-              technical assistance and training. Even with much
half of a per cent of world trade - and their share              greater involvement in future of the Bank and the
is    shrinking.    Tackling     that  requires   a              Fund, providing assistance in all matters relating
comprehensive approach, to encourage trade                       to implementation of WTO obligations remains the
diversification, to correct policy impediments that              responsibility of the WTO and its Members. That is
hamper the development of competitive exports,                   why I am continuing to look to improve and
to help them build their human, institutional and                regularize the funding of the WTO's technical co-
physical capacity to trade. These problems will                  operation activities. We need a regular budget
take time to resolve.                                            sufficient to enable us to plan two to three years
                                                                 ahead and respond to increasing demands. We
- What can be done immediately is to improve                     have made some progress here, and new avenues
their market access opportunities. It is shameful                for resources are being studied.
for their wealthy trading partners to continue to
maintain tariffs and quotas against the products in              Fourth, and finally, we must advance on our goal
which the least-developed countries have a clear                 of launching a new Round of multilateral trade
comparative advantage. That is also completely at                negotiations. This is central to the trade interests
odds with the notion of “    Coherence” in global                of developing countries, and I was very
economic policy-making. As my colleagues Jim                     encouraged to hear finance and development
Wolfensohn and Helmut Köhler have been pointing                  ministers at the Fund/Bank meetings last year
out, debt relief will help the poor countries save               echo my sentiment. As important as unilateral,
more of their existing resources; but only                       bilateral or regional initiatives have been, history
increased exports will allow them to generate new                shows that multilateralism offers the most
ones. I shall continue to press hard on this issue               powerful means for achieving deep and lasting
in the months ahead. I must thank those countries                trade liberalization, with benefits guaranteed by
that have already made offers. I would like others               WTO rules. Only through a balanced negotiation
to report to capitals and advise us if they can do               will countries achieve the cross-sectoral trade-offs
more.                                                            that help to drive liberalization forward. Only an
                                                                 inclusive approach — based on the principle of
Third, we need to take a more integrated                         non-discrimination — can ensure that the weakest
approach to trade-related technical assistance and               and poorest countries are not marginalized. It is
capacity building.                                               not always politically correct to say so, but the
                                                                 major economies also have needs, we all need the
- Here, I believe the new Poverty Reduction                      great importing countries to do well. The recovery
Strategy process (PRS) of the World Bank and the                 from the Asian crisis was to a great extent based
IMF will play a central role. We must support it. I              on rich markets staying open.
very much welcome the fact that trade policy
reform and trade-related capacity building is being              I want to finish on a personal note. The success of
made an integral part of the PRS process. Given                  our cooperation agreements with the IMF and the
the resources that can be mobilized by the PRS,                  World Bank — the benefits that the WTO is
not only by the World Bank and the IMF but also                  deriving from them — suggests to me that
by all other development partners involved, it is                Member governments should not be shy in
natural for the WTO to view the PRS process as                   thinking through how the WTO can improve its
the focal point for our own technical assistance                 cooperation with other organisations, UN and
and support efforts.                                             otherwise, in areas where our core activities
                                                                 converge with theirs.
- In particular, the WTO's Integrated Framework
for least-developed countries can provide an                     - I know that this does not fall formally under our
essential input to this approach. Like the PRS                   Marrakesh “ Coherence” mandate, and I am not
process, it is demand-driven and owned by                        suggesting that mandate be changed.

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- Nor am I trying to open a back door to                         This is a personal view, it's outside our mandate
contentious issues.                                              and ministerial instructions. However, after
                                                                 attending ACC meetings and pushing for better
But in the Secretariat we see more and more                      cooperation and seeking to cooperate with our
evidence      that    other    inter-governmental                sister organizations, I think it would be of
organisations have incorporated a core trade                     assistance if we all did a stocktake, to better
component into their work programmes, and in                     define our core missions, and our jurisdictions,
some cases a formal position on trade-related                    and to make better use of resources.
issues. I am thinking of organisations such as the
UN, UNDP, FAO, WHO — organisations with which                    I have suggested privately that an EPG or a group
we are already cooperating at the technical level,               of wise men and women, with no vested interests,
and where there is no doubt scope to extend that                 could do a study of the goals, objectives and
cooperation further. But where we find ourselves                 outcomes of all the institutions. How we can do
operating at present mostly on parallel tracks, and              our jobs better, and be more accountable and
lacking policy guidance from our governing bodies                transparent to our owners, the Governments.
on how to make those tracks converge. These
organisations are setting international standards,               Most of the international agencies are now middle
some of which we use in our work in the WTO;                     aged, born out of the experiences of great
they are delivering capacity-building to developing              depression and world conflict, bonded together by
countries, some of it directly trade-related; they               the cold war.
are conducting policy surveillance — again, some
of it trade-related; and they are conducting                     Globalisation, the accelerated movement of
research, some of it with a heavy trade                          products, services, and most important, ideas,
component. As long as all of these components                    poses new challenges. This is an idea that needs
are being generated in relative isolation from one               polishing, it needs an owner and it's something
another, there is a clear risk of duplication and                our institutions cannot do by themselves. So,
overlap — and of the WTO being distracted from                   middle-age is about regular checks, an audit of
its core responsibilities to try to fill gaps                    programs, and a collective vision.
                                                                 I must report my personal admiration for those
This is, I believe, a subject that warrants more of              heads of Agencies/Organizations who work on
our attention. Perhaps not in this setting, of our               your behalf. Some of the finest people I've met
Coherence mandate. But I would urge you to                       since I took this job have been international public
reflect further on it, and I would be grateful to                servants.
hear your views.

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