Mike Moore's speeches
ladies and gentlemen,
This year we marked
the 50th anniversary of the multilateral trading system a system which,
together with the United Nations and the Bretton Woods institutions, emerged out of the
tragedies of the Great Depression and the Second World War. Certainly our world today is
in many ways still unacceptable. Poverty and hunger remain with us. The promise of
development has yet to be redeemed for much of the emerging world. Civil war and ethnic
strife mar the global peace. And yet in contrast to the dark history of the first half of
this century, the second half has shone immeasurably brighter in no small part
because of the vision and contribution of the post-war international system.
Now, on the
threshold of a new century and a new era, we ask what the next fifty years will bring:
Will it be a time of conflict or cooperation? Stagnation or progress? Another dark age, or
one filled with light? Today I want to comment on the realities of this new globalized age
and what these realities mean for the evolution of the international system in the
financial crisis marks an important turning point in the process of globalization
but not in the ways that its critics now predict. As difficult and destabilising as the
past sixteen months have been, the crisis has reinforced not weakened the
reality of globalization. It has underlined in a stark and powerful way just how
interconnected we are financially, socially, politically, as well as economically.
It has further blurred the distinction between domestic and foreign issues fatally
undermining the notion that a country's internal policies or practices are the concern of
no one else. And it has created new pressures for more not less
international cooperation, across a much broader policy front.
because globalization is about much more than trade and capital flows. Technology is
linking us together to an unprecedented degree through communications, information,
and ideas, as well as trade, services and investment shrinking distances and time.
And this process is, in turn, creating an awareness of interdependence on a planetary
scale. Television, fax machines, mobile phones, and the Internet are erasing barriers, not
only between economies, but between people - allowing us to see and comprehend how
inter-linked we have become. There is a globalization of our consciousness, as well as of
our economies. And this dimension of globalization more than any other - will prove
impossible to slow down or reverse.
crisis has dominated our discussions over the past year with its moments of
pessimism and moments of renewed hope. It is clear that this is first and foremost a
financial crisis and the solutions must be found from within the financial and
monetary systems. But it is now equally clear that continued financial and exchange rate
instability can and will - have a negative effect on world trade, investment, and
development. Declining commodity prices, weakening imports in the affected countries,
excessive export competition in the advanced markets, and the threat of further
devaluations all of these forces are introducing new uncertainties, new risks, and
new protectionist pressures into the global economy.
is that the questions raised by the financial crisis go to the heart of the major
challenge of our time - the challenge of global governance in this complex and
interdependent era. Can we maintain a stable and increasingly borderless global economy
with rising trade, employment, and growth - without a stable global financial and
monetary system? Will the integration of our economies require a more coordinated approach
to fiscal, monetary, development, and environmental policies, as well as trade policy?
Does the logic of globalization force us to re-examine the global architecture?
international consensus will have to develop for improving the management of the global
economy if we are to continue to liberalize markets, and if globalization is to fulfil its
need to open up the international system to wider participation at the highest level of
the decision-making process. This implies that we must move from a predominantly
unilateral leadership to a more collective leadership and with a more balanced
share of responsibility. This does not mean that US leadership is any less important. What
it means is that Europe, Japan, the transition economies, and the developing countries
that make up a growing share of the world economy, must be prepared to play their part.
The recent G-22 meetings are good initial steps in this direction.
And this in
turn means that the nature of international leadership must change. During the Cold War,
leadership was about solidarity, discipline, the possibility of force in the common
defense of our values. By contrast, leadership in an interdependent world is the art of
cooperation and consensus. It is about recognizing that our national interests are
increasingly global interests; and that our national security increasingly hinges on the
security of others. I do not suggest that the voice of internationalism is an easy one in
the present climate only that it is essential in our globally interdependent world.
need to broaden the scope of issues which are part of the international agenda at the
highest level of the system. We can no longer afford to view issues through a sectoral
lens. We need to look at the challenges we face from a broader perspective, and as pieces
of a larger, interconnected puzzle. Globalization has given rise to a lengthening list of
issues that now cross borders from environmental standards and development
concerns, to the distribution of resources, labour standards, health issues, human rights,
education, technological empowerment, even foreign security. More and more, we are
dependent on each other's financial stability, economic development, environmental
security, and political reform. More and more there is pressure to widen the scope of
international coordination and to define institutions which can bridge the gap
between an economic and technological system which is increasingly global, and a political
system which is still predominantly national.
widening of the international agenda, the environment will occupy a very important part.
Environmental challenges - such as acid rain, deforestation, global warming, or the
protection of endangered species - clearly demand approaches which are global in scope,
rather than national. The recent Shrimp-Turtle Appeal is the clearest sign yet that the
world trading system is fully supportive of policies to protect endangered species or the
environment - but that it is up to the environmental community itself to provide this
policy framework, or to implement their policies without discrimination. It strongly
reinforces the growing need to negotiate global environmental rules and standards
and to reach a global consensus about environmental issues. And it underlines the need to
strengthen existing bridges between trade and environmental policies - a task that would
be made immeasurably easier if we could also create a house for the environment to help
focus and coordinate our efforts.
Shrimp-Turtle Appeal is extremely important because it clarifies one essential issue in
the debate between the trade community and the environmental community that there
are no political, economic, or legal obstacles to the harmonious development of both
environmental objectives and free trade objectives. I am sorry to read you a long
quotation, but I think it is absolutely necessary to put on record for this conference
which is mainly devoted to trade and the environment - the conclusions of the
Appellate body in this case:
to underscore what we have not decided in this case. We have not decided that the
protection and preservation of the environment is of no significance to Members of the
WTO. Clearly it is. We have not decided that the sovereign nations that are Members of the
WTO cannot adopt effective measures to protect endangered species, such as sea turtles.
Clearly, they can and should. And we have not decided that sovereign states should not act
together bilaterally, plurilaterally or multilaterally, either within the WTO or in other
international fora, to protect endangered species or to otherwise protect the environment.
Clearly, they should and do."
makes it even more impossible to say that trade policy does not consider environmental
issues. It is clear that the trade system not only takes environmental concerns into
account, but if they are implemented without discrimination these concerns
prevail over free trade objectives.
This is of
fundamental importance because if we want to succeed in defining our objectives
both the trade community and the environmental community we have to define the real
challenges we face; and not create false obstacles. To pretend that environmental concerns
stand in the way of free trade is to create false obstacles. To pretend that free trade
stands in the way of environmental concerns is also to create false obstacles. And if we
focus our attention on these false obstacles instead of on the real problems we face, we
are only losing time and resources without coming any closer to reaching our shared goals.
must come out from this conference loud and clear. The WTO is a strong institutional
friend and supporter of the environment. And we must proceed the trade and
environmental community hand-in-hand to improve and strengthen this alliance. This
is also the message that must be sent from the High-Level Dialogue proposed both by
President Clinton and Sir Leon Brittan, and strongly endorsed from the outset by me. I can
inform you that in the preparations of this dialogue we are making substantial progress;
and that we are not far from launching this initiative probably together with
another High-Level Dialogue on Trade and Development at the beginning of next spring.
There is still a lot that we must do together to improve and clarify the relationship
between trade and environment.. But this task will be much easier if we move forward as
friends, not as opponents.
characterize the WTO as we have read recently - as an organization that
"refuses to reveal its deliberations to the public, or be held responsible for the
social, political and environmental costs of its decisions" is a false
representation. No one can claim it. Certainly there is more that we can and must
do to improve transparency, and our alliance with environmental, social, and
development policies. But those who follow the activities of the WTO, know that we are
strongly committed to that course - and that we are already moving towards these
objectives within the rules which have been adopted by consensus by all our Members and
ratified by each of our Parliaments.
important issue is the social dimension of globalization. At the WTO's first Ministerial
Conference in Singapore, we emerged from a difficult debate with a clear and strong
consensus on the issues of labour standards - a consensus first, that members were
committed to the observance of core labour standards; second, that the ILO was the
relevant body to address these issues; third, that standards are best promoted by growth
and development, fostered by trade liberalization; and fourth, that labour standards
should in no way be used for protectionist purposes or put into question the comparative
advantage of countries. It is this consensus which has opened the door for the
International Labour Organization and its declaration to make real progress on the issue
of the social clause. Perhaps not everyone is fully satisfied with this progress. But the
reality is that we would have made no progress at all if we were still fighting over the
issue of the ILO's or the WTO's competence.
step was the WTO initiative last year to provide assistance, in collaboration with UNCTAD,
UNDP, the World Bank and others, to address the needs of least-developed countries. The
proposed High-Level Dialogue on Trade and Development has to give priority attention to
this urgent problem. One objective is to give least-developed countries better access for
their exports in advanced markets, and here I have strongly advocated that we provide
bound duty free access - a call which has now also been taken up by many world leaders,
and that must be answered during the next multilateral negotiations in 1999. In addition,
we must continue to work towards a more integrated approach to capacity building in these
countries. And we must build upon our efforts to link the Least-Developed Countries via
the Internet to all the resources and expertise of the WTO - a powerful symbol of the new
kind of dialogue that is needed in our global electronic village.
We need to
define a vision for the post-Cold War era. For four decades, the strategic imperatives of
the Cold War created a degree of cohesion and singleness of purpose which helped sustain
the international system. But we have lost the "cement" of the Cold War. And no
one has yet articulated a clear vision of what the post-Cold War order should be. Instead
of one common enemy, we face thousands of complex problems. We need to define a new global
vision to match the realities of a new global age a technology-driven age which is
shrinking time and space.
To sum up, if
we consider the present financial turmoil it seems that an answer cannot be found unless
we keep our markets open. At the same time, it will be increasingly difficult to resist
protectionist pressure without restoring stability to the financial and exchange rates
If we look
beyond the financial crisis then we see that there is a new global reality and even
a new global economy emerging which is much more complex than trade or capital
flows. What we need is an architecture which will take into account, at the highest
political level, a number of players which goes beyond a few industrialized countries
and includes developing countries and economies in transition.
And just as
we have to increase the number of players in the highest international decision-making
process, so too must we increase the number of issues which have to be taken into account
in this globalized world to develop a more balanced and global vision to
accommodate our more complex and technology-driven global system.
challenge of the past fifty years was to manage a divided world, the challenge of the
future will be to manage a world of deeper integration. It is a challenge which will in
many ways be much more difficult and more complex. We find ourselves in a new world today
and in a new economy - whose characteristics are not fully understood even by its
most prominent actors. And yet the choices we face are enduring ones: between moving into
the next century on the basis of shared global rules, or on the basis of power; between
stability or uncertainty; consensus or conflict. How we manage these challenges in the
months and years ahead will depend on the choices we make today, not on globalization.
has enormous potential to generate growth, to spread the benefits of technology, and to
weave a more stable planet. But it also challenges the status quo. It demands that we
adapt. This is not the moment to retreat from the future and to turn back to the past
a past which has shown us with such stark clarity how building barriers to one
another can only make our economies poorer and our world less secure. Thank you.