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1 February 2001
Statement on the multilateral trading system by three former GATT/WTO Directors-General

Coinciding with their recent attendance at the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum in Davos from 25 to 29 January 2001, three former GATT/WTO Directors-General released a joint statement containing observations on the multilateral trading system.

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The former Directors-General consider the political, public and economic environment in which the multilateral trading system is currently functioning. They describe the WTO as “one of the most precious tools of global economic management at the disposal of governments” and add that “the fundamental concepts that underlie the institution are as valid and crucial today as they were when written into the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade over 50 years ago”. The former Directors-General describe current pressures on the multilateral trading system and underline key priorities, as they see them, for the WTO in the period ahead. Chief among these priorities is moving forward with a broad trade negotiation within the WTO.

The former Directors-General are:

Arthur Dunkel — Director-General, GATT, 1980-1993
Peter Sutherland — Director-General, GATT/WTO, 1993-1995
Renato Ruggiero — Director-General, WTO, 1995-1999.

> Go to the joint statement