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Geneva, 8 June 2001

Moore calls for greater Parliamentary scrutiny of WTO

WTO Director-General Mike Moore today called on Parliaments around the world to give greater scrutiny to the organization and to educate themselves more fully on its activities.

Speaking here before an Inter-Parliamentary Union meeting on International Trade, Mr. Moore said that Parliamentarians were the elected representatives of civil society and as such held responsibility to closely follow the work of the WTO and work to shape its agenda.

“Parliamentarians and legislators need to know about the institutions they own. Parliamentary select committees should aggressively scrutinize the WTO and other international organizations. We need this. It is healthy,” he told the assembled Parliamentarians.

He welcomed the initiative of the Inter-Parliamentary Union in holding this meeting and said that he and the WTO secretariat are ready to assist the IPU in any future trade-related conferences it may organize.

The multilateral trading system, he said, was not a threat to national sovereignty but in fact offers all nations — but particularly the smaller and weaker — the opportunity to enhance their sovereignty in global affairs.

“My argument today is that a multilateral system, far from being the new colonialism, opens up the privileged positions of the powerful to transparency and competition. The multilateral system, which is owned by governments is not a new form of colonialism. It is, in fact, the final nail in the coffin of imperial and domestic privilege,” he said.

Guide on WTO policy issues for parliamentarians

Governments created the WTO's Agreements for a reason. This guide explains why they did so. It also provides explanations about the important role individual governments play in the WTO and just how much freedom they have to protect their people, their morals, their food and their environment and still benefit from trade. 
> Download the guide (pdf format, 48 pages, 741 KB)