27 January 2000
Director General Mike Moore has just returned to the Geneva Headquarters of the WTO after a series of meetings with Ministers and senior officials.
From 10-13 January, Mr. Moore was in India where he met with the Prime Minister and other Ministers. While in New Delhi Mr. Moore also held meetings with Trade Ministers from South Africa, Norway, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom.
In Brussels 17-18 January, Mr. Moore held talks with Pascal Lamy, the European Union Commissioner for trade and then briefed the Secretariat of the ACP which represents African, Caribbean and Pacific States.
In the United States Mr. Moore held talks with U.S. Trade Representative Charlene Barshefsky, Agriculture Secretary Dan Glickman and Deputy Treasury Secretary Stuart Eizenstat. Mr. Moore also met with Kofi Annan at the UN Headquarters in New York, and shared ideas with the UN Secretary-General and the heads of other agencies such as UNCTAD, ILO and UNDP about common problems and development issues.
"Iin Washington I also spent time with Jim Wolfensohn, the Managing Director of the World Bank, who reorganized the World Bank to make it more development friendly. There is much we can learn, if we listen. Our core business and principles remain as mandated by the Member Governments that own us. We exist to lift living standards, and create more jobs and income by negotiating market openings. We know this in itself is never enough. Issues of debt, infrastructural investment, education, health and capacity-building are all important to assist nations to prosper in a changing world. We need therefore to work alongside the other international institutions in a coherent and practical way."
"Our own public image is a problem, for some reason all the problems of the modern world are blamed on us. We got blamed for the excesses and problems of globalization. But globalization is not a theory or an ideology, its a process which is not even new. However, unless citizens and governments feel they own it, that they control it through their governments then there will be continued anxiety even anger. Yet the historic message is clear. More open societies do better. The OECD reports that a new round of tariff liberalization would boost world economic output by 3 per cent or over 1.2 trillion dollars and that developing countries would benefit most. India's GDP would grow by 9.6 per cent, China's by 5.5 per cent, sub-saharan Africa's by 3.7 per cent."
"There is a big job to be done. It has been estimated that within 25 years over 3 billion people will be added to the global population. Urban populations will treble over the next 30 years. By the year 2020, two-thirds of Africa's population will live in cities. Over the next 30 years food production will have to double. The World Bank reports that 2 billion people will suffer from chronic water shortages within 30 years. Half the world's population lives on under US$2 per day."
"At the WTO we will play our role with relish and enthusiasm. We now have all our deputies in place. The next few weeks will see intensive discussions in capitals and with Geneva-based Ambassadors. In the calm of the aftermath of Seattle where we failed to reach a consensus among our 135 Members, there has been a sober and realistic assessment. We will focus on immediate needs of our Members and build on that to prepare for our future agenda. Otherwise the world economy will suffer, the needs of the poorer nations will continue to be ignored and growth, stagnate."