The world's trade ministers, who will meet at a WTO ministerial in November 2001 in Doha, Qatar, are wrong to think that only a new round of negotiations will save the much-maligned international trade system. Carnegie senior associates John Audley and Ann M. Florini argue that they should, instead, simultaneously tackle internal and external reform of the WTO to make it a truly equitable institution. Internally, industrial countries must start treating developing countries as equal partners in making the rules that govern global trade, and where necessary provide technical assistance to make that equality possible. Externally, to satisfy legitimate public demands, members should improve the transparency of WTO proceedings and permit public participation in keeping with international norms. These changes, however, will occur only when national leaders link internal and external reform objectives—a step that will require leadership from key countries as well as the WTO Secretariat.
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About the Author
John Audley is senior associate at the Carnegie Endowment and director of its new Trade, Environment, and Development Project. He is author of A Greener Fast Track: Putting Environmental Protection on the Trade Agenda. Ann M. Florini is senior associate at the Carnegie Endowment, where she directs the Project on Transparency and Transnational Civil Society. Her publications include The Third Force: The Rise of Transnational Civil Society and Secrets for Sale: How Commercial Satellite Imagery Will Change the World.