Pascal Lamy Wants 4 More Years as WTO Chief

♠ Posted by Emmanuel in at 11/05/2008 02:02:00 AM
Care of the International Economic Law and Policy blog comes word that Pascal Lamy will seek a second term as WTO Director-General. Below is part of his statement on the matter:
In keeping with the procedures established in document WT/L/509, I would hereby like to notify you of my decision to seek reappointment as Director-General of the World Trade Organisation for a further term upon the expiry of the current one on 31 August 2009.

On my appointment as Director-General on 1 September 2005, I undertook to reinforce multilateralism, to work to ensure that trade opening continues to contribute to development and that the interests of developing countries are placed at the heart of the world trading system. I said then and, I believe it is as valid – if not more - today, that concluding the Doha Development Agenda Round of trade talks goes a long way in achieving these goals...

All of this, and in particular the Doha Round, will not materialise without a concerted effort by all members, without the capacity to compromise in pursuit of a more open and fairer trading system. For my part, I stand ready to continue to serve the WTO for a second term and to make a contribution to reinforcing multilateralism and development.

In closing, I would like to thank you and through you the entire WTO membership for the trust they put in me when they selected me for this job. I look forward to continue to serve this organisation, should the membership so decide.
Something I would like to see with the WTO as with other international organizations is better representation by those from LDCs. Especially at this point in this day and age with the economic balance of power shifting, it would of course be fitting. The only person to come from an LDC to become WTO director-general was Thailand's Supachai Panitchpakdi (currently UNCTAD secretary-general). Unlike in times past, there seems to be no rush to be WTO chief this time around as trade issues go on the backburner to solving the global credit crisis and whatnot. Brazil's Foreign Minister Celso Amorim--one of the four main negotiatiors from the quad of US, EU, India, and Brazil--was one of those lending support for another Lamy term. There are also suggestions that Lamy is well-placed because of his previous experience to lead the organization during a time of credit turmoil. If you will recall, Lamy's term was preceded by a split in occupying the post between Supachai and Mike Moore of New Zealand (not that Michael Moore).

Worth reading is the document Lamy mentions, one of whose stipulations is that the incumbent D-G may seek a second four-year term. My wish is for a strong candidate from an LDC to step forth and contest this post. S/he will have a legitimate claim to it on the basis of fair representation. If not, another Lamy go-around is not to be ruled out--especially if it's just other candidates from industrialized countries contesting the post against him. If you will again recall, Lamy--previously EC trade commissioner--beat three others from LDCs in assuming his current post. Aren't we thus due for, yes, change?