Communication Flows in International Economic Law
In the context of the lack of progress in the Doha Round on March 29th 2011 Pascal Lamy, the Director General of the WTO, in an informal Trade Negotiations Committee meeting, stated inter alia:
I do not think that today is the time for long interventions. Now is the time for all of you, and in particular those among you who bear the largest responsibility in the system, to reflect on the consequences of failure. To reflect on the costs of the non-Round to the world economy as well as to the development prospects of Members, in particular the smaller and least-developed which are more dependent on an improved set of global trade rules. And above, it is time to think about the consequences of the non-Round to the multilateral trading system which we have so patiently built over the last 70 years. It is the time to think hard about multilateralism, which your leaders, yourselves and myself preach at every occasion. In politics, as in life, there is always a moment when intentions and reality face the test of truth. We are nearly there today.
This is indeed a profound statement and no one indeed can surely question it. Here is leadership urging leadership and in altruism. And doubtless too Pascal Lamy has in his various urgings elsewhere communicated the self-interest of the countries too in the successful completion of the negotiations. After all that is the basis of reciprocity upon which the multilateral negotiations are premised upon. And still elsewhere in philosophy increasingly international distributive justice arguments are used to urge a certain global order.
But altruism and justice touch the chords of leaders. The music of the multilateral trade negotiators, as the orchestra is currently set, plays to a different tune. Perhaps the very basis of multilateral trade negotiations should now be reconfigured to touch on all the chords including altruism, justice and self-interest.
This is the eighth volume of the Manchester Journal of International Economic Law. I am grateful to the contributors, editors, referees and the Advisory and Editorial Boards for their part in facilitating this eighth volume of the Journal.
Asif H Qureshi