Communication Flows in International Economic Law
This year has seen a world financial crisis come to the fore and the disagreements in the Doha trade negotiations resulting in the suspension again of the negotiations. The IMF as the chief institution in international crisis management has become the subject of close scrutiny for its inability to forestall the financial crisis and questions are focussed on the insistence of some developing countries for an effective safeguard mechanism in the agricultural sector to protect their domestic agricultural sector against sudden imports of agricultural products. Both the financial crisis and the reasons for the suspension of the Doha trade negotiations focus on the need to identify circumstances of ï¿½necessity and crisisï¿½ in time, along with mechanisms to deal with them effectively.
Necessity in international economic relations generally is inadequately recognised. Particularly as a defence to State responsibility its recognition is very circumscribed. Its role in informing international responses to states of necessity is still more limited. In moments of crisis necessity still has the capacity of surprise despite the variety of history lessons.
Our capacity to respond to states of necessity is a measure of our humanity; our foresight in its occurrence an indication of our survival skills; and the manner in which we prevent and manage it is a calculation of our vision and imagination. In international economic relations states of necessity have played a significant role in the birth of international economic institutions and in informing State behaviour. The challenge for international economic relations is not to be driven by necessity but to be pulled by foresight, humanity and imagination.
Asif H Qureshi