WTO DDG Wolff calls for immediate collaboration to fight coronavirus (COVID-19)

WTO DDG Wolff calls for immediate collaboration to fight coronavirus (COVID-19)

On 27 May 2020 Deputy Director-General (DDG) of the World Trade Organization (WTO), Alan Wolff, discussed the impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic on the future of world trade. DDG Wolff said that the pandemic has heightened the urgent need to examine the WTO’s principles and values. DDG Wolff called for immediate action to prevent national restrictions being placed on the availability of vaccines and pharmaceutical remedies and warned that collective action is essential to fight the pandemic and, in particular, to prevent a strong second wave of infections.

DDG Wolff spoke of three types of challenges which the WTO will face as a result of the coronavirus pandemic:

• dealing with the trade aspects of the pandemic

• discerning trade measures that can aid in the economic recovery

• planning systemic reforms within the WTO

DDG Wolff listed and described 16 of the underlying values of the WTO. They included peace, stability, non-discrimination, transparency and, a recent addition, sustainability.

DDG Wolff concluded that in the same way as there is a civic duty owed by every citizen to the country to which they belong, there must also be an analogous duty of members to the multilateral trading system to make the system work. The duty is to pass the Organization on to the next generation in better condition than how they found it.

Read the full remarks here.

The following day, 28 May 2020, the WTO issued its 2020 annual report, in which Director-General Roberto Azevêdo also calls for 'co-operation and solidarity among governments' to fight the pandemic and revive the economy. Read the report in full here.

Related Articles:
Latest Articles: