Indeed, the WTO is at a crossroads. If I have the privilege of serving as the new
Director-General, I will be at the forefront to help Members generate the political
energy to restore trust in the multilateral trade system by making the WTO more
relevant, resilient, and responsive.
First and foremost, the WTO needs to keep evolving to become more relevant to the changing economic realities in the 21st century. Its negotiating function must be revitalized so as to bring much-needed updates to the rulebook, with fisheries subsidies and e-commerce at the top of the list. Another priority would be to restore the effective functioning of the dispute settlement mechanism.
Secondly, the WTO needs to build upon its experience and expertise to achieve its goals of sustainability and inclusiveness, so that it may remain resilient and serve as a champion of open trade for the next 25 years and beyond. Among other things, we should ensure that developing countries, especially LDCs, fully integrate into the global trading system.
Last but not least, the WTO needs to be more responsive to global challenges and contingencies for the benefit of all of its Members; part of the raison d'être of the WTO is to uphold the stability and predictability of the multilateral trading system and to contribute to global efforts to deal with global problems. An immediate priority would be to coordinate efforts of its Members to facilitate trade of essential goods and services and support a timely recovery from the current pandemic.
I will bring my vision and a firm commitment to the multilateral trading system, along
with my experience and expertise, to act as an effective, trusted, and informed facilitator and
make a positive difference at this critical moment for the WTO.