201 IT Products, Ambassador Amina Mohammed, Doha DEvelopment Agenda, Information Technology Agreement, Least Developed Countries, MC10, Multilateral Trade System, Nairobi, Tenth Ministerial Conference, WTO
‘The existential rationale of the WTO is irrefutable. Its centrality in international trade relations cannot be substituted. If the rules‐based multilateral trading system did not exist, we would have to create it. If it fails because of leadership deficits and inability to make rational choices, we would have to re‐create it. We are dealing with the logic of history. The failed League of Nations was substituted by the United Nations. If we are awkward and impractical and do not make the hard choices to renew the WTO and if we lose it, we would have to re‐create it and it would be infinitely harder to do so’- Ambassador Amina Mohammed.
Such were the words stated by the chair of the Tenth Ministerial Conference of the WTO on Tuesday, 15th December at the opening ceremony. Words that reveal that perhaps the WTO has not been the umbrella of hope for multilateral trade as envisioned 20 years ago; that perhaps it has not fully achieved its objectives and that despite all this, it must exist whether we want it to or not!