Motivation is the People We Serve
Director General WTO
Farewell Speech to the General Council
Director-General Mike Moore, who completes his term on 31 August 2002, said in
his farewell speech to the General Council on 31 July 2002 that "our greatest
motivation is the people we serve", underlining that "confidence in the system
is restored...our outstanding success in launching a new round of trade
negotiations in Doha last year has opened up enormous possibilities to advance
the conditions of people throughout the world".
my farewell speech to the New Zealand Parliament, in 1999, I described my new
position at the WTO as continuing a life-long career in public service. I said I
would travel to Geneva and give this job everything I have got. I have done
here with an agenda. Yes, I was biased. I wanted to see a new round launched
with development issues at the centre. I wanted to enlarge our membership. I
wanted to re-position the WTO and advance multilateralism.
As my term as
Director-General of the World Trade Organization nears its conclusion, as I
clear my desk and take down the paintings of beautiful New Zealand landscapes
from my office wall, I want to tell you that every day that I have been able to
serve this institution has been a great personal honour and every day has been a
It is not my
intention here to rehearse the history of our time together. That will be the
subject of my next book which, when completed, will be available in all good
bookstores. I come out of it pretty well but I have instructed the publisher not
to put your names in the index so you will have to buy the book.
on, I believe we are entitled to look back on a record of very solid
achievement. This will also help remind us how much there is still to do and why
the work is so important and so urgent.
arrived in Geneva in September 1999, the WTO was at a crossroads. Never before
had the multilateral trading system enjoyed such prominence in international
life; yet never before had it been so fiercely attacked. Never before had the
fundamental principles of the system — consensus, non-discrimination, the rule
of law — been so right and so necessary; yet never before had it been so hard to
see them applied in practice. Never before had open trade within a rules-based
system done so much to lift living standards and increase opportunity; yet never
before had the persistence of poverty and exclusion been so glaring.
the intersection of these interests became the site of a major pile-up, a
collision, a clash of priorities and imperatives. Much has been written about
Seattle. Some of it is even true. Ministerial Conferences had failed before, but
never in such spectacular fashion. In truth, we did not fail because of the
protestors or because of gaps in our processes, although neither helped. We
failed on substance and because Members were too far apart on key issues.
us two years and, for some at least, called into question the very legitimacy
and survival of the multilateral trading system. However, through continued
faith in the core principles and objectives of this institution, as well as hard
work by Ambassadors, Ministers, officials and the Secretariat, we are very much
back in business.
I am proud of what
we have achieved together in these last three years. Confidence in the system is
restored after the setback of Seattle. We have maintained our core focus on
trade liberalization but also placed development issues and the interests of our
poorer Members rightfully at the centre of our work. We are doing more than ever
before to assist poorer and smaller Members to integrate into the trading system
and participate successfully in WTO processes. I believe also that our
outstanding success in launching a new round of trade negotiations in Doha last
year has opened up enormous possibilities to advance the conditions of people
throughout the world.
We can take
pride as well in the momentum we have maintained since Doha. Our negotiating
structures are in place and substantive work is well underway. Members have also
acted decisively by approving an increased budget for 2002 and pledging
30 million Swiss Francs to a new Global Trust Fund for technical assistance. It
is now up to negotiators to work with commitment and flexibility to realise the
benefits offered by the multilateral trading system.
This work is
urgent. It is urgent because there are just 13 months until the 5th Ministerial
Conference in Cancun. It is urgent because Ministers have set a deadline of
January 2005 for completing the round (this is not a three-year round because we
have already spent four years on it). The Doha Development Agenda is urgent too
because more than half of the world's population continue to live on less than
$2 dollars a day and a successful conclusion to the round can help lift billions
of people out of poverty. This Agenda is about them. Our greatest motivation is
the people we serve.
It is a
source of great personal satisfaction that in the last three years we have been
able to welcome more than a quarter of the world's population into the World
Trade Organization – from Estonia, Jordan, Georgia, Albania, Oman, Croatia,
Lithuania, Moldova, China and Chinese Taipei. I pay tribute to those hard
working negotiators and Secretariat staff who were able to conclude these
accession processes. Looking at the long list of countries still seeking to join
the WTO, I am profoundly confident in the long-term prospects of this
institution. In the immediate term, Armenia, Former Yugoslav Republic of
Macedonia and Vanuatu should join our membership this year. If we get Russia in
by the time of the 5th Ministerial Conference next year, that will be a great
victory. If Russia is not in by the time of the 6th Ministerial in 2005, that
will be a great defeat.
We can all
take pride in changes made to the way the WTO operates. Let us reflect briefly
on some of these changes.
we are now much more inclusive in our processes. It used to be difficult for
smaller and poorer Members to attend meetings in Geneva and follow our
processes. Now, we are bringing these representatives here ourselves and
scheduling training activities so they can also be present for key meetings of
our General Council and Trade Negotiations Committee. We have also greatly
expanded our technical assistance and training activities, both in Geneva and in
capitals, and we are utilising new technologies such as the internet and
we are more transparent and accountable in the way we do things and in
the way we take decisions. This shows in all areas of our work — in technical
assistance where we have new systems for auditing and evaluation; in Councils
and Committees where we now declassify documents with much greater urgency; and
on our website where information on WTO activities flows freely to delegations
and the public.
we are cooperating with international and regional agencies more closely than
ever before. Also, the growing role of our institution in the management of the
world economy continues to be recognised through invitations to participate in
various UN Conferences, summits of the G8 and many other ministerial-level
meetings. It has been an honour to work closely with great international public
servants like Kofi Annan, Jim Wolfensohn and Horst Kohler. I believe we have
made real progress in our efforts to ensure coherence in the work of our
respective institutions. I am pleased too at the progress that has been made in
re-energising the Integrated Framework and JITAP and in expanding our dialogue
with regional and developmental institutions.
I believe we have made real progress in our efforts to enhance the WTO's image
and engage civil society. We are reaching out to NGOs through regular seminars
and symposia. We have developed important new links with parliamentarians and
policymakers. We are also seeking to encourage a greater level of engagement
from business leaders, trade unions and other sectors of civil society.
Secretariat has re-positioned itself so we are better able to assist Members in
the work programme. We have consolidated our internal structures and refocused
our priorities clearly to reflect the Doha Development Agenda.
concerning the Secretariat, we have continued efforts to achieve the broadest
possible diversification of the Secretariat consistent with the highest
standards of competence, efficiency and integrity. In just 10 years, the number
of women in the Secretariat occupying professional posts has more than doubled;
the number of developing countries represented in the Secretariat has increased
by over 40 percent. As well, in just the last three years we have seen very
encouraging movement in the overall number of nationalities represented in the
Secretariat, our re-energised internship programme is now taking almost twice as
many young people from developing countries as three years ago.
Panitchpakdi takes office at the WTO on 1 September. Transition arrangements are
well in hand and he has been receiving all the papers for several months. I am
in regular contact with him and will do all I can to support him and the WTO.
I take this
opportunity to thank you all for the support, cooperation and friendship I have
received during my time here. I thank you too for your wisdom, leadership,
compassion and commitment. You are outstanding representatives of your peoples.
I pay tribute to you, your Ministers, and your Governments.
I should like
to pay tribute also to the Chairman of the General Council, the previous
Chairmen, and the other fine diplomats who have presided over our various
committees and working groups.
This is a
moment too to pay tribute to the Directors-General who have gone before me,
particularly Arthur Dunkel, Peter Sutherland and Renato Ruggiero. I shall never
forget the advice and support I received from these three great public servants.
In the more difficult moments of my tenure, their phone-calls and words of
encouragement always helped to lift my spirits.
you and I have been well served by the WTO Secretariat. They have worked hard
over these last three years, with commitment and dedication. They are
professional. They are objective. I owe a great debt to my deputies. I should
also like to acknowledge and thank all other members of staff – my own office,
Directors, divisional staff, conference officers, translators, guards, cleaners,
drivers, everyone. You are all part of the team. You have all done a fine job.
word of thanks to the interpreters. One Ambassador recently expressed regret
that I was leaving, saying she was just beginning to understand my English.
“Exactly the reason I should go”, I replied. “And don't worry, no one in
New Zealand understood me either”. Thank you to the interpreters who had to
struggle with a fourth official language – Enzed.
I know that I
have sometimes offended people and I offer apologies. I have made some mistakes.
But never out of malice. Mostly, my mistakes were borne of enthusiasm to get the
job done, complete our agenda, serve the public. George Bernard Shaw said
reasonable people do not make change, thus all human progress is based on the
So, I have
sometimes been unreasonable.
Let me end by
quoting a great English statesman. Asked what qualities were required of a
politician — and I add a Director-General, Churchill replied, 'The ability to
foretell what is going to happen tomorrow, next week, next month and next year.
And to have the ability afterwards to explain why it didn't happen'. My book
will be published in due course. It will show how things did happen here. And it
will show how you and I, together, made them happen.
continue to serve the public. I can think of no greater vocation. I may even
join an NGO or march with the protesters to the gates of this very institution.
You will know me immediately. My banner will say ‘Justice Now, Finish the
Revista INTER-FORUM is affiliated with
Any reproduction in part or whole is strictly forbidden without the authors written authorization