O Banco do BRICS: Consenso asiático e os resistentes elos do neoliberalismo global.

por Javier Alberto Vadell

O acordo da VI Cúpula dos BRICS consolida institucionalmente um processo de mudanças econômicas e políticas globais que vem ocorrendo desde inícios do século XXI. A crise econômica nos países em desenvolvimento, e especialmente na América Latina, em 2001, foi o detonante de importantes mudanças no cenário político regional. A virada à esquerda da maioria dos governos da região foi uma resposta ao fracasso do modelo de desenvolvimento neoliberal baseado nas políticas de a) privatizações; b) desregulamentações e c) abertura unilateral do comércio e as finanças. Esse programa foi aplicado de maneira sistemática, embora diferenciado de acordo aos casos nacionais. O modelo do ‘Consenso de Washington’ foi o elo material e ideológico que interligou uma rede de poder global – Network Power  (Grewal, 2008) – entre os países em desenvolvimento (África, América Latina, Europa de Leste) aos centros de poder econômico e político internacionais, liderados pelos Estados Unidos da América (EUA). Nesse esquema do Consenso de Washington, o governo dos EUA e as instituições econômicas criadas em Bretton Woods – mas  alheias ao espírito de Bretton Woods e a suas preocupações com o pleno emprego, desenvolvimento e prosperidade dos países do Sul (Helleiner, 2013) – o FMI e o Banco Mundial (BM), jogaram um papel determinante como componentes institucionais orgânicos das redes de poder transnacional no neoliberalismo hegemônico global.

por Javier Alberto Vadell[1]

O acordo da VI Cúpula dos BRICS consolida institucionalmente um processo de mudanças econômicas e políticas globais que vem ocorrendo desde inícios do século XXI. A crise econômica nos países em desenvolvimento, e especialmente na América Latina, em 2001, foi o detonante de importantes mudanças no cenário político regional. A virada à esquerda da maioria dos governos da região foi uma resposta ao fracasso do modelo de desenvolvimento neoliberal baseado nas políticas de a) privatizações; b) desregulamentações e c) abertura unilateral do comércio e as finanças. Esse programa foi aplicado de maneira sistemática, embora diferenciado de acordo aos casos nacionais. O modelo do ‘Consenso de Washington’ foi o elo material e ideológico que interligou uma rede de poder global – Network Power  (Grewal, 2008) – entre os países em desenvolvimento (África, América Latina, Europa de Leste) aos centros de poder econômico e político internacionais, liderados pelos Estados Unidos da América (EUA). Nesse esquema do Consenso de Washington, o governo dos EUA e as instituições econômicas criadas em Bretton Woods – mas  alheias ao espírito de Bretton Woods e a suas preocupações com o pleno emprego, desenvolvimento e prosperidade dos países do Sul (Helleiner, 2013) – o FMI e o Banco Mundial (BM), jogaram um papel determinante como componentes institucionais orgânicos das redes de poder transnacional no neoliberalismo hegemônico global.

A pergunta que muitos analistas e estudiosos se fazem é: em que medida os resultados da IV Cúpula do BRICS desafiam ou superam o capitalismo, o neoliberalismo global, o poder econômico e político dos Estados Unidos e dos países desenvolvidos, ou as instituições de governança econômica global? Em que medida esse acontecimento desafia algum aspecto destacado ou todos eles ao mesmo tempo? Somos cientes de que respostas acabadas e assertivas a essa questão podem beirar a futurologia e perder o sentido analítico por nós proposto. Com esse intuito, nosso exercício pretende analisar a VI Cúpula do BRICS não como uma acontecimento específico e sim como resultado de um processo, de uma dinâmica de transformações que vêm ocorrendo no cenário político internacional, nas instituições multilaterais e na estrutura econômica global. É a partir da ideia de processo dinâmico e contraditório que achamos mais adequado ancorar nossa análise de um caso particular, sem perder a noção do geral[2].

Nessa direção, a nossa hipótese é que esse processo de transformações consubstanciado no novo arranjo institucional do Novo Banco de Desenvolvimento do BRICS (NBDB)[3] e o Arranjo Contingente de Reservas (ACR), com capital inicial de US$ 50 bilhões e US$ 100, respectivamente, é simultaneamente uma resposta aos mecanismos de governança econômica global tradicionais (FMI e BM), uma consolidação de uma alternativa de rede comercial e financeira de poder global ao Consenso de Washington e, além disso, uma oportunidade reformista para as economias dos países em desenvolvimento – abrindo a possibilidade para um novo pacto social desenvolvimentista, embora a dinâmica do Consenso Asiático estimule a especialização produtiva (Vadell, et al, 2014; Dyer, 2011).

Em outros termos, os países que compõem o BRICS, Brasil, Rússia, Índia, China e África do Sul, estão configurando uma institucionalização paralela, mas não substitutiva das instituições econômicas tradicionais, sediada no novo ‘focal point’ das finanças globais, Xangai, pólo de interligação global do capital financeiro e produtivo global. O surgimento deste novo pólo é produto de um deslocamento geográfico do eixo da acumulação capitalista para o Sudeste da Ásia, desde a década de 1980. Não obstante, esse processo liderado pela República Popular da China (RPC) vai se configurando como um conjunto de respostas/acomodações ao neoliberalismo global, onde se reforçam algumas dinâmicas contraditórias: por um lado, elementos contestatórios ao status quo multilateral liderado pelos EUA e a União Europeia (UE): (a) novas alternativas de financiamento, doações e acordos de cooperação liderados pela RPC para os países em desenvolvimento (África e a América Latina) com empréstimos sem condicionalidades políticas, normativas ou institucionais;  (b) rejeição às políticas de austeridade e de ajuste desigual aplicadas nos países em desenvolvimento e intermediadas pelas instituições econômicas internacionais tradicionais (FMI e BM),  aos países em desenvolvimento; (c) crítica ao sistema financeiro global e (d) crítica aos postulados do Consenso de Washington como uma única via de desenvolvimento dos países do Sul Global[4].

Por outro lado, esse bloco lidera diferentes tipos de reivindicações que fazem pensar numa acomodação aggiornata ao neoliberalismo global, em que a RPC lideraria o grupo de nações emergentes num processo de restauração global. Nesse sentido os membros dos BRICS mostram: (i) reivindicação para um maior espaço dos países emergentes na arquitetura de governança econômica global existentes – especificamente, na Cúpula do G20 de Seul acordou-se uma mudança nos votos e quotas no interior do FMI[5], e está prevista uma revisão da participação acionária no Banco Mundial; ii) Há um evidente discurso pró-liberalização comercial no âmbito da Organização Mundial de Comércio (OMC) por parte das nações exportadoras decommodities, principalmente, mas não exclusivamente, do Brasil. Na direção da liberalização, a RPC fez um esforço unilateral impressionante de abertura comercial para conseguir o ingresso à OMC em 2001[6]; iii) Novas reformas liberalizantes na China estão previstas nas finanças e no comércio desde a ascensão  do Presidente Xi Jinping.

FONTE: http://grupoemergentes.wordpress.com/2014/09/29/o-banco-do-brics-consenso-asiatico-e-os-resistentes-elos-do-neoliberalismo-global/

Tribunal Arbitral Permanente de Revisão do MERCOSUL – História

Evolução do Sistema de Solução de Controvérsias

Com a assinatura do Tratado de Assunção, em 26 de março de 1991, estabeleceu-se em seu Anexo III um sistema provisório para resolver controvérsias, estruturado em torno de negociações intergovernamentais diretas.

Segundo a normativa então em vigor, iniciado o procedimento e em caso de não se chegar a uma solução, os Estados Partes se submeteriam à consideração do Grupo Mercado Comum (GMC), que em um lapso de 60 dias formularia recomendações para resolver a contenda. Para tanto, o GMC poderia contar com o assessoramento técnico de expertos ou grupos de peritos.

No caso de não se alcançar uma solução nesta instância, a controvérsia seria levada ao Conselho de Mercado Comum (CMC) para se adotassem as recomendações pertinentes.

Em razão de sua natureza provisória, os Estados Partes se comprometeram a adotar um sistema definitivo para a solução de controvérsias antes do dia 31 de dezembro de 1994 (Anexo III).

Em 17 de dezembro de 1991 firmou-se o Protocolo de Brasília (PB) – iniciativa também provisória ainda que prolongada até o ano de 2004 – que orientou o processamento de nove controvérsias entre os Estados Partes sobre questões de diversas índoles.

Constituiu o início formal de um instrumental procedimental fundado em Tribunais Arbitrais Ad Hoc (TAH), cujos Laudos se encontram sob custódia da Secretaria do MERCOSUL (SM).

Com a assinatura do Protocolo de Olivos (PO) — de 18 de fevereiro de 2002— houve a mudança na estrutura para a solução de controvérsias e se aperfeiçoou o sistema vigente.

Criou-se uma instância jurisdicional permanente – o Tribunal Permanente de Revisão (TPR) – para garantir a correta interpretação, aplicação e cumprimento dos instrumentos jurídicos fundamentais do processo de integração. O TPR pode se reunir como primeira e única instância ou como tribunal recursal de pronunciamento proferido por um TAH (arts. 19, 23 e 17 PO).

Finalmente, somou-se a essa estrutura a possibilidade de se recorrer ao TPR para que se solicitem Opiniões Consultivas (art. 3 PO) e para casos em que os Estados Partes provoquem o procedimento estabelecido para as Medidas Excepcionais de Urgência(CMC/DEC Nº23/04).

Tratado de Assunção:
http://www.tprmercosur.org/pt/docum/Tratado_de_Assuncao_pt.pdf

Protocolo de Brasília:
http://www.tprmercosur.org/pt/docum/Protocolo_de_Brasilia_pt.pdf

CMC/DEC Nº23/04:
http://www.tprmercosur.org/pt/docum/DEC_23_04_pt_ProcUrgArt24ProtOlivos.pdf

Fonte: http://www.tprmercosur.org/pt/hist_controv.htm

Lavrov: US must stop acting like global prosecutor (FULL INTERVIEW)

O Estado Islâmico em poucas palavras:

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US bombs its own military hardware in Syria

US Bombs Syria without Congressional Approval After the House passes a rule banning calls for a debate or vote on war authorization, critics say Obama and congressional leadership are curbing dissent within own their ranks

September 24, 2014

JESSICA DESVARIEUX, TRNN PRODUCER: After weeks of conducting airstrikes in Iraq to combat militant group ISIS, the government says it will be bombing at least four provinces in Syria. Amateur videos like this one posted on YouTube are already showing the damage of airstrikes on the civilian population. But on Tuesday, President Obama said that airstrikes are necessary to eventually defeating ISIS and the U.S. would not be going at this fight alone.BARACK OBAMA, U.S. PRESIDENT: We were joined in this action by our friends and partners–Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates Emirates, Jordan, Bahrain, and Qatar. America’s proud to stand shoulder to shoulder with these nations on behalf of our common security.DESVARIEUX: But while President Obama was delivering his press conference on the South Lawn, a group of demonstrators gathered in front of the White House to protest his actions.DAVID SWANSON, DIRECTOR, WORLD BEYOND WAR: It is a violation of the Constitution in terms of Congress’s responsibility to declare war, a violation by the president, waging another recess war–when the Congress is out of town, wage a war; this is what his been his habit. But it’s also a violation by Congress itself, intentionally fleeing town.DESVARIEUX: But whether or not the president has the authority won’t be debated on the Hill, since Congress is now in recess. And on Friday, September 21, the last day before recess, the House passed a resolution banning any member of Congress from calling the members of Congress back from recess to vote on giving the president authority to go to war.Democratic Massachusetts Congressman Jim McGovern was in opposition of the rule.JIM MCGOVERN, U.S. REPRESENTATIVE (D-MA): If any member of this House has any concerns about the ongoing military operations in Iraq, the potential of U.S. military airstrikes in Syria, or the possible introduction of U.S. combat ground forces into either country, then this rule will tie their hands for the next two months. Unfortunately, it is not clear if any vote will ever happen at any time in this House, even after we come back in November, even though there’s a growing bipartisan consensus that such an authorization is needed.DESVARIEUX: Also, Republican members of Congress have come out in support of a vote and debate on bombing Syria. President Obama has maintained that he has the authority to send troops based on the Authorization for Use of Military Force, or AUMF, which grants the president authority to use force against those responsible for the September 11 attacks, a rule that the president himself recognized goes too far in his speech last year at the National Defense University.OBAMA: Unless we discipline our thinking, our definitions, our actions, we may be drawn into more wars we don’t need to fight, or continue to grant presidents unbound powers more suited for traditional armed conflicts between nation states.So I look forward to engaging Congress and the American people in efforts to refine, and ultimately repeal, the AUMF’s mandate.DESVARIEUX: Critics say that the War Powers Resolution of 1973 makes it illegal for the president to use force in another country without the approval from the legislature within 60 days of the first military action. The president first deployed troops to Iraq in June, and there still has been no vote.SWANSON: The Congress members have the same power we have, and they could be protesting their leadership, they could be protesting the president. And yet they passed, through both houses, weapons and training and aid to rebels in Syria, close allies of the people they now say they are bombing. And then they passed a rule that said they can’t be forced back to vote on the war, and they left and went on vacation for months.DESVARIEUX: These antiwar demonstrators are concerned about increased amounts of American ground troops, especially after former secretary of defense Robert Gates promoted the idea of boots on the ground.ROBERT GATES, FMR. U.S. SECRETARY OF DEFENSE: They’re not going to be able to be successful against ISIS strictly from the air or strictly depending on the Iraqi forces or the Peshmerga or the Sunni tribes acting on their own. So there will be boots on the ground if there’s to be any hope of success in the strategy.DESVARIEUX: But President Obama has denied that any mission will involve more ground forces.OBAMA: As your commander in chief, I will not commit you and the rest of our armed forces to fighting another ground war in Iraq.MEDEA BENJAMIN, COFOUNDER, CODEPINK: President Obama knows the American people don’t want boots on the ground, so he keeps saying no boots on the ground while he keeps sending boots on the ground. What do you call the 1,600 people who were there? He says they’re not going to be in combat positions. Hello? You’re sending them into this very, very dangerous area and they’re not going to be in harm’s way? Of course they are.And so I think the American people are soon going to realize that just like under Bush they’ve been lied to about the imminent threat, they’ve been lied to about the other justifications, like the humanitarian one, like saving U.S. personnel. These are all justifications for a war that the Obama administration has unfortunately decided on.DESVARIEUX: This week, the organization Campaign Nonviolence is organizing events in more than 200 cities. The demonstrators tried to deliver a letter to President Obama but were denied entrance, and five protesters were arrested. Protesters are calling for a solution outside of militarization.SWANSON: An arms embargo would be a very good first step. Seventy-nine percent of weapons shipped into the Middle East are U.S. weapons shipped from the United States, not counting the U.S. military’s weapons. So there you’re three-quarters done on an arms embargo with one nation on board. But you have the leverage to talk to the other nations and cut off arms into the Middle East. While you’re talking to them, talk about a ceasefire, talk about realistic representative government in Iraq, talk with Iran and everyone else in the region, talk with Russia and Syria. I mean, and the White House does talk with these countries–it just talks to them about war, not about peace.And then a massive Marshall Plan of actual aid, not so-called military aid, but humanitarian aid, economic aid, agricultural aid, water, medicine. I mean, these are wars motivated by poverty and desperation and the destruction of an occupation and the lack of clean drinking water in parts of Syria that got this civil war in Syria going in the first place. Use those roots of the problem as solutions. It would cost less.DESVARIEUX: But with about 20 protesters in attendance, CODEPINK cofounder Medea Benjamin says that they are going to need more mobilization from politicians and from the people if there’s ever going to be a change of course.BENJAMIN: And if this were being done under Bush, we would see thousands of people out here protesting, we would see the Progressive Caucus yelling and screaming. And right now the Progressive Caucus in Congress, this very large body of congressional officials, is divided on this. You have the two cochairs with totally opposite opinions. One of them, Congressman Keith Ellison, voted to fund the rebels in Syria, and the other one, Raúl Grijalva, voted against it. So we don’t even have unity within the Progressive Caucus. If it were Bush, there would be unity in the Progressive Caucus and there would be a huge grassroots movement.DESVARIEUX: For The Real News Network, Jessica Desvarieux, Washington.

Roberto Azevêdo: Success of WTO dispute settlement brings urgent challenges

WTO NEWS: SPEECHES — DG ROBERTO AZEVÊDO

26 September 2014

Azevêdo says success of WTO dispute settlement brings urgent challenges

Director-General Roberto Azevêdo told the Dispute Settlement Body on 26 September that “there is no question that the WTO’s dispute settlement system has been a success”, noting that in just under 20 years, the system has received 482 requests for consultations, much more than the 300 disputes GATT received in 47 years. He also noted that in the first 16 years of the WTO estimates suggest the system handled disputes covering at least US$1 trillion of trade flows. He said that “while this is welcome, it does create some real challenges”, including the doubling since 2012 of disputes being handled by the Secretariat, and a much higher than expected rate of appeals. This is what he said:

Good morning everybody.

I’d like to talk to you about the current situation in the DSB: the challenges we face, what we’re doing to overcome them — and what more we may need to do.

There is no question that the WTO’s dispute settlement system has been a success. The numbers tell their own story about how valued it has become.

  • In just under 20 years since the system came into being, 482 requests for consultation have been received.
  • In 47 years under the GATT, 300 disputes were received.
  • And in 68 years the International Court of Justice has received 162 cases.

So we have seen a remarkable level of activity.

Looking at the economic importance of the system, researchers found that, in the first 16 years of the DSB, we handled disputes covering at least US$1 trillion of trade flows.

And members clearly hold the system in high esteem. Two thirds of our membership have participated in the system in one way or another.

It has been suggested that the ever-increasing number of RTAs might pose a challenge, but this has not proved to be the case.

Most dispute settlement mechanisms provided for in RTAs are rarely used — indeed, some have never been used at all. Yet one in every five of WTO disputes involve parties who are also parties to RTAs.

This means that the system is in very high demand.

In fact, as you are aware, we are experiencing unprecedented volume of work in dispute settlement.

And while this is welcome, it does create some very real challenges.

 

CURRENT SITUATION

So let’s take a look at the current situation in the DSB.

I won’t spend too much time on this today as I want to focus more on prescription, rather than diagnosis.

The total number of active proceedings being serviced by the Legal Affairs Division, Rules Division, and the Appellate Body Secretariat has roughly doubled since 2012.

Today there are 19 active panels requiring full-time assistance, 3 ongoing appeals, and 4 panels in composition.

Our estimates suggest that this is not just a temporary surge and I do not believe that dispute settlement volume will soon diminish. In fact, 2014 is moving faster than 2013 in terms of the number of panels established by this time of year.

As for appeals, you are well aware that the rate of appeal has always been very high — and much higher than expected when the negotiators created a body of 7 part time Members. The average rate of appeal is approximately two-thirds.

This means we should prepare for around 10-12 appeals being filed per year during the next 24 months including possible appeals in the two complex aircraft cases.

If we shut the doors today, panels and the Appellate Body will have enough work to keep them and their Secretariat staff busy for the next 2 years. But of course the doors will not be shut — new requests will keep coming in.

But it is not just the number of disputes and appeals that places demands on the dispute settlement system.

Disputes are generally much more complex now than they were in the first decade.

It is now common for disputes to involve multiple parties advancing a variety of claims with more voluminous submissions, increased third-party participation, more demand for translation, and greater procedural complexity.

I am now going to show a few slides illustrating the upward trend in the complexity of disputes:

  • The first graph shows the total number of active disputes per year since the beginning of the system in 1995 including all stages of disputes.

  • The next two graphs show the number of pages of interim review and findings in the panel reports per 4-year period from 1995 to 2014.

  • The first includes the two LCA reports.
  • The second excludes those two reports as they are outliers in terms of their length. Nevertheless you can see that the trend is unchanged. For the most recent 4-year period the average is nearly 200 pages — which is almost four times greater than the first 4-year period, when there was an average of 50 pages.
  • The final graph shows the average number of exhibits for the first five years of the system at about 94 — and for the most recent five years of the system, at just over 300.

As with the upward trend in the number of cases, I don’t expect this increased level of complexity to change.

We are in a situation where the demand is severely testing our capacity. And there are some clear constraints on our ability to extend that capacity — such as the budgetary situation and some aspects of how the system was designed.

For example, we have had some difficulties in retaining staff, which have contributed to some extent to the challenges we are facing. Speaking frankly, the private sector, and others, can offer WTO dispute settlement lawyers more stable and lucrative long-term working conditions and better career advancement opportunities. That’s just reality.

We therefore lost a number of trained and experienced lawyers — and their institutional and case law memory.

Under the present circumstances, we need senior and experienced lawyers to lead panel teams, especially bearing in mind that panellists are part-time. And some of them are not experienced with the system.

We must also be mindful of the fact that the capacity of the Appellate Body is limited, first and foremost by the fact that the DSU stipulates that the Appellate Body shall be composed of 7 members.

The intensity of the work required to complete an appeal within the 90 day timeframe means that it is not possible for an Appellate Body Member to serve on two divisions with identical or largely overlapping schedules.

The likelihood that appeals will remain too numerous for the Appellate Body composed of 7 members to handle in parallel, is to be continued.  Even with somewhat staggered appeal filings the Appellate Body cannot hear more than three of the nowadays more complex appeals in parallel.

Therefore, even if we could service more panels than we currently do, we still have an insurmountable bottleneck at the Appellate Body stage.

All these factors explain why some Members are experiencing delays with panels getting up and running after composition. It also explains why the Appellate Body will need more than 90 days to complete some appeals over the coming months and why parties may have to wait for an appeal slot to become available.

I can assure you that we are cognisant of the delays that some of you have experienced recently, particularly after panel composition.

I understand that this can pose difficulties for you, including financial difficulties.

I want to be clear that in working through cases, we are proceeding in a strictly chronological order without discrimination or favoritism. There is no arbitrary or subjective approach to determining the sequence.

ADDRESSING THE SITUATION

So, in very plain terms, that’s where we stand today.

When I started the job this time last year, I found that things were even worse than I had expected. It was an emergency situation.

Despite the number of disputes rising to its highest in a decade starting in 2012, this slide shows that in 2013 the Secretariat did not have enough lawyers who could be assigned in new disputes.

This is partly because we had lost a number of trained and experienced lawyers in the preceding few years.

So I took immediate steps to deal with the problems.

I reallocated resources so that the 3 dispute settlement divisions could recruit junior lawyers through temporary contracts for 1 to 2 years, using funds that were available from vacant posts.

A total of 17 temporary contracts have been awarded in the three divisions since February 2013. Part of this reallocation has addressed the need for additional native speakers of Spanish.

And we have achieved some results through staff mobility.

I am envisaging to temporarily assign 2-3 staff members from non-dispute settlement divisions to pending and upcoming disputes as lead lawyers.

These staff members had previously worked on disputes, but they are currently in different divisions. Of course, there is a very limited number of staff with this experience.

The same is true for support staff, which require specific expertise more akin to that of registrars, paralegals and professional editors.

Therefore mobility (in short, moving people from one division to another) is not the silver bullet that some may think it is. We need to be prepared to take some bigger steps.

Simply put, the need for specialised skills means that we will need to hire new staff at both the senior and junior levels.

Although we have been able to attract qualified people through temporary contracts in the recent past, we are unable to retain them without offering more stability and long-term career opportunities. And when they leave, the considerable effort and time that we have invested in training them is completely lost.

So we must find ways to retain the best and the brightest once we have recruited and trained them.

Moreover we must bring new people in at the senior level — and this is where the most acute problem is at the moment. The supply is just not there. Let’s be realistic.

Even if we bring in new people at the senior level, it also takes at least a year to 18 months for them to develop specialized skills and experience necessary to lead a panel or an appeal team.

So this is something that we will address.

This slide shows the changes that I am going to make in order to deal with these issues.

I have recently allocated 15 additional posts to the 3 dispute settlement divisions — 6 at the senior level and 9 at the junior level. Vacancies for these posts will be announced next week.

In fact, my intention is to create overcapacity in the dispute settlement area. Should dispute settlement activity wane in a year or two, which is again very unlikely, then we will put these talents to work elsewhere in the Secretariat — and bring them back if the work in dispute settlement so requires.

Of course hiring staff at present is problematic. Members have put very clear limitations on what I can do. And I am not whining.

First, there is the overall cap on the budget.

Second, there is the cap on the proportion of the budget which can be used for personnel.

Of course I must observe both of these caps, and therefore my options are limited.

I am reallocating resources within the organization. When senior posts are vacated elsewhere in the Secretariat, a significant proportion saved there will be reallocated to disputes.

Of course this approach will inevitably have some consequences. It means, for example, that we will have to stop doing some things, or that we will have to do certain things with less. And that perhaps we will also have to outsource even more of our work, including translation.

Clearly there are limits to the sustainability of this approach, which Members will want to consider.

There are some other steps that we can take to alleviate some of the pressure on the system, in addition to those we are taking on staff.

To start, we must address the complexity of disputes. There are precedents for this. For example:

  • Simplifying the descriptive part of a panel report by annexing parties’ executive summaries to the report. That simplifies things a little.
  • Sometimes setting time limits for oral presentations before panels.
  • Seeking ways to streamline selection of panel experts.
  • And, in the Appellate Body, standardizing the content and format of routine communications and rulings.

Members could think about taking additional steps in a similar vein in going forward. I am trying to ask you to be helpful!

Members could also consider some more fundamental steps. And this is for you to consider.

Some years ago there was a proposal to increase the number of AB members.

Under the current situation the 7 member AB can handle around 10-12 appeals at most per year. That’s stretching the envelope. And this is with AB Members working almost full-time. This operational cap is thus simply not enough given the level of demand.

If, for example, Members decided to increase the number of members to 9, the maximum per year could be increased by approximately a third.

This could potentially address the bottleneck at the AB stage to some degree. But of course this is entirely in your hands.

CONCLUSION

We will continue to work hard to address these issues.

But, I think that members need to reflect on the situation that I have outlined today.

I think it is important to consider how the system was designed — and how it has evolved since then.

We thought we had built a sailboat — but now we have discovered that what we have on our hands is an ocean liner.

And of course an ocean liner requires more resources, more fuel and a bigger crew.

So we will need to consider what resources we are prepared to provide if we want to stay afloat.

I am taking concerted action to resolve the challenges before us — but I am working within constraints.

No amount of mobility or invention will adequately resolve our situation definitely.

We need to confront the situation as we find it today — and we need to be honest about what it means if it goes unaddressed.

The WTO dispute settlement system has served the membership extremely well.

It is recognized the world over for providing fair, high quality results that respond to both developing and developed country members.

It is faster than most if not all international adjudicative systems operating today, to say nothing of domestic courts the world over.

We need to ensure that this remains the case.  And for this, I invite you to start thinking seriously about the hard options and decisions we will have to face to fix the system.

Finally, I would like to take this opportunity to thank staff members for their very hard work in assisting panels and the Appellate Body Members. The WTO dispute settlement system would not have achieved its current success without their professionalism and dedication.

Thank you.

Fonte: OMC