Thank you for
the invitation to speak and share some thoughts.
The millennium subject
is globalization. I wish that word had never been invented. The word conjures up a vision
of an uncaring, unrepresentative future where ordinary people , Parliaments, cultures and
Nations lose their character, power and sovereignty. In the absence of an "ism"
to hate and to march against, globalism has become the target. Globalization is a process,
an idea not an ideology. But every great lie has within a germ of truth. There is
injustice, the world is unequal and we are faced with unequalled opportunity and
challenges. These must be answered.
speak to you today as Director-General of the World Trade Organization or as so much of my
correspondence accuses, The World Terrorist Organization.
sought the job as Director-General of the World Trade Organization because I believed, and
still do, that open societies do better. Where peoples and nations enjoy each other's
culture and music, ideas and commerce they do better. Open societies always tend to have
better human, environmental, and labour rights. Those nations that trade, enjoy each
other's company and companies have better results. That is the lesson of history. In
Europe you have two visions: one a united Europe, a Union where people do respect each
other and see the benefits of exchange; and then the tribal hatred that is the Balkans,
the mirror opposite. I believe that we are all brothers and sisters, born in the image of
God, thus created equal. We are equal, but not the same. Trade and business is only one
aspect of the interchanges and the civilising effect of cooperation. Moreover, trade and
increasing interdependence among nations is nothing now. Neither is the exchange of ideas
and the movement of peoples across borders.
one of the first multinational institutions was the Church. Faith knows no boundaries.
Faith has withstood nationalism, persecution, empires and ideologies. It is eternal.
will be no lasting peace unless there is peace and co-existence between religions. There
have been those who predicted the death of history, that there will be one global
community. This is not so. Yet there is so much in common among religions and faiths that
should make this task easier. All the great religions and great civilizations have at
their heart, a core message of human unity. Can I quote from Hans Küng's book "A
Global Ethic for Global Politics and Economics" where he writes of the Golden Rule of
I mean by this can be demonstrated relatively simply by means of that Golden Rule of
humanity which we find in all the great religious and ethical tradition. Here are some of
Confucius (C.551-486 BCE): 'What you yourself do not want, do not do to another
person" (Analects 15.23).
Rabbi Hillel (60 BC-10CE): 'Do not do to others what you would not want them to do to you'
Jesus of Nazareth: 'Whatever you want people to do to you, do also to them' (Matt. 7.12;
Islam: 'None of you is a believer as long as he does not wish his brother what he wishes
himself' (Forty Hadith of an-Nawawi, 13).
Jainism: 'Human beings should be indifferent to worldly things and treat all creatures in
the world as they would want to be treated themselves' (Sutrakritanga I, II, 33).
Buddhism: 'A state which is not pleasant or enjoyable for me will also not be so for him;
and how can I impose on another a state which is not pleasant or enjoyable for me?'
(Samyutta Nikaya V, 353, 35-342, 2).
Hinduism: 'One should not behave towards others in a way which is unpleasant for oneself:
that is the essence of morality' (Mahabharata XIII, 114, 8).
one thinks globalization can be stopped or should be. But there are dangers and fears that
need to be addressed. Celebrating a non-result in Seattle is as useful as suggesting
Europe ought not to enlarge or China engage.
is anxiety because there is unfairness, not everyone is getting a fair opportunity. Alas
they never have, this has been true of the other great economic and social upheavals. As
we shifted from hunter-gatherers to an agricultural, feudal and then industrial society,
we are now moving into a post-industrial society, the information age. Now as then these
great upheavals cause social dislocations. Be they Kings or Popes in the past or
politicians now, leaders are blamed for not preserving the present. Yesterday always looks
a speech celebrating the 50th anniversary of the United Nations Pope John Paul
II put it most eloquently:
the threshold of a new millennium we are witnessing an extraordinary global acceleration
of that quest for freedom which is one of the great dynamics of human history. This
phenomenon is not limited to any one part of the world; nor is it the expression of any
single culture. Men and woman throughout the world, even when threatened with violence,
have taken the risk of freedom, asking to be given a place in social, political, and
economic life which is commensurate with their dignity as free human beings. This
universal longing for freedom is truly one of the distinguishing marks of our time.'
great change in history causes resentment and breeds fear and causes anxiety. You could
mount a case, indeed some of our critics do, that the motorcar is lethal, pollutes, kills
and divides communities. But it's not about banning the motorcar, we cannot uninvent the
combustion engine! It's about road rules, road rage and better managing and sharing more
equally the costs and advantages.
is also true of the impact of globalization, technological change and the WTO and its
that the dust has started to settle after the turmoil of Seattle, perhaps we should
revisit what the multilateral trading system means to us and to the people of the 135
other countries who are part of the WTO, and Governments representing some 1.5 billion
people who want to join. Perhaps they did not dominate the headlines, as did the 30,000
outside protesting, but aren't their concerns important too?
ought to get back to core principles and values, restate our case. We all realize that no
nation can now enjoy clean water, air, manage an airline, even organize a tax system or
hope to contain or cure AIDS or cancer without the cooperation of others. Thus we must
seek democratic internationalism and cooperation if we are to prosper and enjoy balanced
development on our crowded planet.
the Berlin wall came down, when Nelson Mandela was freed, and when freedom has flourished
elsewhere, the world celebrated. We celebrated the universal values of political and
economic freedom. No one shouted, cursed and swore about the evils of globalization or
common values then.
mother with a sick child wants the best the world has to offer from science, no one wants
the old technology when they go to the dentist. They don't complain then about global or
yet, at a time when the world is more integrated than ever, where technology brings us all
within reach of each other and offers unprecedented opportunities for communication,
increased cooperation and solidarity, there is a growing sense of unease at the impact of
this globalized world on people's lives.
have some empathy with some of those who protest in the streets of Seattle, New Delhi or
Auckland about change and the WTO. People around the world are right when they say they
want a safer, cleaner more healthy planet. They are correct when they call for an end to
poverty, more social justice, better living standards. But they are wrong to blame the WTO
for all the world's problems. They are especially wrong when they say we are not a
democratic house. We are owned by Governments who represent hundreds of millions of
voters. The Indian Ambassador is appointed by his Government, his government is answerable
to Parliament. Parliament and congresses and governments must ratify our agreements.
Thats how it should be. How do we manage? History tells us democracy and freedom is
not just a moral imperative. It makes better economic sense. Gets the best results.
is a perceived loss of identity and ownership given the new economic age. A democratic
deficit. Our mission must be to ensure that people and Parliaments own us, that the people
are the masters of globalization and not the servants. Thus the active understanding,
engagement and ownership of the great institutions like the WTO by Sovereign Governments
and its people is necessary if we are to have any moral authority. That's how it is.
That's how it should be. The challenge to policy-makers is how we can achieve this. I have
some ideas and will be working with the Heads of other institutions, Ministers and
Ambassadors to help correct this democratic deficit. That deficit is so deep that almost
one quarter of the Members of the WTO cannot afford representation in Geneva. We have
organized the first ever seminars for non-resident Ambassadors. We are working on some
creative ways of advancing and facilitating their involvement; thus ownership.
new century poses enormous challenges. Within 25 years over 3 billion people will be added
to the global population. Urban populations will treble over the next 30 years. By the
year 2020, two-thirds of Africa's population will live in cities. Over the next 30 years
food production will have to double. The World Bank reports that 2 billion people will
suffer from chronic water shortages within 30 years. Half the world's population lives on
under US$2 per day.
is brave enough to say that our political structures, that the international institutions
you own such as the WTO, the UN, the IMF, the World Bank, are equipped to serve the people
and their Governments to meet these challenges?
about coherence between the institutions must become a working reality. We must adapt and
be bold enough to look at ourselves and how we can collectively do a better job.
me it's a simple proposition. The first half of this century was marked by force and
coercion. Our new century ought to be one marked by persuasion and cooperation. Of States
settling their differences through that great equaliser, the law. Of a binding disputes
mechanism, to settle differences, of engagement and interdependence.
come from a small country. I see interdependence, and treaties and the great global
institutions as guarantors of our sovereignty and safety. I recall a splendid comment of
Julius Nyerere, of Tanzania, who claimed that as each village's wealth once depended on
its neighbour's ability to purchase, this is now true of nations. Our parents learnt from
the great depression, made deeper and more lethal by rising trade barriers from which came
the twin tyrannies of our age, fascism and Marxism, thus war; hot and cold. Economists and
historians have costed the hot wars. We know of the casualties. We are still carrying the
cost of the cold war. Our global institutions do not yet reflect the new reality born of
the post cold war era and the post industrial age where knowledge not coal is king.
our parents had a profound and compelling vision, because they saw economic and political
integration as assisting in uniting nations and promoting development and peace.
created an international architecture which included the UN, IMF, World Bank, and the
GATT, now the WTO, to achieve that peaceful purpose and noble vision. In the main it's
worked. Far from perfect. But the world would be a less safe place without them. The WTO
is NOT the GATT. We now have more countries in the much criticized "green rooms"
than we had as original members. We endure a culture in Geneva based on an old
organization of 30 Members when we now have over 130. And 20plus more want to join.
why we must change how the WTO operates, we are driven by our Members, owned by them. So I
will be calling Member Governments for advice, even giving some, to increase transparency
and efficiency, to ensure that national governments and their parliaments must have a
greater involvement and ownership.
century offers us the opportunity to achieve much. The last 50 years have seen Empires
shrink, democracy rise, freedoms grow, and living standards lift in most continents and
countries. Not all. I'm full of confidence because I have an abiding, unshakeable
confidence in the people who, given freedom, will do the right thing by their families and
nations. Too much is at stake for us to falter, be timid or to fail.
we address the issues of managing globalization, we could do a lot worse than heeding the
words of the great Mahatma Gandhi who warned of the SEVEN deadly sins in today's world:
Wealth without work
Enjoyment without conscience
Knowledge without character
Business without morality
Science without humanity
Religion without sacrifice and
Politics without principles.