The WTO has weathered recent global crises — DDG Paugam

The international trading system has demonstrated its usefulness and its resilience, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, Deputy Director-General Jean-Marie Paugam declared in an address to the European Economic and Social Committee on 20 October. “While we witnessed a proliferation of restrictive measures at the beginning of the pandemic, States quickly chose the path of cooperation and trade facilitation.” Rejecting the scenarios of “the WTO’s rebirth, disintegration or decline”, he considers that the challenge for the 12th Ministerial Conference will be “rebuilding trust, as no negotiations can be conducted without it”. His full speech is provided below.