Columbia International Affairs Online: Policy Briefs

CIAO DATE: 03/2015

Addressing Past Flaws and Looking to the Future: How Can the WTO Be Made More Relevant?

Damian Wnukowski

February 2015

The Polish Institute of International Affairs


The World Trade Organisation (WTO) is celebrating the 20th anniversary of its creation. As the successor of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT), it has inherited a wide scope of trade issues to address. An ambitious agenda along with a lack of consensus, mainly between the developed and developing states, are the main reasons for a stalemate in negotiations within the flagship initiative, The Doha Round. The ineffectiveness of the talks has pushed numerous countries to seek regional cooperation, which further hampers multilateral negotiations. In this situation, it is high time to rethink the future shape of the WTO and its role in the world economy.