Committee 6: Enhancing the Value of WTO Committee Work

To provide the Applicants with the best possible and most relevant experience, the Model WTO has decided this year’s topic to be the Reform of the WTO as this topic has become more relevant in recent months.

Committee 6 

Enhancing the Value of WTO Committee Work

The WTO committees monitor the implementation of WTO agreements and provide a forum for WTO members to discuss trade issues. They generally consist of a group of representatives from all member countries, that address a specific topic area, e.g. Environment, Development or Regional Trade Agreements, among others. As these committees are central organs of the WTO, their effectiveness determines the organisation’s success, and it has been argued that their functioning should be reviewed.

There are a multitude of suggestions that could enhance the value of WTO committee work. Some focus on the participants in discussions and negotiations, arguing for example that the private sector and NGOs should be involved more actively. Others suggest reviewing the number of committees, as some committees may have been very relevant at the time of their creation, but now no longer provide much input. Additionally, it has been suggested to encourage collaboration between committees, as several issues spread across multiple functions and areas of expertise. On top of these suggestions, it has been argued that committee work needs more direction. For example, a steering committee could be established to prioritise committees and topics of discussion, and possibly aid the collaboration between committees.

Addressing this large variety of suggestions for improvement, the committee on Enhancing the Value of WTO Committee Work will aim to agree on the most efficient mechanisms to assist committees and enhance the effectiveness of their function in the WTO.

Author of the Committees 2019:
Cara Stromeyer (cara.stromeyer@model-wto.org
)
Model WTO Head of Simulation Design