A Cosmopolitan Perspective on the Doha Development Agenda


The Doha Development Agenda (DDA) negotiations in the WTO have reached a point where the shape of a worthwhile agreement can be envisaged even if its final delivery is far from guaranteed. This is, therefore, an appropriate time to look closely at what has been achieved and what has been lost and to seek to reach some conclusions that may brighten the prospects of eventual success.

One way of looking at the challenges to the system, posed by and around the DDA is to consider first what has gone wrong and what has gone right since the Round was launched in 2001. In some senses the exercise has been problematic since its inception. If there is to be something worthwhile at its conclusion we need to understand why progress has been so troubled.

There is also a need to explore why the difficulties encountered in the DDA are, in part, systemic. The World Trade Organization is ten years old. It has surely had its successes; it has equally suffered some disappointments. Those of us who believe in multilateralism as ultimately the safest and surest means of global governance need the WTO to deliver as intended. It has delivered on dispute settlement; it has made significant advances in helping developing countries draw advantage from the system, but it has yet to show its potential as a negotiating machine. That is the test posed by the DDA.

Recognizing the fault lines in the Doha Agenda?

This is not the first time that political enthusiasm to launch a multilateral trade round has overwhelmed political willingness subsequently to negotiate in substance and make concessions. In the case of the Tokyo Round of the GATT, launched in 1973, little happened for more than three years. In the period after the Punta del Este ministerial meeting, in 1986, the Uruguay Round was very slow moving until after the crisis of the Brussels ministerial conference in 1990. However, it is important to note that in the latter case there was a huge job to be done in exploring new areas for trade rules – like services and intellectual property – as well as seeking new approaches on agriculture and dispute settlement before serious practical negotiation was possible.

“the European Commission was to change and with major elections in the US and India – to name just three key WTO members – was optimistic.”

So frustration with slow progress in Geneva is the rule not the exception. From that perspective we should not be over concerned that the Doha Round has not concluded on time and will take at least another two years to reach an outcome. It is true that the timeframe originally imposed was unrealistic: there was never any reason to suppose that this time around a relatively ambitious trade negotiation would be treated with a greater sense of urgency than any other. To imagine a conclusion at the end of a year in which the European Commission was to change and with major elections in the US and India – to name just three key WTO members – was optimistic.

A greater problem had its roots in the sense of balance and ambition within the Doha agenda. The Europe-driven aspiration to drive forward the “Singapore issues” has been a source of internal conflict in the WTO and has held back meaningful progress in other aspects of the Doha negotiations. That is not to say the aspirations were misplaced. It is clear that multilateral agreements on investment, competition policies and government procurement transparency, as well as trade facilitation, could all make good sense from a development perspective. Many poor WTO members recognize the fact. It is equally the case that a broader agenda that held out the hope of valuable new disciplines in areas of importance to developed-country investors might have made easier prospective concessions in agriculture.

However, in pressing the Singapore agenda, some industrial countries failed to appreciate the difficulties that a number of developing nations were having in implementing existing WTO disciplines from the Uruguay Round. Understandably, and notwithstanding the potential advantages, poorer WTO members shied away from the prospect of new obligations that they could not afford to implement but which might in part be enforceable through the dispute settlement procedure. Moreover, there has always been some scepticism that the substantial levels of technical assistance needed for the implementation of existing as well as potential future WTO obligations would be forthcoming.

In short, coming so soon after the Uruguay Round, the original Doha agenda was just too demanding on too many members to be sustainable and meaningful within a short timeframe.

But there were other fundamental faults in the design of the new trade round. The price of inclusion of the Singapore issues was a lack of balance in the contributions to be made in the mainstream negotiations – notably, market access. A traditional multilateral trade round was reinvented as a “Development Agenda”. The lack of reciprocity implicit in the Doha bargain was an illusion. While it has always been the case that least-developed countries contributed little in trade rounds – which may or may not have been in their true interests – the idea that more advanced developing nations could avoid meaningful market opening commitments while industrial members made politically difficult decisions to further open theirs was unreal. From a political perspective, all trade negotiations must provide for a mutual exchange of commercially credible concessions among the key players. Perfect symmetry is never possible, but all sides must return from the negotiating table with something of value for their exporters.

Of course, a major reason for the adoption of the development agenda device was the impact of the anti-globalisation, anti-WTO movements in the late 1990s and thereafter. The idea that developing countries had been “losers” from the global trading system gained so much currency that political leaders of industrial countries and even the WTO itself embraced it. Yet, the notion was always a gross exaggeration, certainly an over-simplification. That too many poor countries have remained poor despite being members of the WTO is hardly in question. That it is a fundamental fault of the institution – or of the treatment of those poor nations within the institution – surely is.

This drift has led to disappointments – the system seems unable to deliver what is needed.

While we can point to elements of the WTO’s rules and practices that are sometimes a challenge for developing countries, the essential principles of the system are unchallenged as a framework for economic progress. Developing countries that maintain highly protected markets, that offer no security or predictability to investors or, indeed, to their own domestic firms, that fail to put in place the institutional structures and practices that encourage rather than hold back trade-led development have been and will be failures. Whether they are members of the WTO or not, will make little difference. The WTO provides a framework for reform and secure access to markets; opportunities that are there to be exploited, but which do not guarantee success.

Somehow the Doha agenda lost contact with these realities. Political leaders have tended to repeat mantras about the shortcomings of the system while failing publicly to defend the institution as an essential support for trade, investment and development. Playing to the gallery of critics is not a responsible position when the critics have no alternative to present as a coherent replacement for the system.

This drift has led to disappointments – the system seems unable to deliver what is needed. There is a need to get back to the essentials and understand clearly what is within the capacity of the WTO to achieve and what lies outside.

Two other trends have made progress within the Doha Round difficult. One is the proliferation of trade agendas outside the multilateral system. The most active of those is the new enthusiasm for regional trade agreements. Together with the spread of preferential arrangements, the energy being put into essentially politically motivated FTAs is detracting from the motivation and capacity of negotiators to secure multilateral agreements. That is not to say there is no value in regional arrangements – it may well be, for instance, that those that are opening up some Asian markets may be beneficial globally. But the reality is that one of the central pillars of the WTO – Most-favoured Nation treatment – has been undermined to the point that it may become meaningless.

A second tendency that has undercut the will to negotiate is, perversely, the success of the WTO’s dispute settlement system. So efficient – and, for the most part, respected – is the system the belief has grown that most trade issues can be resolved through WTO litigation. It may well be that many outstanding differences among WTO members can, indeed, be resolved this way. But it is a dangerous assumption that dispute resolution procedures can indefinitely take all the strain that should be shouldered by collective negotiation among the full WTO membership. That would rightly be criticized as a negation of democratic legitimacy.

What then has gone right with the Doha Round?

The agreement reached by the WTO General Council in July 2004, went some way in correcting the shortcomings and illusions of the original mandate or, at least, the suppositions that underlay the declaration in 2001. In essence, negotiators now have a more confined agenda and an undefined timeframe. All the same, the Doha Round can still provide valuable results for the WTO and its members.

Two elements of the July agreement stand out as offering hope for a very substantial outcome. The decision to eliminate export subsidies and other trade distorting forms of export support was welcome and impressive. Farmers in many nations, who can market their produce competitively, in the absence of these grossly unfair practices, have much to gain if the decision in principle can be translated into a final settlement. It would not be the end of the story of reform in agriculture, but a very important step that, even a year ago, seemed unlikely.

The other outstanding agreement in July 2004 was the decision to move forward with negotiations on trade facilitation rules. It is difficult to underestimate how much could be achieved by such disciplines in easing the difficulties of moving goods across borders in an efficient, secure and non-corrupt manner. This should be a development-friendly negotiation. It should also be an ambitious negotiation, going further than minor clarifications of GATT provisions. However, negotiators are going to need to tackle early on the very high potential cost that will be entailed. Introducing information technology, streamlining administrative arrangements and, above all, reforming customs services to ensure personnel do not need bribes to support even an elementary standard of living, require substantial financial outlays. If the governments of poor nations are prepared to go down these challenging paths then they must have the necessary financial backing as well as technical support to do so.

Apart from these two key dossiers, much was left open in the framework agreements under which negotiators are now operating. In particular, the relative ambition for market access talks – in agriculture, industrial goods and services – is largely undefined. This does not, of course, exclude a high level of commitment at the end of the round. It is to be hoped that a result of significant commercial value can be achieved. However, that will require some of the advanced developing countries making a substantial contribution alongside those of the industrial nations. On this, the 2004 agreement is vague, yet the conclusion is inescapable if there is to be balance and some shared pain in the final outcome.

Even on this sensitive point, however, there is reason for some optimism. After the failure of the ministerial conference in Cancun in 2003, it took a major political effort to get the Doha Round back on track. For all the concerns about multiple trade agendas it was important to see the United States and the European Union leading that political effort. Their respective trade representatives travelled the world and pursued consensus with an energy probably not seen since the end of the Uruguay Round. They were quickly joined by the representatives of key developing WTO members like India, Brazil and South Africa and then by trade ministers from every continent as the potential for an accord became a realistic expectation.

In the final analysis, governments almost everywhere recognized that they had much more to lose than to gain from a further failure that would not merely have ended any hopes for the Doha Round but severely undermined the WTO itself. In a sense it was a crisis to which the membership rose. Not for the first time, or the last, the system needed to be on the point of cracking for good sense to prevail.

At the very least, the WTO found within itself the capacity to find consensus among almost 150 sovereign nations. It is to be hoped that the lessons learned will be remembered. The agreements were far from perfect, far from precise and far less in content than was supposed to be achieved at that stage. Yet it was a step forward. The next steps may be no easier.

Where do we go from here?

Any trade round can only be viewed within a broad political framework. Negotiations never were entirely self-contained or impermeable to domestic interests: but that is less the case now than ever. I will return to the institutional issues that may affect the proceedings: the Director-Generals Consultative Board, of which I am chairman, has reviewed these in some depth. But irrespective of what happens within the Organization, any conclusion of the Doha Round will be highly dependent on a collection of inter-linked external events and decisions that will be taken by governments largely on the basis of domestic political imperatives.

The focus will continue to be on agriculture, even if it is now vital that the other negotiating dossiers catch up with the relatively advanced state of the farm trade talks. The process should, with some luck and much energy and commitment, reach the point of deciding detailed modalities for agricultural negotiations by the end of 2005 when the next ministerial is due to take place in Hong Kong.

However, not even this should be taken for granted. The hiatus in meaningful negotiations caused by the US presidential election campaign and the changeover of the EU Commission will end at some point in the first half of 2005. By then, regardless of the progress made within the Doha Round, both Washington and Brussels will have before them definitive judgements on two key dispute settlement cases. For the United States, it will be the findings of the panel and Appellate Body concerning a range of support policies in the cotton sector. For the European Union it will be the case brought against its sugar regime. The decisions taken by governments on these two sets of WTO findings will inevitably have some impact on the potential reform targets and negotiating modalities to be adopted in the Doha Round.

For the EU, willingness and ability to implement a negative panel finding on sugar will be related to ongoing changes in the Common Agricultural Policy and perhaps to budgetary pressures. These factors will largely determine the stance taken in Geneva and the shape of commitments that may be possible.

Similarly, for the US at least some of the response to a successful challenge to its cotton policies will lie in the sustainability of the current budget deficit. Clearly, if budget adjustments require a cut back in farm spending, it might be advisable for the new administration to look at programmes that have been found to be inconsistent with international obligations. A little further down the road, in any event, there must be negotiations with Congress on a new Farm Bill to replace the spending limits and programmes contained in the 2002 legislation. Again, these are the developments that will ultimately determine what the US can sign on to in Geneva.

Of course, domestic political judgements on reform of the farm trade environment – both market access and domestic support programmes – will have to be made in many countries, developed and developing. Yet the willingness of the two biggest players in the WTO to move significantly will be the determining factor in the contributions that others will make and the political discomfort they will be prepared to bear.

Agriculture is just one example of the political complexity faced by WTO members in pursuing Doha negotiations. Other external changes will also have an impact. So I will now turn to the various trade agendas that intersect, to some degree at least, with the DDA.

The development challenge

The “development agenda” facet of the Doha Round has to be met, of that there is no doubt. While there is no case in their own interests for sheltering developing countries from all the obligations of the WTO whilst offering them all the benefits, it is clear that a better-defined differentiation of obligations may help. The framework agreements on agriculture and non-agricultural market access set out copious arrangements – or potential arrangements – to secure special and differential treatment. The remains of the pre-Seattle “implementation” agenda may still render some modest results. Additionally, members should be able to go further on the Special and Differential Treatment mandate itself. At every point in the agenda there will be continued and increased need for well-focused, efficiently delivered and properly coordinated technical assistance.

It would be a mistake to imagine much of this will assist the integration of poor countries into the global economy; rather, such efforts will provide breathing space for the implementation of WTO obligations where it is most needed. As always, the least-developed countries will be faced with few binding requirements to implement anything of substance generated by the Doha Round.

It is probably best that the world’s poorest countries are left to decide when, how quickly, and to what extent, they wish to make use of the WTO framework to guide their own reforms. It has been well demonstrated that the WTO can have little impact on poverty alleviation in the absence of other more fundamental policy reform. Open markets in the developed countries are of no value while supply-side restraints are extreme and while no credible and stable governmental and institutional structures exist to underpin business development, investment and external trade.

However, other developing countries are not in that situation. Many are successful exporters and are moving fast to dominate global markets in a variety of farm products, industrial goods and even services. Thus, in one form or another – explicitly of implicitly – some differentiation in the treatment of developing countries (outside the LDC group) is going to have to be faced in the Doha Round. Whether we call it “differentiation” or the more formal, and feared, “graduation” a World Trade Organization that is global and inclusive must now fully recognize the class of successful exporters, with increasingly high GDP per capita levels, within its ranks. And those members themselves owe it to the rest of the developing country membership to be so recognized and to take the consequences in terms of higher levels of obligations and commitments.

We should also keep in mind that concessions made by many developing countries may serve merely to bring a higher proportion of WTO bindings within the national tariff or to contract the often large differences between applied and bound rates. In terms of immediate impact on import competition, the results, if any, are likely to be minimal. That is not to say, of course, that investors would not welcome such increased predictability, clearly they would.

Whatever its nature, there will have to be some movement by advanced developing countries. That seems to me to be the basis of a bargain on the basis of which industrial countries will have the political space to consider moving on some of the most testing – and to developing countries, damaging – policies of market protection that remain in place. It is on these foundations that an ambitious outcome to the Doha Round can still be secured, particularly with respect to market access.

The challenge of regional and bilateral trade deals

That the Doha Round is deeply affected by the recent explosion of regional, bilateral and preferential trade arrangements is clear. Whether the increased energy directed towards regionalism is, itself, a reflection of the lack of meaningful outcomes from multilateral activity is probably arguable. Yet all WTO members continue to insist that multilateral trade benefits are the most valuable. This divergence between the pursuit of the optimal and the parallel enthusiasm for the more easily attainable needs resolution if we are to see a conclusion to the DDA within some acceptable period.

Certainly it would be difficult to pretend that proliferating negotiations on regional and preferential trade do other than draw negotiating capacity and attention away from Geneva and the WTO. Few countries have a sufficiently large number of trained and capable negotiators to engage on several fronts at the same time and with the same intensity. The reality is that governments are programming their attention to fit a variety of negotiating schedules. For poorer nations, with the least capacity, that is a serious loss of focus.

There is a natural tendency among trade ministers – whose terms in office are limited – to wish to be seen delivering new trade initiatives. Further, there is now an additional tendency to link bilateral trade agreements as much to urgent foreign policy objectives as to commercial interests. The picking off of “helpful” countries for beneficial trade treatment is only adding to the decline of multilateralism. It is something of a reversion to an era of friendship, commerce and navigation treaties of nearly two centuries ago. The practical trade impact is often minimal but the practice exacerbates the undermining of the most-favoured nation principle – which is fundamental to the multilateral trading system. (It is worth noting, however, that the nineteenth century equivalents, if inspired by foreign policy interests, were founded on full reciprocal MFN treatment.)

The tendency is doubly concerning since the WTO appears incapable of policing – or even monitoring – such agreements. Do they meet the criteria of Article XXIV of the GATT or the “Enabling Clause”? As things are, we shall never know. The issue of making Article XXIV properly and adequately operational is part of the Doha mandate. Yet, there is so far not even a consensus on how and when agreements should be notified to the WTO. As the arrangements spread, there are less and less WTO members with an open mind or an interest in seeing a resolution. Yet, the issue is vital to the future credibility of the institution.

No less worrisome is the treatment of preferences in the WTO. There are a large number of members for whom almost the sole objective in the Doha Round appears to be the safeguarding of their preferences in the major markets. Yet, while local political interests may continue to encourage such a position, the evidence continues to grow that preferences are far from being universally beneficial to those that receive them. As the WTO Secretariat’s 2004 World Trade Report pointed out, the absolute value of preferences are falling as MFN tariff levels fall. At the same time, dependence on preferences can sometimes drive developing economies into product segments where they have little or no comparative advantage. In other words, investment is taking place, on the basis of preferences, which may have no long-term likelihood of viability.

The European Union has begun to take this problem seriously with the start of a negotiating process that should lead to an end, by 2008, of the non-reciprocal preferences of the present Cotonou Treaty with the large ACP group. These will be replaced by a series of reciprocal trading arrangements – the “economic partnership agreements” – with various regional groups within the ACP. The political challenge for the EU will be to support the change with adequate financial and other aid to help agricultural producers and other current preference targets to diversify out of products in which they will no longer be able to compete.

That will begin to provide a degree of fairness in access for poor countries. Too many have been left out under current arrangements providing preferential access to the major markets.

That there should be open access for the least-developed countries seems not to be in dispute – after all, it is an objective of the Doha Round and one which the EU has gone a long way in providing. It is to be hoped that all industrial nations and advanced developing markets will offer undiluted tariff-free, quota-free access to these nations in the very near future. The amount of international trade so covered is not – and cannot – be more that a tiny fraction of the total. Yet the value of providing a few practical opportunities to export – so long as they are not negated by non-tariff restrictions – can be significant in providing a foothold into the global economy.

The challenge of non-trade agendas

The temptation to bring non-trade agendas into the GATT and the WTO is long-standing. Provisions in both treaties allow for policies relating to national security, conservation of natural resources and slave labour, among others, to cut across normal obligations. That is understood, and accepted. More recently, we have seen efforts to bring the WTO to bear on the furtherance of a number of admirable causes. The improvement of observance of international labour standards and other aspects of human rights have been among such causes. On the other hand, equally energetic attempts have been made to keep the WTO away from having any locus in certain policy areas, like the protection of animal species or aspects of certain food safety regulations.

Happily the WTO has so far steered itself around these difficult and publicly controversial issues. The membership has wisely held out against initiatives that owed more to protectionist interests than, for instance, to serious concern for the rights of foreign workers. Furthermore, the dispute settlement system has generated a series of wise and sensitive findings that have encouraged successful resolutions of differences over animal safety and conservation policies.

It is to be hoped that any further temptation at the political level to seek to re-open these questions – and to pursue new ones, like outsourcing – will be resisted. While domestic debate may be necessary to quell disquiet over the loss of jobs and investment to foreign competition, it is for national governments to respond in a positive manner – notably through policies providing adjustment assistance – not to seek to pass the burden back to poorer nations. Certainly, it is difficult to see the Doha Round concluding successfully were there to be any new attempt to push labour rights or additional environmental criteria on to the agenda.

The challenge and opportunity of China

Another intersection of conflicting interests by which the Doha Round may be affected is that concerning China. There is no question that the entry of China into the WTO was a significant success – perhaps the institution’s biggest success since it was established. Equally, there is no question that the extraordinary vitality and growth of the Chinese economy will be of benefit to every other WTO member in the years ahead.

Yet the growing dominance of China as a trader and as a magnet for investment will need to be managed by governments at home and by the WTO, in particular, in the international arena. Presently, the ending of quota restraints under the Agreement on Textile and Clothing is putting particular pressure on rich and poor nations alike. We will undoubtedly see efforts to dampen the force of Chinese competition in this and other sectors.

Clearly, the instruments exist to provide some short-term relief for embattled industries. The Chinese WTO accession agreement provides special safeguard provisions for some years ahead. At the same time, these and other mainstream trade contingency instruments will need to be used correctly and probably sparingly. The global economic stimulus that China can provide – is already providing – is too great to risk having undermined by ill-conceived protectionist reactions.

That too would damage the Doha Round. China is a full participant already. As we move towards a conclusion, in some year’s time, it will be important for China to make a significant new contribution in terms of commitments on market access. China is already a gigantic market for the rest of the WTO – and that means for poor nations no less than rich – and will develop progressively towards one of the largest markets of all. There is, therefore, much to be gained in keeping China constructively engaged in the Doha Round and ensuring it has an interest, and a willingness to contribute significantly, to a worthwhile outcome.

Encouraging civil society to support Doha Round goals

There is no doubting the increased activity and influence of non-governmental organizations in the trade policy field. Let us leave aside the irresponsible groups at the margin who seek only to destroy any international economic arrangement that stimulates trade and investment. More serious development and environmental NGOs – as well as some trade union groups – seem to have understood that even if the WTO may not be their most popular international institution it provides a vehicle for supporting their objectives.

It is regrettable that even some of these groups still tend to misrepresent the nature of the WTO. Yet some of their more targeted work has been exemplary. The campaigns and studies of Oxfam on the sugar and cotton sectors stand out. Indeed, it has long been apparent that if and when powerful NGOs could focus on narrowly targeted trade issues – particularly those relating to poverty alleviation – they could make a big contribution in pushing the WTO towards appropriate advances. In the case of these two agricultural sectors, a combination of NGO campaigning, WTO dispute settlement rulings and some concerted action by WTO members themselves looks likely to make a practical, even dramatic, difference.

Clearly, if even the NGOs have an interest in a successful conclusion to the Doha Round that can only be positive. If they can accept the WTO as part – though a small part – of the answer to the many desperately difficult issues they seek to treat, rather than part of the problem, then we have the basis for a constructive, mutually reinforcing relationship.

My years leading the GATT and WTO secretariat taught me one thing: the people in the institution are motivated not by any desire to reinforce corporate interests; they do their jobs to ensure fair rules of trade support development and wealth creation among ordinary people, and especially the poorest. Thus, in progressively opening up to responsible NGOs – even if that will always stop short of any direct non-governmental involvement – the WTO Secretariat is seeking to establish a degree of partnership. The days when the WTO was a rather opaque institution are long gone. Negotiations are now easy to follow externally and documents are available freely on the Internet, often within hours of them circulating to delegations. It may be that further measures in transparency will be necessary. Some limited access to observe dispute settlement proceedings may be worth pursuing. Additional measures to involve parliamentarians could also be valuable.

NGOs have the tools to do their work in influencing governments in capitals on trade policy issues. But if the WTO is opening up to civil society groups, then those groups must take care to understand the institution. They need to recognize that, even if it has shortcomings, it still represents the lessons learned from a century of war, strife and economic hardship born partly of foolish trade policies.

Giving the WTO the tools to do its job better

We should not exaggerate the extent to which institutional reform will facilitate negotiations. For the most part, if there are difficulties in moving forward it is because substantive differences exists between the participants or that domestic political realities prevent governments from moving constructively towards consensus.

That said, the mechanics of decision-making in the WTO are not necessarily the most efficient. The nexus between ministers, senior officials, the Geneva representatives and the Secretariat is not necessarily the most comfortable or the most effective possible. The method of selection of directors-general has been incompetent and unfair to the recent incumbents. The overall management of the institution’s work ought probably to be in the hands of tighter management structures than the General Council. The consensus rule serves the credibility of the WTO well and lends weight to its decisions when governments are required to change or adjust their policies. Yet, it is cumbersome and sometimes unnecessarily time-consuming. There may be circumstances in which it could be adjusted.

These are all issues that need to be considered seriously. The Director-General’s Consultative Board has done so and it is for WTO members to reach their own conclusions. However, it would be a mistake to insist they can all await the conclusion of the Doha Round. The difficulties in pursuing multilateral negotiations have been glaringly obvious since the launch of the Round in 2001. We still have a very long way to go before the talks can be rounded out. There is nothing to prevent a serious discussion on institutional reform to take lace in parallel. Some changes could well be implemented in a short timeframe; short enough to provide a boost to the Doha process.


The political and institutional environment in which the next phase of the Doha Round will be conducted is extraordinarily complex and will remain so. There is absolutely no guarantee of ultimate success. Indeed, the challenges are sufficiently great for there to be real doubt that a commercially meaningful package can be secured.

Yet such an outcome is needed. There are too many countries and too many people with an interest in advances in the WTO to support economic growth and the assimilation of poor nations into the global economy for failure to be an option. Political spin can, of course, create victories out of thin air. That cannot work in the WTO. We need a large and balanced outcome that all WTO members can justifiably regard as valuable and pertinent to their own national circumstances. As in every other trade round, that means a lot of energy, much commitment and an understanding, by every participant, of the common good.

This article first appeared in The Journal of International Law (Oxford University Press) in 2005.