Multilateralism after the Failure of the DDR and Climate Change Negotiations


University of Melbourne, Australia


 This paper examines the two most important current efforts to devise new rules binding all nations the negotiations in the WTO of trade rules and the negotiations under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change to devise rules restricting the annual emissions of greenhouse gases. Both negotiations have failed after several years of intensive effort. There are remarkable parallels in these negotiations. Both have used the same approach to negotiations consensus decision-taking, a bottom-up approach and differential treatment of Developing Countries, and complex modalities. These features have made the negotiations tortuous. Major changes in international relations have made agreement impossible to date: large global market imbalances and changes in geopolitical balances have produced a general distrust among major parties and an absence of leadership. What is needed most of all is a common or shared vision of the gains from binding multilateral rules for the world economy.  JEL Classification: F15, Q54