DG Azevêdo to launch intensive consultations on resolving Appellate Body impasse

World Trade Organisation

December 09, 2019


Director-General Roberto Azevêdo told a meeting of the full WTO membership on 9 December that he would launch more intensive, high-level consultations on how to resolve the longstanding impasse over the appointment of Appellate Body members. DG Azevêdo’s intervention came after WTO members were unable to reach consensus on a proposal to address concerns regarding the functioning of the Appellate Body.  

"A well-functioning, impartial and binding dispute settlement system is a core pillar of the WTO system," DG Azevêdo declared. "Rules-based dispute resolution prevents trade conflicts from ending up in escalating tit-for-tat retaliation - which becomes difficult to stop once it starts - or becoming intractable political quagmires."
"Obviously the paralysis of the Appellate Body does not mean that rules-based dispute settlement has stopped at the WTO," DG Azevêdo continued. "Members will continue to resolve WTO disputes through consultations, panels, and other means envisaged in the WTO agreements such as arbitration or good offices of the DG … but we cannot abandon what must be our priority, namely finding a permanent solution for the Appellate Body."


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