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A constructive dialogue is needed between civil society organisations and the players in the global trading system

The establishment by the WTO of an Advisory Group, including civil society representation, is a welcome development - Peter Eigen, Chairman, Transparency International

"It is essential that the voice of civil society organisations is heard in the board-rooms of decision- makers, in particular in international institutions," said Peter Eigen, Chairman of Transparency International, today, welcoming the establishment of an Advisory Group to the Director-General of the World Trade Organisation (WTO).

The Director-General, Mr Mike Moore, has invited a group of individuals with experience in trade and economic policy-making and in related fields to act as external advisers on the challenges and opportunities confronting the WTO. Peter Eigen, one of the 12 advisers invited to become members of the group, stressed that it was important that "representatives of civil society organisations engage in constructive dialogue with the principal players in the global trading system, and provide a more effective voice inside rather than just outside on the streets whenever an international summit is held".

While the WTO has asked the members of the advisory group "to draw on their extensive knowledge and experience to advise on the policy implications arising from the profound economic and political changes brought about by growing global integration", Peter Eigen said that he hoped the members of the new advisory group would be provided with "an opportunity to consider how globalisation is affecting the multilateral trading system as it moves towards near-universal membership and how there can be a closer and more constructive engagement with civil society organisations to give a more effective voice to those who have been left behind by the globalisation process". Civil society organisations "can particularly contribute to issues of economic justice and transparency within the global trading system," he said.

The members of the advisory group are:
Professor Robert Baldwin, Hilldale Professor of Economics, Emeritus, University of Wisconsin
Professor Jagdish N. Bhagwati, Arthur Lehman Professor of Economics and Professor of Political Science, Columbia University, New York
Dr Peter Eigen, Chairman, Transparency International, Berlin
Professor Victor Halberstadt, Leiden University
Professor Koichi Hamada, Professor of Economics, Yale University, President, Economic and Social Research Institute, Tokyo
Professor Patrick Messerlin, Professor, Institute of Political Studies, Paris
Dr Konrad Von Moltke, Senior Fellow, International Institute for Sustainable Development, Dartmouth
Dr Sylvia Ostry, Research Fellow for Economics, Centre for International Studies, Toronto
Professor Ademola Oyejide, University of Ibadan
Professor Manmohan Singh, Leader of Opposition in the Council of States, India, formerly Finance Minister of India and Governor of the Reserve Bank of India.
LeRoy Trotman, President, International Federation of Free Trade Unions
Dr Ernesto Zedillo, former President of Mexico

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