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Conclusion - Which Way Forward?

The themes of this Report are drawn together very briefly in a concluding section. Given that the multilateral trading system is at a crossroads, the Commission perceives an urgent need for a reflection exercise to clarify and solidify the commitment of the international community to a healthy, vibrant and equitable multilateral trade regime. We believe that this reflection exercise should be open to all Members, should welcome inputs from other interested stakeholders and should examine the wide range of issues confronting the multilateral trade regime. The terms of reference of this reflection exercise should include, but go beyond, the issues covered in this Report. An emerging issue clearly in need of attention is the relationship between climate change and trade. In addition, we believe this process should give particular consideration to the manner in which the WTO’s surveillance and monitoring function could be further developed and given specific institutional form and support, so that this function can assume an importance comparable to the WTO’s legislative and judicial roles.

Recommendation 10

The Commission therefore recommends that a process of reflection be established in the WTO, led by the Chairman of the General Council and/or the Director-General, to consider the challenges and opportunities facing the multilateral trading system and to draw up a plan of action to address them.