3 Jun 2019

Farewell to the WTO Appellate Body: full speech now available

On 28 May, Prof Peter Van den Bossche delivered his farewell speech to the Appellate Body at the WTO in Geneva. His full speech is available via the link in this article.

The 2018 Appellate Body Annual Report was also presented by Ambassador Ujal Singh Bhatia, Chair of the AB. This event was followed by a reception in the Atrium of the WTO, organized and hosted by H.E. Mr Marc Vanheukelen of the Permanent Mission of the European Union.

Excerpt from Peter Van den Bossche's speech:
"I stand here before you with a heavy heart but not because this is my farewell. I served on WTO dispute settlement appeals for nine years, three months, and three weeks, and that is long enough. Some of you may well say that my parting is much overdue and that I overstayed my welcome. I stand before you with a heavy heart because of the current crisis in the rules-based multilateral trading system. While it is a system that needs much improvement to be fair to all, as well as adapted to 21st-century realities, the rules-based multilateral trading system, as it progressively developed since the late 1940s, has served us well. It has allowed hundreds of millions of people to escape from poverty and has brought continued prosperity to many others. It has also been instrumental in keeping trade and broader economic disputes from boiling over and escalating beyond control."

Prof. Van den Bossche's full speech is available via the attachment below.

On 30 May 2019, insidetrade.com published the article "WTO official, Appellate Body members warn of coming ‘chaos’" in reference to Prof. Van den Bossche's farewell.

On 31 May 2019, POLITICO's Pro Morning Trade also spoke about Prof. Van den Bossche's speech.

The speeches of Amb. Bhatia as well as the Annual Report of the AB can be found attached below and via the WTO's website.