The Past, Present, and Future of the WTO
On July 13, 2020 Victor do Prado kicked off the Trade, Investment, and Development Certificate summer program on WTO and U.S. Trade Law and Policy, with a session on WTO History and Future. Mr. do Prado’s session was informed by his service in various positions at the World Trade Organization. Currently, he serves as Director of the WTO’s Council and TNC Division.
Due to COVID-19, the certificate program is being held online, but Mr. do Prado’s hope for a WTO future was clear. Mr. do Prado spoke about the WTO in the context of the dramatic geopolitical changes that have occurred since the organization’s inception, the WTO reforms which have taken place over the last 25 years, and future potential for reform to address the increasingly digital world and nuanced environment issues.
In the midst of the global COVID-19 health crisis, Mr. do Prado pointed to the need for international leadership to address the global movement away from internationalism, towards fragmented nationalism. He noted that with the rise of technology and the digital age, it has become increasingly evident that within the current system the strong countries are getting stronger and the weak are getting weaker; “We need to think about this new world,” he said, “international cooperation is more needed than ever. I am convinced that the pandemic should be a lesson to all of us to try to find global solutions to global problems.”
"I am convinced that the pandemic should be a lesson to all of us to try to find global solutions to global problems."Victor do Prado