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The WTO at 20 Conference

  • SNU PR
  • August 28, 2015
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Event: The WTO at 20 Conference
Date: 09:30, August 28 (Fri), 2015
Venue: SNU Faculty Club

Good Morning, distinguished guests, professors and students.

It is my great pleasure to have invited all the distinguished guests to our campus of Seoul National University for such a meaningful conference to congratulate the 20th anniversary of the WTO.

Along with the commencement ceremony happening at this moment, the festivity at its peak on our campus also maximizes the excitement of commemorating the 20th birthday of the WTO. Seoul National University, as a representative institution of higher education and dedicative research in Korea, is very happy to co-host this conference with the WTO.

For the last 20 years, the WTO has been the linchpin of promoting transparent and multilateral trade rules which have made crucial contribution to growth and resilience of the global economy. Above all, the WTO dispute settlement system has achieved the most effective results in sustaining and establishing fair and stable multilateral trading regime. It is noteworthy of praising strict impartiality and rigorous legal reviews of the Appellate Body, which provided the foundation for the current thrive of the WTO dispute settlement system. A total of 25 former and current members of the Appellate Body have devoted their efforts for the maintenance and development of the WTO system. Today we are especially grateful to six of the current seven Appellate Body Members – Professor Peter van den Bossche, the Chairman of the Appellate Body, Ambassador Ujal Singh Bhatia, Ms. Yuejiao Zhang, Mr. Ricardo Ramirez-Hernandez, Mr. Thomas R. Graham, and Professor Seung Wha Chang – to have gladly joined this wonderful occasion.

The WTO Dispute Settlement System has also been influential in shaping the past and current trade and industrial policies of Korea. Currently there are four cases involving Korea in panel proceedings, three disputes related to US anti-dumping measures and one dispute about import bans against Japanese fishery products. We also hope for rapid and objective decisions from the WTO Dispute Settlement Body to effectively resolve the ongoing conflicts. As the President of Seoul National University, I cannot appreciate more on the role of our own faculty member, Professor Seung Wha Chang, working as the Appellate Body member in the WTO. In fact, along with Professor Chang, our alumni and faculties, Professor Jin-Hyun Paik, who currently serves as Judge of the International Tribunal of the Law of the Sea and Professor Sang-Hyun Song, who has served as Presidency of International Criminal Court, have actively contributed to the development of international judicial systems. As myself from the Law Faculty, I am more than proud to see enlarging contribution of our faculty and hope to see more roles in the international arena in the future.

Today, I wish the most fruitful achievements of the conference for another sustainable decade of the WTO. For all the renowned scholars and legal practitioners who have willingly gathered today, I also hope you keep up your keen efforts for the development and prosperity of the global trading regime.

I hope you all enjoy your stay in Seoul National University.

Thank you very much.
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