Introduction to Global Economic Governance

Reform of the World Trade Organization and International Financial Organizations

Global Levies or Taxes

Addressing Expenditures on Militarization

Corporate Accountability




Reform of the World Trade Organization and International Financial Organizations

WFM’s response to economic globalization, and in particular to the impact of the growing powers of the World Trade Organization (WTO), World Bank and other international financial institutions, is rooted in its principles for promoting international democracy. Demonstrations in Seattle, Genoa, Cancun and elsewhere signal a profound disconnect between citizens and the WTO, whose deliberations have significant effects on people's lives and livelihoods.

“Demonstrations in Seattle, Genoa, Cancun and elsewhere signal a profound disconnect between citizens and the WTO, whose deliberations have significant effects on people's lives and livelihoods. ”

WFM does not support the movement towards making the WTO the locus of global governance and asserts that the trade and finance ministers must not be given the power to determine global policy on human rights, environmental protection, advancement of the status of women, labor rights and other social and economic standards. However, while many NGOs argue for the elimination of the WTO and the Bretton Woods Institutions (BWIs), the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank, WFM’s perspective is that the solution is not the elimination of such organizations, but rather to strengthen other international institutions that deal with such issues as the environment, sustainable development and human rights as a matter of counterbalancing the current positions of WTO and the Bretton Woods Institutions. In this context, WFM emphasizes that the UN General Assembly’s supreme policy role should be affirmed and extended to the coordination of overall policy within the UN system including the BWIs and the WTO.

At the same time, WFM joins many other NGOs in their call for more democratic representation and processes within the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF), including greater transparency and accountability.

“WFM joins many other NGOs in their call for more democratic representation and processes within the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF), including greater transparency and accountability”


In viewing the parliamentary dimension as an important component of a democratic global order, world federalists have called for the creation of a WTO parliamentary body since the establishment of the Organization. The agenda setting and rule-making characteristics of the WTO directly impacts national legislative responsibilities and national trade-related governance is thus intersected. The establishment of a representative parliamentary assembly at the WTO would serve as a formal mechanism for accountability to the world’s people and be a necessary step towards democratizing one of the world’s most vital institutions in global governance. Accordingly, the proposals for a parliamentary assembly for the World Trade Organization as well as mechanisms for civil society participation deserve further study and consideration.