Dec 21, 2015

What WTO can learn from COP

Negotiation technique matters especially when consensus is the key. COP came up with a solid document at the end of recently completed summit at Paris. WTO came up with a limp document at the recently concluded Nairobi meet.
Both summits mandated consensus approach. WTO ministers at Nairobi quibbled over things, the country reps met in suspicious groupings, and tried to outsmart each other.  On the other hand, COP summit had groups engaging in fruitful discussions and finally came up with decently good promises from each participating members. COP might have fallen short in the eyes of some climate pundits, but it was satisfactory to all the participants. WTO outcome was one more inconclusive document, reiterating nonsense, and was yet not satisfactory to many, including India, for various reasons. 
COP used negotiation method of 'Indaba' used by native African tribes like Zulu and Xhosa. More about how this method apparently helped here
WTO is fast moving towards irrelevance. Time to think of better negotiation techniques?