The Norwegian General Council statement on Appelate Body appointments - amendments of the dispute settlement understanding as Delivered by Ambassador Dagfinn Sørli.
12. December 2018
A well-functioning dispute settlement system in the WTO is essential.
Norway is deeply concerned about the present blockage of the process to fill vacancies on the Appellate Body. It is imperative that these vacancies are filled expeditiously.
At the same time, Norway recognizes the concerns raised by members in relation to the functioning of the Appellate Body. Even if we do not share those concerns, we are willing to listen and engage in a conversation about those concerns. This is why we are among the co-sponsors of the joint statement that the EU introduced under item 7A of today’s agenda. This is also the reason why we decided to cosponsor the communication presented under item 7B.
It is our hope that we by submitting proposed amendments of certain provisions of the DSU, enable members to start a substantive discussion to address concerns that have been raised such as the issues of 90 days and precedent.
Norway encourages all members to engage in a dialogue on these and other concerns. We would like to hear about and learn from other members’ assessment of the situation. It is only by talking to one another, explaining our perspectives and looking for solutions that are acceptable to all that we will be able to make progress and resolve the current crisis.
This being said, it is crucial that any solution does not jeopardize the integrity of the dispute settlement system.