Bilkent University conferred an honorary doctoral degree in the field of social sciences on Pascal Lamy, the director-general of the World Trade Organization, at a ceremony held on Friday, March 15 at Mithat Çoruh Auditorium.

As a preface to his talk, entitled "The WTO in Global Governance -- Solid, Liquid\ Gaseous?," Mr. Lamy expressed his sentiments upon the occasion of receiving an honorary degree from Bilkent.

"Being with you in 'bilim kenti,' the city of learning and science, I am both honored and moved. ‘Honored’ because there is nothing more humbling than to stand here before you today, in this house of knowledge, to speak about the place of the World Trade Organization in the global governance architecture…. ‘Moved’ because I still remember the very founder of this institution, İhsan Doğramacı, who had contributed to the establishment of numerous public institutions of higher learning, who had served as rector of Ankara University, and as founder and first rector of Hacettepe University."

Throughout his remarks, Mr. Lamy focused on the role of the WTO as an instrument of international governance. But he also offered more general reflections on the state of the world and its nations today. We are headed, he said, "towards more globalization, not less. Technology, the engine of globalization, does not move backwards. We are headed towards deeper integration, wider cooperation, an even greater sharing of responsibilities and interests."

Given this ever-advancing and deepening process of globalization, an international framework of governance is, in Mr. Lamy's view, essential. "Governing this globalized world can be messy and frustrating. But the fiction that there is an alternative is naive and dangerous. Naive because it ignores that we are becoming more -- not less -- dependent on one another. Dangerous because it risks plunging us back to our divided past -- with all of its conflicts and tragedies."

Mr. Lamy concluded with his vision for the future: "a system of global governance that enshrines the concept of hard and enforceable law, that respects the principle of subsidiarity, that fosters greater coherence, that takes international issues as close as possible to ‘home’ for each and every citizen amongst us. It must be based on values that can be shared across civilizations, cultures and religions." In sum, he said, returning to the theme stated in the title of his talk, "we need more solid governance systems, and less liquid and gaseous ones."

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