T 53 – Washington 1999: The Annual Meeting of the Trilateral Commission


Members of the Trilateral Commmission gathered for their 1999 annual meeting in Washington, D.C., on March 13-15.

The Commission’s ongoing interest in the management of a globalizing international economy and the associated challenges for emerging and Trilateral countries was evident throughout the meeting. This publication begins with the remarks of the World Bank’s James Wolfensohn and the IMF’s Stanley Fischer, who opened the two parts of the session on “The International Community and the World Economy.” Among emerging economies, the prospects for Brazil and its neighbors after the January collapse of the real were at the center of the session led by André Lara Resende and Domingo Cavallo (Section 8). The challenges for East Asia with the financial crisis of the region easing somewhat were a large part of the context for the remarks of Tommy Koh, Jusuf Wanandi and Yuan Ming (Section 7). One theme in the East Asia session was the importance of continuing reform. As Tommy Koh put it, “My fear is not that East Asia will not recover; my fear is that it will recover too soon. If it recovers too soon, the momentum for reform will fade.” Andrei Kokoshin and Serhiy Holovaty spoke of the reform process in Russia and Ukraine, respectively (Sections 9 and 10). The changing world economy also presents deep challenges to Trilateral countries, addressed in the remarks of John Sweeney, Yotaro Kobayashi and Edmond Alphandéry (Section 3).

The Washington meeting took place just before the collapse of the Kosovo negotiations in France and the beginning of the NATO bombing campaign. The unfolding crisis in Kosovo dominated the discussion with Javier Solana, Secretary-General of NATO, who also spoke of the upcoming NATO Summit and the formal entry into the NATO of Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic only a few days before. Kosovo came up most poignantly in the remarks of UN High Commissioner for Refugees Sadako Ogata, already struggling with great human insecurity on the ground. Mrs. Ogata, with Rudolf Scharping and John Deutch, opened the session on “Security Challenges in a New Era” (Section 4).

As the host region, the United States (Section 5) and Canada (Section 6) were given special attention in the Washington meeting. Canadian Industry Minister John Manley set out an impressive range of initiatives for “connecting Canadians” to the Internet. Lee Hamilton and Chuck Hagel led the session on “Congress and U.S. International Leadership.” Treasury’s Larry Summers and the State Department’s Thomas Pickering spoke to the meeting. The values which Trilateral countries share relate not only to foreign policy and international interests but also to the successful functioning of our democratic societies. Among the basic societal challenges for the United States are those of its larger central cities. Just after the Washington meeting a number of members participated in a program with this focus in Baltimore, led by Trilateral member and Baltimore Mayor Kurt Schmoke.

The essays by Robert Zoellick, Hisashi Owada and Peter Sutherland which framed the whole Washington meeting will be published separately under the overall title 21st Century Strategies of Trilateral Countries: In Concert or Conflict? Brief excerpts of these individual essays are presented here (Section 2). 


Ed: Damon C. Morris and Charles B. Heck
Contributions by: Robert B. Zoellick, Hisashi Owada, Peter Sutherland, Lee H. Hamilton, Chuck Hagel, John Sweeney, Yotaro Kobayashi, Edmond Alphandéry, John Manley, Tommy Koh, Jusuf Wanandi, Yuan Ming, André Lara Resende, Domingo Cavallo, Andrei Kokoshin, Serhiy Holovaty, Rudolf Scharping, John M. Deutch, Sadako Ogata, Thomas R. Pickering, James Wolfensohn, Stanley Fischer, Toyoo Gyohten, Niels Thygesen, Jim Leach. 

Table of Contents

The International Community and the World Economy
James Wolfensohn—Underlying Human, Social, and Structural Problems Must Be Addressed
Stanley Fischer —Ten Tentative Conclusions from the Past Three Years
Toyoo Gyohten —Two Lessons of the East Asian Financial Crisis
Niels Thygesen —Aspects of Improving the International Financial System
Jim Leach —Maintaining Perspective on the Modest Roles of International Institutions

21st Century Strategies of Trilateral Countries
Robert B. Zoellick —The United States
Hisashi Owada—Pax Consortis in an Age of Interdependence: The Challenge for Japan
Peter D. Sutherland—Europe’s Global Role Dependent on Successful Internal Reform

Trilateral Economies in a Turbulent Global Economy
John Sweeney —The Global Economy: The Need To Act
Yotaro Kobayashi —Revitalizing the Japanese Economy
Edmond Alphandéry —The Euro as Catalyst for European Reform

Security Challenges in a New Era
Rudolf Scharping —The Future of Trans-Atlantic Security Cooperation
John Deutch —The Security Agenda: Proliferation and Terrorism
Sadako Ogata —Conflict Resolution Mechanisms Do Not Match Today’s Conflicts
Javier Solana

U.S. Perspectives
Thomas Pickering —U.S. Policies: Iran, China, Russia
Lawrence Summers
Lee Hamilton —Congress and U.S. Foreign Policy
Chuck Hagel —Connecting Foreign Policy: Relevance, Challenge, and the Need for Leadership

John Manley —Canada and the Internet Revolution: Connecting Canadians

East Asia and the International System
Tommy Koh —East Asian Crosscurrents
Jusuf Wanandi —Moving East Asia Forward Again
Yuan Ming —China and the International System

Brazil’s Challenge
André Lara Resende —Brazil: Analyzing the Crisis And Prospects for Recovery
Domingo Cavallo —Success for Cardoso and Brazil is Critical for the Region

Andrei Kokoshin —Reform and Russia’s Future

Serhiy Holovaty —Ukraine at the Crossroads: Perspectives on Independence, Democracy, and Reform

  • Topics: Multilateral Cooperation
  • Region:  North America
  • Publisher:  The Trilateral Commission
  • Publication Date:  © 1999
  • Pages:  80
  • Complete Text: Click here to download