The details of the MAI negotiations were little known until a draft agreement was leaked in March 1997.  The leaks have drawn criticism from various NGOs around the world. As a result, negotiations failed in 1998, when France and other countries gradually withdrew after pressure from a global movement of NGOs, citizens` groups and a number of developing country governments. In April 1998, negotiations were formally suspended for six months.  On 3 December 1998, the OECD announced that “the MAI negotiations are no longer taking place”.  They do not have as much impact on economic growth as a multilateral agreement. The creation of the WTO on 1 January 1995 was the largest reform of international trade since the end of the Second World War. While GATT was primarily involved in merchandise trade, the WTO and its agreements also deal with trade in services and intellectual property. The creation of the WTO has also created new dispute settlement procedures. In order for states to feel confident that their interests are indivisible, multilateral agreements tend to include a mechanism to ensure that countries act in accordance with the standards provided. This principle of dispute resolution is the third principle related to multilateralism. Different methods are available to ensure compliance with the rules, for example through .B peer review, which could be consistent with more informal agreements, or through the creation of a formalized body to which complaints can be filed. A dispute settlement system allows participating countries to consider their interests to be indivisible and to accept relationships of diffuse reciprocity: they know that if the expected benefits are not achieved because other participants are not respected, there is a mechanism to seek redress.
The rise of nationalist ideologies and sluggish economic conditions after the war served to disrupt world trade and dismantle the trade networks that had marked the previous century. The new wave of protectionist barriers prompted the newly created League of Nations to hold the first world economic conference in 1927 to outline a multilateral trade agreement. Nevertheless, the agreement would have little impact, as the onset of the Great Depression triggered a new wave of protectionism. The economic uncertainty and extreme nationalism of that time created the conditions for the outbreak of the Second World War. In approving the negotiations, the OECD Council of Ministers set itself the goal of achieving a “broad multilateral framework for international investment, with high standards for the liberalisation of investment regimes and the protection of investment and effective dispute resolution procedures.”  The aim was to create more harmonised, secure and stable investment conditions and to regulate investments in a more coherent, transparent and enforceable manner.