Events, World Trade Organization

Event: The start of a new era for sustainable development at the WTO?

A 90-minute Zoom Webinar and Roundtable with the current Chair and former Chairs of the WTO Committee on Trade & Environment. Borderlex is pleased to be media partner of this event.

When: 12 January 2021, 4:00pm CET


The Covid-19 crisis has revealed the world’s vulnerability to global shocks.  These exceptional circumstances have prompted a reflection on the relationship between trade and fundamental non-trade interests and objectives.

One of the biggest looming shocks is climate change. The World Trade Organization  and its Members are currently building on this momentum to elevate climate change on the trade agenda and rethink the relationship between trade and the environment. How can we ensure that the environment is no longer considered as a mere externality of trade and that the multilateral trading system actually fulfils its objective of sustainable development?

This topic is continuously discussed in the WTO Committee on Trade and Environment. During the Trade & Environment Week at the WTO, in November of 2020, a group of WTO Members declared their intention to initiate “structured discussions” to advance work on trade and environmental sustainability, and a dialogue with external stakeholders such as academics, businesses, civil society members.

The current chair and former chairs of the CTE will debate on:

  • The current WTO approach to trade & the environment and its shortcomings in pursuing sustainable development goals;
  • Whether and how to rethink the relationship between trade and environment at the WTO;
  • New initiatives and on-going negotiations at the WTO;
  • Engagement with external stakeholders;
  • Possible reforms, and the way forward (with a new US administration and a new WTO Director General).

Roundtable participants:

  • Ambassador Chad Blackman, Permanent Representative of Barbados to the United Nations and the WTO, Chair of the WTO committee on Trade & Environment;
  • Ambassador Manuel Teehankee, Permanent Representative of the Philippines to the WTO, former chair of the WTO committee on Trade & Environment;
  • Jean-Marie Paugam, Permanent Delegate of France to the WTO, former chair of the WTO committee on Trade & Environment.


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