Information
  • Lead-organizer: World Trade Organization (WTO)
  • 13:00 - 14:30
  • Date: 20 Jun 2012
  • Room: T-2

Documents
Multilateral Co-operation Towards Sustainable Development

Organizing partners

World Trade Organization

Introduction

The high-level side event "Multilateral Co-operation Towards Sustainable Development: A Rio+20 Dialogue with the Heads of WTO, UNEP and ILO" wil explore the contribution that Rio+20 can make to enhance coherence among systems of governance in the transition to a green economy. It will highlight the importance of international dialogue both to promote a better understanding of the links between trade, environment and social policies and to assist countries in designing and implementing sound sustainable development policy frameworks tailored to their unique goals and priorities. The side event will offer an opportunity to explore possible avenues for strengthening cooperation among WTO, UNEP, and ILO in support of the expected outcomes from Rio+20.



The side event will include interventions by:



? Mr. Pascal LAMY, Director-General of the World Trade Organization (WTO);



? Mr. Juan SOMAVIA, Director-General of the International Labour Organization (ILO); and



? Mr. Achim STEINER, Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).

Detailed programme

WTO High Level Side Event at the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Multilateral Co-operation Towards Sustainable Development: A Rio+20 Dialogue with the Heads of WTO, UNEP and ILO

Mounting economic and environmental challenges have propelled countries around the world to introduce policies to make their economies greener ? cleaner and more resource-efficient, resilient, and inclusive. There is no unique prescription to ensure a successful transition to a green economy, and countries are following different paths to achieve their green economy goals, depending on their level of development, institutional capacity, resource endowment, and other particular conditions and priorities.

While uniform progress among countries along green economy pathways to sustainable development cannot be expected, a necessary condition to ensure progress is the implementation of coherent national policy frameworks that contribute to poverty eradication, greater employment opportunities, and a strong and sustainable economy. Open and predictable trade policies are key ingredients of such a framework, as are policies that promote green and decent jobs, and policies that create strong incentives to reduce carbon emissions and pollution, enhance energy and resource efficiency, and prevent the loss of biodiversity and ecosystem services.

The shift to the green economy involves challenges and opportunities. With countries scaling up policy action, green economy measures are becoming increasingly important in determining access to foreign markets. This has raised concerns about green protectionism, that is, the possible use of green economy measures to shield domestic producers from international competition. Multilateral co-operation and dialogue can help countries overcome green protectionism and lay the foundation for increased trade, green job gains, and more sustainable patterns of consumption and production.

The purpose of this high-level side event is to emphasize the contribution that Rio+20 can make to enhance coherence among systems of governance in the transition to a green economy. The side event will highlight the importance of international dialogue both to promote a better understanding of the links between trade, environment and social policies and to assist countries in designing and implementing sound sustainable development policy frameworks that are tailored to their unique goals and priorities. The side event will offer an opportunity to explore possible avenues for strengthening cooperation among WTO, UNEP, and ILO in support of the expected outcomes from Rio+20.

The side event will include interventions by:

? Mr. Pascal LAMY, Director-General of the World Trade Organization (WTO);

? Mr. Juan SOMAVIA, Director-General of the International Labour Organization (ILO); and

? Mr. Achim STEINER, Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).

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