An open, transparent, inclusive, non-discriminatory and rules-based multilateral trading system remains an integral part of an enabling economic environment. The effective integration of developing countries into the multilateral trading system remains a priority, and ways and means should be found on how best to achieve this objective.
The objective of the multi-year expert meeting session is to exchange views, experiences and lessons learned regarding policies and measures at all levels to enhance the contribution of an enabling multilateral trading system in fostering inclusive and sustainable development.
The international community is set to define the post-2015 development framework and sustainable development goals wherein trade is expected to play a major catalytic role.
Experience suggests that the transmission of efficiency gains from trade integration to broad-based development is not automatic and remains to be established with conscious policy efforts. This will require coherent and integrated policy intervention supportive of structural transformation at macroeconomic and individual sectoral levels to build broad-based productive capacities with possibility for diversification, technological upgrading and job creation.
Such changing policy needs and priorities should be supported by an enabling economic environment, of which an open, transparent, inclusive, non-discriminatory and rules-based multilateral trading and financial system remains an integral part.
Despite recurrent setbacks, multilateralism remains a global public good to be supported and upheld. The centrality and strength of the multilateral trading system are increasingly under stress as the global trade governance becomes fragmented with the increased prevalence of regional and plurilateral processes.
While the ninth Ministerial Conference of the World Trade Organization (3-6 December 2013, Bali, Indonesia) adopted a package of decisions, including the Agreement on Trade Facilitation, difficulties in implementing the Bali package has again cast uncertainty over the prospects for the post-Bali work to conclude the Doha Round. Efforts are needed to ensure that multilateral and other processes can create an enabling environment for sustainable development.
Issues to be addressed:
Promoting greater understanding as to how the multilateral trading system can contribute to inclusive and sustainable development;
Enhancing understanding on how the multilateral trading system has contributed to the Millennium Development Goals and how this contribution can be considered and enhanced in the future implementation of internationally agreed development goals;
Exchanging experiences and lessons to promote a coherent and integrated approach to trade and inclusive and sustainable development at the national, regional and international levels;
Promoting greater understanding on the impact of non-tariff measures/barriers on the trade and development prospects of developing countries and identifying possible ways and means of addressing them.
Input from experts
Experts nominated by member States are encouraged to submit brief papers (approximately 5-12 pages) as contributions to the work of the meeting.
The papers will be made available at the meeting in the form and language in which they are received. They should be submitted to the UNCTAD secretariat in advance of the meeting and addressed to email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org.