Meeting of Experts on Trade and Investment Impacts of Environmental Management Standards, Particularly the ISO 14000, on Developing Countries
29 - 31 October 1997

Key Issues


The Commission on Trade in Goods and Services at its session in February 1997 has decided to convene an Expert Meeting to "examine the operation, and the possible trade and investment impacts, of environmental management standards, particularly the ISO 14000 series, on developing countries, and the identification of possible opportunities in this context". The agenda, together with the secretariat´s annotations has been circulated as document TD/B/COM.1/EM.4/1.


The objective of the Meeting is to enhance the understanding of the issues under discussion, as well as to elaborate on the policy choices that governments and the business sector are facing in the context of environmental management standards, in particular in the context of developing countries´ trade.


Experts from Governments, the International Standards Organization (ISO), United Nations specialized agencies, standardisation and accreditation bodies, and industry associations have been invited to deliver presentations, which will be followed by discussion by all participants. In the context of Environmental Management Standards the following issues will be covered: operational issues; trade and investment effects; the case of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs); certification and accreditation issues; and the needs of developing countries.

The UNCTAD secretariat has prepared a background paper (TD/B/COM.1/EM.4/2) which discusses the above issues. Participating experts are also invited to present short papers. To view the schedule of meetings click here.


In accordance with paragraph 114 of "A Partnership for Growth and Development", experts should be nominated by Governments, should have proven experience and will serve the Expert Meeting in their personal capacities.
There is no registration fee for the meeting.

Report of the Expert Meeting

At its closing meeting, on 31 October 1997, the Expert Meeting adopted recommendations on item 3 of its agenda circulated in TD/B/COM.1/10 - TD/B/COM.1/EM.4/3

All enquiries should be addressed toö th office of the Secretary of the Board, Tel: + 4122 907 48 15; Fax: + 4122 907 00 56; e-mail:


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Charlie Hebdo