Import Ref: 
38
Import Imported: 
1

On 19 May, ICTSD organised an informal roundtable aimed at examining means to advance Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 14.6 through fisheries subsidies disciplines in the WTO ahead of the 11th Ministerial Conference in Buenos Aires and beyond, with particular attention paid to subsidies to illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing.

Negotiations towards a possible agreement on fisheries are gaining momentum; several WTO Members have repeatedly highlighted this issue as a possible deliverable for the next ministerial conference. Recent proposals tabled in the WTO Rules Negotiating Group on fisheries subsidies include proposals for prohibiting subsidies provided to vessels and operators involved in IUU fishing. Some proposals suggest a general prohibition of all subsidies to IUU fishing as defined in the IPOA-IUU. For some, the prohibition should apply to any subsidy granted to a vessel or an operator identified in the IUU fishing list of the subsidising member or a regional fisheries management organisation (RFMO). The negotiations involve technical questions that require clarification, including how national and RFMO IUU vessel lists are constructed, what the exact scope of the prohibition should be and what type of technical assistance or transition periods might be needed.

This workshop aims to provide negotiators with a better understanding of these technical issues, starting with how IUU fishing is defined and then moving to the operational implications of potential disciplines, in particular how IUU activity could be identified and how a prohibition on subsidies to IUU fishing could be applied. The roundtable helped to build convergence by providing a neutral space for informal dialogue among leading WTO negotiators and selected fisheries experts on the specific challenges under discussion. Issues covered ranged from the definition of IUU fishing to how RFMO vessel lists are constructed and how a prohibition on subsidies to IUU fishing could be operationalised.

The meeting followed on from the E15 Engagement Day on the WTO and MC11, held on 26 September 2016, as part of a series of dialogues to be organised over the course of the year to delve further into selected topics as they evolve.

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Place: 
Geneva, Switzerland
Event type: 
Our events
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Region: 
Global
Main Tag: 
E15Initiative
programme: 
programme 1
Language: 
English
Date period: 
Friday, 19 May 2017 - 3:21pm

On 13 June, ICTSD organised an informal roundtable aimed at examining means to advance Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 14.6 through fisheries subsidies disciplines in the WTO ahead of the 11th Ministerial Conference in Buenos Aires and beyond, with particular attention paid to subsidies and overfished stocks. This dialogue was organised as part of the E15 Initiative engagement process initiated in 2016 alongside the negotiations to address knowledge gaps arising from the talks.

Several recent proposals on fisheries subsidies tabled in the WTO Rules Negotiating Group include the idea of prohibiting subsidies that have a negative effect on stocks that are already overfished. Discussions on the idea have led to a range of questions related to the potential scope of such a prohibition, how overfished stocks would be identified and how such a prohibition would be applied.

This roundtable sought to build convergence by providing a neutral space for informal dialogue among leading WTO negotiators and selected fisheries experts on the specific challenges under discussion. Issues covered included the current information available at a global level on the state of fish stocks, the role of national and regional bodies in assessing fish stocks, and how the disciplines could address specific challenges like data-poor fisheries and by-catch in fisheries.

The meeting followed on from the E15 Engagement Day on the WTO and MC11, held on 26 September 2016, as part of a series of dialogues to be organised over the course of the year to delve further into selected topics as they evolve.

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Place: 
Geneva, Switzerland
Event type: 
Our events
Image: 
Promote to homepage: 
No
Main Tag: 
E15Initiative
programme: 
programme 1
Language: 
English
Date period: 
Tuesday, 13 June 2017 - 3:05pm

On 2 June, the fourth dialogue on the trajectory of investment for sustainable development, following on from the E15 Initiative, was jointly organised by ICTSD and the World Economic Forum with the support of the Government of the Netherlands.

The dialogue aims to deepen discussions on clarifying the linkages between investment and sustainable development by developing an indicative list of sustainability-oriented attributes most often sought after when facilitating cross-border investment flows.

Such an indicative list of characteristics could benefit negotiators of international investment agreements seeking to take sustainability considerations into account when negotiating such treaties; host country governments and investment promotion agencies seeking to attract sustainable foreign direct investment (FDI); home country governments supporting their firms to investment abroad; arbitrators in international investment disputes seeking to account for the development impact of investment projects; and intergovernmental organisations seeking to develop their own guidelines to further the sustainable development impact of FDI, among a host of additional actors.

The objective of the dialogue is to examine the rationale for developing the list, by considering its use in light of recent changes within the global political and business landscape, and to review sustainability-oriented attributes most often mentioned in various international and domestic instruments dealing with multinational enterprises and FDI. Feedback was also given to mechanisms through which the sustainability characteristics can be promoted and aligned into formal political processes, including the WTO, the G20, G77, G33, and APEC, to name a few.

Should there be deeper international cooperation that may lead to a framework on investment facilitation, the characteristics could be integrated into the framework to provide guidance on what type of investments to prioritise when providing investment facilitation-related services.

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Place: 
Geneva, Switzerland
Event type: 
Our events
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Region: 
Global
Main Tag: 
E15Initiative
programme: 
programme 1
Language: 
English
Date period: 
Friday, 2 June 2017 - 4:48pm

On 12 June, ICTSD organised an informal roundtable on disciplining fossil fuel subsidies as part of the E15 Initiative, jointly implemented with the World Economic Forum. Discussions built on some of the options with respect to fossil fuel subsidies which emanated out of the expert-driven phase of the project in 2016.

Energy use is the biggest cause of climate change, accounting for two thirds of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions. An energy transition is therefore necessary and pressing. Importantly, it will enable emission abatement while also spurring economic growth and development through improved energy security and access through renewable and sometimes off-grid sources of energy, not least in poor counties. 

In spite of this, policies to stimulate such a transition are lagging. In fact, not only are measures like carbon pricing making slow progress, but in addition all major economies continue to subsidise both the exploration and the use of fossil fuels, thereby undermining the prospects of a speedy energy transition. Even in poor countries, fossil fuel subsidies (FFS) are being used, often with the intention to support the poor populations, however mostly missing the target. 

There are tools available in the trade system to address this, which are currently not being fully utilised  notification of fossil fuel subsidies to the WTO under the Agreement on Subsidies and Countervailing Measures is inadequate, the dispute settlement system has not yet provided any guidance, and any attempts to hold discussions about climate change in the WTO Committee on Trade and Environment (CTE) struggle to get off the ground. In addition to making use of these tools, the magnitude of the climate threat may be a reason to step up efforts and to sharpen trade rules. 

In order to make progress towards this end, it is necessary to build a solid technical and legal understanding about the trade-related options to addressing FFS, and to engage trade policymakers in an open and constructive dialogue. This workshop aims to provide negotiators with a better understanding of these technical issues and will help build convergence by providing a neutral space for informal dialogue among leading WTO negotiators and selected experts on the specific challenges under discussion. 

The meeting follows on from the E15 Engagement Day on the WTO and MC11, held on 26 September 2016, and forms part of a series of dialogues being organised over the course of the year to delve further into selected topics as they evolve.

Undefined
Place: 
Geneva, Switzerland
Event type: 
Our events
Image: 
Promote to homepage: 
No
Region: 
Global
Main Tag: 
E15Initiative
programme: 
programme 1
Language: 
English
Date period: 
Monday, 12 June 2017 - 10:42am

On 5 April, ICTSD organised an informal roundtable dialogue bringing together Latin American trade ministers in partnership with the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and the World Economic Forum System Initiative on Shaping the Future of International Trade and Investment.

Innovations in information and communication technologies (ICTs), combined with the explosive growth of the digital economy, are increasingly blurring the borders of national economies. In addition, over the last year, prospects for economic integration and the evolution of the international trade and investment regime have suffered setbacks with the Brexit vote and the election of a government in the White House that has introduced critical changes in the international trade order. The electoral debate in several countries key for the global economy has focused on the impacts of globalisation on the distribution of wealth, inequity, and the environment. All this occurs in a moment when the global trade and investment system has become more complex.

The G20 is currently the only instance of intergovernmental deliberation with the intrinsic competitive advantage of being able to consider the whole system, from the multilateral level of the WTO to regional agreements, proposals for mega-regional consolidation, and the changing investment regime. In this context, the effective coordination of macroeconomic and growth policies established in the G20 also assumes increasing relevance, even more now that the G20 has gone from the monitoring and containment of protectionism to a pro-active dynamic of vision for and coordination of the complex global trade system since China’s 2016 G20 Presidency.

The present high-level Informal Ministerial Dialogue also brought together a select group of international experts and analysts from academia and international organisations, with the intention of exploring the priorities for the region in the G20 and the recently created Trade and Investment Working Group.  The G20 presidency, to be taken over by Argentina at the conclusion of 2017, represents a unique opportunity for Latin America to discuss and eventually promote its agenda in this moment of perplexity about the future of economic integration.

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Place: 
Buenos Aires, Argentina
Event type: 
Our events
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Region: 
Global
Main Tag: 
RTA Exchange
programme: 
programme 1
Language: 
English
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Date period: 
Wednesday, 5 April 2017 - 3:04pm