Non-state actors have become increasingly important drivers of sustainable trade. The Children’s Rights and Business Principles is an innovative approach for businesses to integrate children’s rights and impact on families into supply chains, product and marketing, and community development. An increasing number of standards are working to mainstream gender equality. These schemes will support millions of children, women, and households, enable businesses to meet their Triple Bottom Line, and contribute to governments’ attainment of the SDGs, especially in relation to SDG 12 (sustainable consumption and production) and long-term competitiveness.

This session discussed concrete and practical examples of solutions from company leaders and experts from different parts of the world on how integrating children and women rights can improve brand reputation, risk management, and contribute to the SDGs. The session addressed the impact of global changes, such as rising South-South trade and technology disruptions, on sustainability frameworks for business impact on women and children.

Main takeaways

  • A narrow focus on child labour or gender provisions in standards risks neglecting the myriad other ways that trade affects the welfare of children, women, and other disadvantaged actors in international trade. Trade policy influences a wide range of aspects of child and female welfare, and policymakers and firms should mainstream an understanding of these impacts into how they do business.
  • Companies are learning how to improve the livelihoods of their suppliers, including through partnerships with NGOs that address the real concerns faced by women in their supply chains.
  • Concerns are often raised that providing good conditions for women and children is costly, and that international trade heightens competitive pressures such that those costs become unaffordable, spurring a race to the bottom. This is to be avoided. Using sustainability standards as a way to market compliance with social and labour norms is one way to do so, but it is also true that improving the livelihoods of suppliers does not necessarily increase prices.
  • Trade policy can promote gender equality by focusing on female-dominated sectors; making sure that gender provisions are supported as legitimate in trade dispute settlement mechanisms; and including sections in regional agreements, as in the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership, that prevent a race to the bottom in tax competition, labour, and related areas.

This event was organised as part of the WTO Public Forum 2018.

Ricardo Meléndez-Ortiz, Chief Executive of ICTSD, is the moderator.

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Place: 
Room S2, WTO
Event type: 
Our events
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No
Updates: 
Looking at Trade from a Gender PerspectiveAborder le commerce sous l’angle du genre
Region: 
Africa
Main Tag: 
Standards
programme: 
programme 1
Language: 
English
Partners: 

Date period: 
Tuesday, 2 October 2018 - 11:30am to 1:00pm

In supporting and participating in the organisation of this regional multistakeholder policy dialogue on the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), ICTSD aimed at filling important knowledge gaps around the agreement’s implementation and phase 2 negotiations commencing in August 2018. In particular, this covered areas such as e-commerce, investment facilitation, competition, and intellectual property as well as gender equality.

The dialogue created an open and inclusive space for debate on the substance and form of the AfCFTA. Discussions assessed the strengths and weaknesses of the AfCFTA process and put forward recommendations intended to facilitate its optimal implementation in the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) region and identify effective paths forward for the next phase of negotiations.

Main takeaways

  • Rules of origin: it will be important to clearly and accurately define the criteria that will enable the identification of products originating from within the regional space. The meeting recommended that negotiators adopt flexible rules of origin with a view of ensuring priority access for African companies to the continental market and so that countries can develop their productive capacities and create regional and continental value chains.
  • Sensitive and excluded products: consensus must be reached on sensitive products and also an explicit determination of the products excluded from the free trade area.
  • Different levels of development: while embracing an ambitious agenda of regional integration, the varying socioeconomic realities, industrialisation needs, and structural deficits across countries and regions need to be taken into consideration.
  • Participation: the lack of broad and inclusive consultations with all relevant stakeholders at national and regional levels has been a major deficiency that has driven legitimate concerns expressed by actors in many countries regarding the trade deal’s outcomes.
  • Timelines: in some instances, accelerated negotiations and tight deadlines have not allowed for proper analyses and evaluations to be carried out in order to formulate informed and shared positions – including in relation to political economy considerations.
  • Regional Economic Communities (RECs): the AfCFTA must be designed as an instrument to strengthen the achievements of the RECs. It was recommended that ECOWAS countries should preserve the integrity of the customs union, in particular by preventing members from making commitments or implementing the AfCFTA individually and/or outside of their regional obligations.
  • Coherence with external commitments: Participants agreed that it was important to seize the opportunity of the AfCFTA negotiations to review a number of existing agreements between African countries and regions with their external partners, in particular the Economic Partnership Agreements (EPA) with the European Union, and to revise certain protocols and agreements intra-regional where necessary;

The dialogue was initiated by a group of regional and international organisations, and actors, including the African Center for Trade, Integration and Development (Enda CACID), the United Nations Institute for Economic Development and Planning (IDEP), the Third World Network Africa (TWN Africa), the International Center for Trade and Sustainable Development (ICTSD), and the International Organization of La Francophonie (OIF). The Commissions of the African Union, ECOWAS, and ECCAS, the OSIWA Foundation, and GIZ provided technical and financial support.

A full meeting report prepared by Enda Cacid is available in English and in French.

Attendance was by invitation only.

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Place: 
Dakar, Senegal
Event type: 
Our events
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Yes
Updates: 
Ratification of African Continental Free Trade Area Gets UnderwayAfrican Leaders Launch Continental Free Trade AreaUS, African Officials Prepare for Post-AGOA Trade Future
Region: 
Africa
programme: 
programme 1
Language: 
English
Partners: 

CACID Logo...

Date period: 
Thursday, 26 July 2018 - 8:30am to Friday, 27 July 2018 - 6:00pm

Room W. Centre William Rapard, ©WTO

 

The ELSA Moot Court Competition on WTO Law (EMC2) is a student-organized competition designed to enhance knowledge of international trade law and WTO dispute settlement procedures. ELSA is especially dedicated to enhance capacity for meaningful engagement in multilateral trade in the long term.

 

ELSA Moot Court Competition on WTO Law (EMC2) 

The European Law Students’ Association (ELSA) is an international, independent, non-political, non-profit organization run by and for students and young lawyers since 1981. The EMC2 is one of the flagship activities of ELSA since 2002.

The main aim of the Competition is to assist countries in developing their technical legal capacity by preparing the next generation of trade lawyers and negotiators. With technical support from the WTO, the Competition has grown to become the only global moot court competition on WTO Law.

Participants from around the world send in written submissions, for the complainant and respondent, in a fictitious case. After sending their submissions, all the teams are given the opportunity to present oral arguments in front of panels which consist of WTO and trade law experts. Winning teams from five Regional Rounds (two European Rounds; an Asia-Pacific Round; an All-American Round; and for the last three years, an African Round) compete against each other in the Final Oral Round held in Geneva, Switzerland at the WTO headquarters. 

The African Regional Round of EMC2

The African Regional Round was held for the first time in 2013, and has since grown in terms of participation and support of universities in the region. The organizers welcome donations and other forms of support in order to encourage and sustain the active participation of universities in the region.

 

Who has participated?

In the first ever Africa Regional Round held in 2013, 7 teams from 6 different countries participated. In 2015, 8 teams from 5 countries participated: Kenya, Lesotho, South Africa, Tanzania, and Uganda. Two of these teams also included nationals from Zimbabwe and the Democratic Republic of Congo. In 2016, 10 teams competed from various African countries, including: Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Ethiopia and South Africa. In 2017, teams from Ethiopia, Kenya, South Africa, Tanzania, Liberia, Lesotho, and Uganda participated. This year, teams from 10 different countries (Ethiopia, Malawi, Kenya, South Africa, Tanzania, Lesotho, Tunisia, Zimbabwe, Nigeria and Uganda) will participate, with Nigeria, Tunisia and Zimbabwe joining the competition for the first time.

 

How to get involved?

Your valued contribution will help ELSA International in supporting the participation of students in the region at the African Regional Round and the final Oral Round in Geneva in June. Donation instructions can be found at > emc2.elsa.org/partners/ (Please indicate Support for the African Teams as donation purpose)

 

ICTSD as a sponsor

The goal of ICTSD is to advance sustainable development through trade-related policy making. ICTSD strives to ultimately strengthen developing countries’ legal capacity.

Since 2014, ICTSD has been providing institutional support to the African Round of EMC2 as a sponsor. ICTSD considers the Competition as one of the keys to having a pool of young talents in the field and in turn further the legal capacity in the region. 

 

Participant's testimony

“Taking part in this competition opened my eyes to a whole new world with possibilities I had never even contemplated. The moot gave me insight into the world of WTO dispute resolution and actually got me interested in pursuing this as a career option. The moot fueled my desire to one day be among the few international trade law specialist lawyers in Africa.” 

Diana Rufaro Machingaidze, participant 2014/2015

 

The 2017-2018 Round

25 April – 29 April 2018

Strathmore University, Nairobi

EMC2, African Round > emc2.elsa.org 

 

The Hosting University

Strathmore University participated in last year’s African Regional Rounds of the EMC2 with success. This participation has resulted in increased academic interest among students and faculty at the university, and incentivized students to enhance their capacities in this field through further study or relevant career path.  The Strathmore Law School has decided to host the African Regional Round in order to contribute to this important capacity building initiative, which has already created enormous opportunities for learning and personal growth among African students. Strathmore Law School (SLS) is one of the constituent schools of Strathmore University (SU), a leading non-profit private university in Kenya, which aims at serving the Kenyan society to the best of its ability. SU holds a peerless reputation for quality in academic and professional education as well as personal formation. 

 

Undefined
Place: 
Strathmore University
Event type: 
We participate
Theme: 
TRADE LAW
Promote to homepage: 
No
Region: 
Africa
Main Tag: 
Event
programme: 
programme 1
Language: 
English
Date period: 
Wednesday, 25 April 2018 - 10:00am to Sunday, 29 April 2018 - 10:00am

The ability to participate in global trade depends increasingly on compliance with quality standards and technical regulations of export markets. The inability to demonstrate compliance with these standards and regulations often translates into significant technical barriers to trade.

While IT and connectivity – "clicks" – offer great trade potential, basic quality infrastructure – "bricks" – is still essential to market access. A well-functioning and reliable quality infrastructure system – consisting of standardization, metrology, testing, quality management, certification and accreditation – is increasingly becoming a sine-qua-non for trade. Yet, this basic support system is not always available or fully-functional in developing countries. In consequence, SMEs either incur high costs and lengthy procedures to acquire the necessary services abroad or are prevented altogether from exporting. Therefore, the development of an internationally recognized quality infrastructure is crucial for a country wanting to connect to global value chains.

The event discussed adapted solutions to a countries’ specific needs that do not require every country to establish and maintain a full-fledged quality infrastructure. It presented existing offers of technical assistance for quality infrastructure within the framework of the Aid for Trade initiative and highlighted the options and possibilities for countries looking to lay the necessary “bricks” for trade.

This event was part of the WTO Global Aid for Trade Review 2017.

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Place: 
Room D, WTO, Geneva, Switzerland
Event type: 
We participate
Image: 
Promote to homepage: 
No
Region: 
Africa
Main Tag: 
Standards
programme: 
programme 1
Language: 
English
Date period: 
Tuesday, 11 July 2017 - 11:30am

The digital revolution has not only transformed the ways in which businesses operate, production is structured, and international trade is conducted but is also tightly linked to increases in productivity growth for companies, enhancements in consumer welfare, and opportunities for new sources of employment. These dynamics have important implications for developing countries-especially LDCs and LICs.

As part of the WTO Global Aid for Trade Review 2017, this session will build on a series of reports and papers, commissioned by ICTSD which examine the enabling environment for the digital economy in Southern Africa, East Africa, and Southeast Asia, and will explore the ways in which developing countries can harness the digital revolution in order to drive trade, economic growth, and sustainable development. Specifically, the session will examine the current and future business dynamics around digital trade and ecommerce in each of the three regions, discuss the policy environment (including various national, regional, and multilateral efforts and approaches), and layout policy and regulatory recommendations to enhance digital trade. 

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Place: 
Room S1, WTO, Geneva, Switzerland
Event type: 
Our events
Image: 
Tags: 
Services
Promote to homepage: 
No
Region: 
Africa
Main Tag: 
Digital Economy
programme: 
programme 1
Language: 
English
Partners: 

The Permanent Mission of Kenya

 ...

Date period: 
Wednesday, 12 July 2017 - 2:00pm

 

This event discussed how the Aid for Trade initiative could be leveraged to help developing countries participate more effectively in global value chains and link this participation to advancing Sustainable Development Goals. The discussions included a focus on facilitating compliance with the growing number of private sustainability standards in value chains and, more broadly, on the extent to which regulations and standards can affect sustainable development outcomes for developing countries in the context of value chains.

Although many stakeholders have greatly benefited from globalisation over recent decades, these gains are not automatic, the sustainable development impact of value chain is likely to differ depending on the geography and the sector of the value chain as well as the power dynamics within the value chain. The linkages between Global Value Chains (GVCS) and the achievement of sustainable development goals and inclusion are a maze of complex interlinkages and cannot be viewed in isolation. The potential trade-offs occurring between the economic, social and environmental aspects comprising sustainability need to be addressed in a comprehensive and dynamic manner. This session discussed how participation into GVCs can help developing countries achieve inclusive economic transformation. Given their rising importance in global production structures, the session reviewed the impacts – both positive and negative – that regulations/standards have on social and environmental dynamics within GVCs and assessed the extent to which they can lead to sustainable development outcomes.  

 

Undefined
Place: 
Room E, WTO, Geneva, Switzerland
Event type: 
Our events
Image: 
Promote to homepage: 
No
Region: 
Africa
Main Tag: 
Aid for Trade
programme: 
programme 1
Language: 
English
Partners: 

The Permanent Mission of Lesotho

Date period: 
Wednesday, 12 July 2017 - 4:30pm

Policymakers around the world are facing challenges about how to use and adapt to the “new economy.” They are faced with questions about how to ensure that their businesses can thrive domestically and trade effectively in a new environment that depends much less on border barriers and much more on effective regulation and cross-border cooperation.

Major emerging economies, such as South Africa are in the midst of assessing their strategies in relation to their own economies, but also in how and where to participate in shaping regional and multilateral negotiations and ultimately reshaping global economic policy.

The meeting will convene South African policy makers and international experts to examine current trends in South Africa in the context of policy initiatives and context in other major countries as well as in the international system. The dialogue will focus specifically on the digital economy and the enabling services landscape as a lens to help participants understand the new demands and competitive challenges and opportunities that are arising through economic changes and in international negotiations and provide an opportunity to discuss the implications of these changes and priorities for South African policy.

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Place: 
Stellenbosch, South Africa
Event type: 
Our events
Image: 
Promote to homepage: 
No
Region: 
Africa
Main Tag: 
Digital Economy
programme: 
programme 1
Language: 
English
Partners: 

Date period: 
Friday, 24 March 2017 - 11:06am

Services have emerged as the key driver of economic growth in southern Africa and account for more than half of GDP. Increases in the contribution of services to GDP have been stimulated by both demand and supply-side factors. On the demand side, broader economic growth, coupled with export revenues and a growing population, has contributed to the increasing importance of services in the economies of many countries in the region. On the supply side, countries have implemented measures to improve access to basic services, are attempting to improve the competitive environment of their services sectors, and, through their regional integration efforts, have improved transport and logistics services in the region. However, further supply-side efforts are required to ensure that economies in the region can take advantage of the opportunities offered by services and services trade.

Services can contribute to the achievement of sustainable development objectives, as articulated in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), in a number of ways including, but not limited to, driving economic growth, increasing the competitiveness of SMEs, improving female participation in services sectors, and expanding access to vital basic and network services.

Services regulations can support the attainment of the SDGs in a two-track manner.  Appropriate regulations which encourage efficiency and productivity can boost competitiveness and economic growth which, in turn, support the attainment of the more general SDGs such as SDG 1 (reducing poverty) and SDG 8 (decent work and economic growth). Secondly, tackling market failures in specific sectors and encouraging universal access targets for particular services can contribute to sustainable development objectives such as SDG 4 (quality and universal education) and SDG 7 (affordable energy).

 

Digital trade is the fastest growing and most dynamic sector in the global economy and has the potential to not only promote economic efficiencies and productivity gains, but also to support the achievement of sustainable development objectives in developing economies. This digital economic transformation, buttressed by the globalization of the internet, is significant for two primary reasons: cross border flows of digital goods are becoming increasingly important sources of exports in their own right and because digital products can and will be further utilized to support flows of physical goods. However, the regional and domestic regulatory environment in many regions and countries has been unable to match the sector’s pace of innovation, an area of vital importance given the regulatory-intensive nature of the sector, and remains underdeveloped.

Undefined
Place: 
Stellenbosch, South Africa
Event type: 
Our events
Image: 
Promote to homepage: 
No
Region: 
Africa
Main Tag: 
Services
programme: 
programme 1
Language: 
English
Date period: 
Wednesday, 22 March 2017 - 5:29am to Thursday, 23 March 2017 - 5:29am

 

                                                        Room W. Centre William Rapard, ©WTO

 

The ELSA Moot Court Competition on WTO Law (EMC2) is a student-organized competition designed to enhance knowledge of international trade law and WTO dispute settlement procedures. ELSA is especially dedicated to enhance capacity for meaningful engagement in multilateral trade in the long term.

 

ELSA Moot Court Competition on WTO Law (EMC2) 

The European Law Students’ Association (ELSA) is an international, independent, non-political, non-profit organization run by and for students and young lawyers since 1981. The EMC2 is one of the flagship activities of ELSA since 2002.

The main aim of the Competition is to assist countries in developing their technical legal capacity by preparing the next generation of trade lawyers and negotiators. With technical support from the WTO, the Competition has grown to become the only global moot court competition on WTO Law.

Participants from around the world send in written submissions, for the complainant and respondent, in a fictitious case. After sending their submissions, all the teams are given the opportunity to present oral arguments in front of panels which consist of WTO and trade law experts. Winning teams from five Regional Rounds (two European Rounds; an Asia-Pacific Round; an All-American Round; and for the last three years, an African Round) compete against each other in the Final Oral Round held in Geneva, Switzerland at the WTO headquarters.

 

The African Regional Round of EMC2

The African Regional Round was held for the first time in 2013, and has since grown in terms of participation and support of universities in the region. The organizers welcome donations and other forms of support in order to encourage and sustain the active participation of universities in the region.

 

Who has participated?

In the first ever Africa Regional Round held in 2013, 7 teams from 6 different countries participated. In 2015, 8 teams from 5 countries participated: Kenya, Lesotho, South Africa, Tanzania, and Uganda. Two of these teams also included nationals from Zimbabwe and the Democratic Republic of Congo. In 2016, 10 teams competed from various African countries, including: Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Ethiopia and South Africa.

How to get involved?

Your valued contribution will help ELSA International in supporting the participation of students in the region at the African Regional Round and the final Oral Round in Geneva in June. Donation instructions can be found at > emc2.elsa.org/partners/ (Please indicate African Round as donation purpose)

 

ICTSD as a sponsor

The goal of ICTSD is to advance sustainable development through trade-related policy making. ICTSD strives to ultimately strengthen developing countries’ legal capacity.

Since 2014, ICTSD has been providing institutional support to the African Round of EMC2 as a sponsor. ICTSD considers the Competition as one of the keys to having a pool of young talents in the field and in turn further the legal capacity in the region. 

 

 

Taking part in this competition opened my eyes to a whole new world with possibilities I had never even contemplated. The moot gave me insight into the world of WTO dispute resolution and actually got me interested in pursuing this as a career option. The moot fueled my desire to one day be among the few international trade law specialist lawyers in Africa.” 

Diana Rufaro Machingaidze, participant 2014/2015

 

The 2016-2017 Round

9 April – 13 April, 2017

Rhodes University, Grahamstown

EMC2, African Round > emc2.elsa.org 

 

The Hosting University

Rhodes University participated in the inaugural and second African Regional Rounds of the EMC2 with success. This participation has resulted in increased academia interest among students at the university, and incentivized students to enhance their capacities in this field through further study or relevant career path.  The Rhodes University Faculty of Law has decided to host the African Regional Round in 2017, having hosted the African Regional Round for the first time in 2016, in order to make its contribution toward this important capacity building initiative, which has already created enormous opportunities for learning and personal growth among our students.

 

Undefined
Place: 
Rhodes University
Event type: 
Our events
Theme: 
TRADE LAW
Image: 
Promote to homepage: 
No
Region: 
Africa
Main Tag: 
Event
programme: 
programme 1
Language: 
English
Date period: 
Sunday, 9 April 2017 - 12:00am to Thursday, 13 April 2017 - 12:00am