Import Ref: 
38
Import Imported: 
1

This E15 dialogue was designed to bring together Geneva-based trade delegates, ambassadors, and representatives of trade-related international organisations to discuss how a development dimension could be vital to advancing multilateral negotiations on e-commerce.

To this end, the dialogue focused on further understanding the existing proposals at the World Trade Organization, in particular, by identifying areas of convergence and debating on how a development dimension could be introduced into a multilateral process.

Both developing and developed country representatives actively engaged in the discussions, and were able to provide all attendees with a much clearer picture of their expectations and ambitions towards the upcoming WTO’s Eleventh Ministerial Conference and beyond.

Participants acknowledged the importance of e-commerce and its impact on development. Further, developing and least developed country representatives highlighted the need to narrow down their knowledge gap as a preparatory step towards the initiation of an e-commerce debate at the WTO. In addition, there was some discussion on the procedural aspects of a possible negotiation at the WTO, including the definition of the appropriate forum and the requirement of a specific mandate. Finally, there was an interesting debate around the development principles governing the Trade Facilitation Agreement and how they could be applied to e-commerce. In particular, exploring a quid pro quo between obligations/commitments and capacity building and technical assistance.

Given the level of engagement and considering the proximity of the next WTO Ministerial Conference, follow-up discussions that focused on possible concrete options/alternatives for the incorporation of a development dimension into an e-commerce discussion were welcomed. 

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 intended 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: 
Monday, 24 July 2017 - 5:39pm

On 5 July, ICTSD and the World Economic Forum organised a workshop on “Facilitating Investment for Sustainable Development” as part of its 2016/2017 series of investment policy dialogues, with the support of the Government of the Netherlands. These dialogues follow on from the work of the E15 Initiative Task Force on Investment Policy, which paved the way for the discussions.

The dialogue aimed at using a bottom-up approach to trace the path towards simpler and sustainable investment. In so doing, it convened participants from various stakeholder groups, including government, civil society, business and international organisations, and was structured into four sessions:

1. Investment Facilitation for Sustainable Development in Practice, which drew on practical examples from national and international frameworks in both emerging and developing countries to identify best regional or national practices for investment facilitation. This session then presented the Global Alliance for Trade Facilitation, and discussed which trade facilitation tools could be borrowed to facilitate investment.

2. Key Barriers to Sustainable Investment, which discussed the challenges to achieve regulatory transparency and predictability, streamlined and efficient administrative processes, and international cooperation, particularly in addressing developing country needs. This session also identified legal, regulatory, procedural and institutional barriers affecting all phases of the investment, from both the private sector and developing country perspective.

3. Setting Common Ground on Sustainable Investment Facilitation, which assessed the role of sustainability characteristics in addressing the qualitative side of Investment Facilitation, and attempted to reach a common understanding of what Investment Facilitation is and what it is not, as well as its benefits for developing countries.

4. Supporting Mechanisms to Advance Sustainable Investment Facilitation, which discussed how the facilitation of sustainable investment could take shape and be supported, and explored possible mechanisms to advance Investment Facilitation in light of the discussions held throughout the day.

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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: 
Wednesday, 5 July 2017 - 5:36pm

On 27 June, ICTSD organised an informal roundtable dialogue on the topic of public stockholding for food security as part of the E15 Initiative engagement process. The E15 Initiative is jointly implemented by ICTSD and the World Economic Forum.

WTO members have agreed to negotiate a permanent solution on public stockholding programmes for food security purposes, for adoption by the WTO’s Eleventh Ministerial Conference in Buenos Aires this December. While some have suggested that the Bali ministerial decision on this topic serve as a starting point for these talks, the G-33 has argued that purchases at administered prices should be exempt from counting towards countries’ WTO commitments. At the same time, some other developing and developed countries remain concerned that food purchased at subsidised prices could adversely affect their own producers, in some cases potentially also undermining food security and rural employment.

This event looked at experience using the public stockholding decision since Bali, and explored possible options for a permanent solution in this area. The dialogue built on discussions in the E15 Engagement Day on the WTO and MC11, drawing on recent ICTSD research and developments in the policy environment, with a view to deepening understanding of possible outcomes for Buenos Aires and their likely implications for aspects of the sustainable development agenda.

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Place: 
Geneva, Switzerland
Event type: 
Our events
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Main Tag: 
E15Initiative
programme: 
programme 1
Language: 
English
Date period: 
Tuesday, 27 June 2017 - 11:36am

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
Image: 
Promote to homepage: 
No
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.

Undefined
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