ICTSD is organising and partnering in many sessions at the WTO Public Forum held at the WTO in Geneva from 2 to 4 October 2018. The theme of the annual forum is “Trade 2030.”

In addition, ICTSD will be hosting a booth located in the Delegates' Lounge on the ground floor of the WTO main building for the duration of the public forum. The ICTSD stand will feature a selection of recent issues of the Bridges suite of periodicals as well as ICTSD publications relevant to the Public Forum theme of "Trade 2030" – offering constituents and new audiences an opportunity to meet and engage with programmatic and editorial teams.

ICTSD will be hosting and co-hosting a number of sessions within the agenda of the Public Forum as indicated below. In order to attend these sessions, you must be registered for the WTO Public Forum.

The Left Behind in Sustainability Practices: Children and Women
WTO Room S2
2 October 2018 – 11:30 – 13:00

Delivering on Development by 2030: What Role for the WTO in the New Economy?
WTO Room S2
4 October 2018 – 10:00 – 11:30

Disrupting the Gender Digital Divide: What Role for International Trade Policy?
WTO Room E
4 October 2018 – 11:30 – 13:00

ICTSD experts will also be presenting in the following sessions:

Industrialisation 4.0: How to Achieve Sustainable Results for Africa?
WTO Room S3, Geneva
2 October 2018 – 14:00 – 15:30

Linking Food Production Systems, Environment, Food Security and International Trade
WTO Room B, Geneva
2 October 2018 – 15:30 – 17:00

Privacy and Consumer Protection in the Age of Artificial Intelligence
WTO Room E, Geneva
4 October 2018 – 10:00 – 11:30

Technology Enabled Services Trade: How to Make this Inclusive?
WTO Room D, Geneva
4 October 2018 – 14:00 – 15:30

Electronic Commerce and Inclusiveness of Global Value Chains
WTO Room E, Geneva
4 October 2018 – 17:00 – 18:30

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WTO, Geneva
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Date period: 
Tuesday, 2 October 2018 - 9:00am to Thursday, 4 October 2018 - 6:30pm

The current trade tensions involving major players of the global economy constitute an outbreak of some long-standing problems in the world trade system. Unless members of the World Trade Organization (WTO) start to renegotiate and to resolve these long-standing disputes, solving technical problems on the surface will prove difficult and unsatisfactory.

Points of contention among WTO members include the functioning of the WTO Dispute Settlement Unit, Special and Differential Treatment enjoyed by emerging economies as well as the treatment of state-owned enterprises (SOEs) and technological transfers.

Three new changes have taken place recently. First, the US, the EU and Japan proposed a number of WTO reform recommendations in the tripartite statement released on May 31, including state industrial subsidies, SOEs and market conditions, intellectual property protection, and compulsory technology transfer. Second, the EU has also completed internal recommendations on WTO reform. In addition to the topics covered by the above-mentioned joint statement, the reform plan also involves development issues, daily work of the WTO, etc. Additionally, the China-EU High Level Economic Dialogue also plans to set up a working group on WTO reform issues.

The dialogue aimed at facilitating multi-stakeholder discussions about the WTO Modernization Agenda and was organized by the International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development (ICTSD) and the Center for China and Globalization (CCG) in partnership with China Institute for WTO Studies, University of International Business and Economics (UIBE).

The Chatham House rule applied to this dialogue to encourage frank discussion.

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Beijing, China
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TThis event is organized by the International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development (ICTSD) and the Center for China and Globalization (CCG) in partnership with China Institute for WTO Studies, University of International Business and Economics (UIBE)...

Date period: 
Thursday, 23 August 2018 - 2:00pm

The meeting aims to discuss the results of the Bruegel and ICTSD project “Developing the EU long-term climate strategy” with business stakeholders and think tanks. The European Commission is expected to publish the new long-term climate strategy document in late November. Next to ensuring the decarbonisation of the European economy, it requires transparency and intellectual contribution from all sectors of society. Bruegel and ICTSD have prepared a policy and technical paper about the key choices to be made, and have engaged in the process of creating a debate before the Commission releases its paper before COP 24. This event is part of that engagement to provide a dialogue and generate input and ideas from a dialogue between think tanks and the business sector.
 
This meeting is by invitation only.

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Brussels, Belgium
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Date period: 
Tuesday, 18 September 2018 - 10:00am

The Paris Agreement officially entered into force on 4 November 2016 and aims to pursue "efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels”.

The UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) agreed in early 2016 in Nairobi on a timeframe for its next major series of climate reports – including a special report in 2018 on the ramifications of a 1.5degree Celsius increase in global temperatures above pre-industrial levels.

The IPCC has responded to this “temperature goal” by working on a special report on "Global warming of 1.5°C" that has been adopted by Governments less than 10 days ago in Incheon (Republic of Korea).

This report attempts to put in perspective, through the most recent scientific literature, the impacts of a 1.5°C world and related global greenhouse gas emission pathways to get us there.

But what policy implications does the 1.5°C target have, both globally and for the EU’s climate policy? How will it affect the new EU Long Term Climate Strategy, currently being developed by the European Commission, and how might it affect the potential enhancement of the EU’s NDC?

During this meeting, the IPCC 1.5°C report will be presented and the policy implications discussed in a roundtable setting with policymakers and stakeholders.

 

Please register for this event using this link

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Date period: 
Monday, 15 October 2018 - 2:30pm

During the 23rd Conference of the Parties (COP) of November 2017 in Bonn, Parties had the aim to make significant progress on the development of the “Paris rulebook”.

COP24, which will take place from 3-14 December 2018 in Katowice, seeks to continue to work out and ultimately adopt a package of decisions ensuring the full implementation of the Paris Agreement. It will additionally include the Facilitative Dialogue intended to support the implementation of National commitments.

Progress has been made during the last three years, with some issues being at a more mature stage in negotiations than others, but a lot of work remains to be done at COP 24 before a substantive rulebook can be agreed upon.

During this meeting, the discussion will focus on the EU’s position and ambition leading up to Katowice, with a special focus on Article 6 and carbon markets. But also on what the expected or possible outcomes are of COP 24 (the Paris Rulebook) and the political phase of the Talanoa Dialogue.

 

Please register by using this link

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Brussels, Belgium
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Date period: 
Tuesday, 2 October 2018 - 3:00pm

The revision for the fourth phase of EU Emissions Trading System (2021-2030) introduced a number of important changes concerning funding mechanisms in the system. Existing mechanisms – solidarity provision and 10c derogation – were updated, and new instruments – the Modernisation Fund and the Innovation Fund – have been added. Adoption of the ETS Directive was merely a first step; important questions remain to be answered in the implementation phase.

 

ERCST, in cooperation with Central European Energy Partners (CEEP), is preparing a paper that is intended to guide stakeholders through the complex infrastructure of funding mechanisms in the revised EU ETS. This meeting aims to discuss the findings of the paper and to provide a platform for actors from the industry, governments and NGOs to engage in a constructive dialogue about challenges and expectations for the implementation of funding mechanisms.

 

Please register by using this link

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Brussels, Belgium
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Wednesday, 12 September 2018 - 10:00am

This workshop presents and discusses the results of the “Developing the EU long-term climatestrategy” project. The technical and policy papers are the deliverables of a yearlong effort, which included an initial brainstorming in Brussels in June 2017, followed by a series of stakeholder engagements in several EU capitals at the beginning of 2018. The consultative process was concluded in March 2018 and the project’s outcomes were first presented on April18th in Brussels.

 

In this event we will focus on the key choices and challenges but also on the risks and opportunities awaiting stakeholders within the development of the EU Long Term Climate Strategy.

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Romanian Ministry of Environment, Bucharest, Romania
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Date period: 
Tuesday, 3 July 2018 - 1:00pm

This workshop presents and discusses the results of the “Developing the EU long-term climatestrategy” project. The technical and policy papers are the deliverables of a yearlong effort, which included an initial brainstorming in Brussels in June 2017, followed by a series of stakeholder engagements in several EU capitals at the beginning of 2018. The consultative process was concluded in March 2018 and the project’s outcomes were first presented on April18th in Brussels.

 

In this event we will focus on the key choices and challenges but also on the risks and opportunities awaiting stakeholders within the development of the EU Long Term Climate Strategy.

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Enel Auditorium, Rome
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Date period: 
Thursday, 14 June 2018 - 9:15am

This knowledge-sharing seminar provided an opportunity for negotiators to engage in informal dialogue around the identification of illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing activity and the disciplining of subsidies to IUU fishing.

The dialogue explored how state-of-the-art technological developments – using vessel tracking data and machine-learning – can increase transparency in the fisheries sector and assist countries in monitoring fishing activity and identifying vessels engaged in IUU fishing. In particular, the seminar included a short presentation about the Global Fishing Watch online platform, which provides free and public access to a database covering fishing activity by around 60,000 – mostly large-scale – fishing vessels worldwide.

Further presentations and debate addressed how such technological tools can be used, including by organisations such as Ocean Mind, to make monitoring efforts more effective, better enforce fisheries management schemes, and, in the context of WTO subsidy rules, help countries make determinations and verifications related to IUU fishing. Discussions also highlighted that IUU lists from regional fisheries management organisations (RFMOs), while useful tools, only cover a tiny part of global IUU fishing activity.

The seminar also addressed specific legal questions related to the crafting of WTO provisions for prohibiting subsidies to IUU fishing. In particular, it addressed questions such as the definition of IUU fishing, the list of entities who will be able to make IUU fishing determinations, and the balance between the rights/obligations of a determining entity and the subsidising member. Discussions also focused on potential conditions that could apply to the determination and verification of IUU fishing activity.

Main takeaways

  • From a sustainable development perspective, it would be desirable that possibilities for determining IUU fishing under WTO fisheries subsidies rules go beyond RFMOs’ IUU lists.
  • New technological tools such as Global Fishing Watch provide countries and RFMOs with new possibilities for better monitoring fishing activity. Such tools could help WTO members – including coastal states, flag states, and subsidising members – to identify IUU fishing activity, and assist them in their determination and verification of IUU fishing activity.
  • It is important that WTO fisheries subsidies rules provide some level of certainty regarding the definition of IUU fishing, as well as clarity regarding the processes for the determination and verification of IUU fishing. This latter point can be achieved through agreeing on a set of conditions that would apply to those processes. A key consideration is the need for balance between the rights and obligations of different WTO members.

The event built on previous ICTSD dialogues and research on these topics, in particular ICTSD’s recent publication Fisheries Subsidies Rules at the WTO: A Compilation of Evidence and Analysis and the policy brief Building Comprehensive and Effective WTO Rules on Fisheries Subsidies.

The meeting is part of the first set of dialogues of the ICTSD initiative WTO: Paths Forward. Building on the outcomes of the 11th Ministerial Conference in Buenos Aires, this initiative will provide a platform to exchange perspectives and in-depth analysis on possible options for WTO-based processes going forward and into the 12th Ministerial Conference.

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Geneva, Switzerland
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ENVIRONMENT
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Issues and Options for Disciplines on Subsidies to Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated FishingThe ‘Law of the Sea’ Obligations Underpinning Fisheries Subsidies Disciplines
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Monday, 23 July 2018 - 1:00pm to 3:00pm

While the universally endorsed and widely ratified Paris Agreement of the UNFCCC aims to limit temperature increases to well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels, recent estimates indicate that countries' current added mitigation pledges only cover a third of the emissions reductions needed to achieve this goal.

To allow countries to scale up climate action at home without risking to see their efforts undermined by carbon leakage, some experts and policymakers are suggesting the introduction of border carbon adjustment measures.

While such measures have so far not been put to practice, the current climate urgency combined with the fact that the world’s largest economy and second largest emitter is now choosing to step aside has led John Odell, Professor Emeritus of International Relations with the University of Southern California, to revisit the border carbon adjustment topic.

At this talk, he will explain what a border carbon adjustment could look like if it is to be effective; compatible with the rules of the World Trade Organization; and sensitive to development considerations. These ideas are further elaborated in his recent think piece for ICTSD.

To attend the event, please register via the Graduate Institute at this link

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Geneva, Switzerland
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To attend the event, please register via the Graduate Institute at this link

Date period: 
Tuesday, 26 June 2018 - 5:45pm to 7:15pm