The stakes by which the problems raise the concept of sustainable development, such as environmental protection and the fight against poverty, seems to represent an obstacle for further liberalization in trade as a factor in its favor. However, during the second half of the nineteenth century, it became clear that free trade was not always a factor in development and could lead to the deterioration of the global environment.
In this context, one can understand the emergence of the concept of sustainable development as a response to the questioning on the economic model. Also, given the apparent inconsistency between the terms of trade liberalization and sustainable development, how the World Trade Organization manage to reconcile them?
In 2005, Pascal Lamy, Director General of the World Trade Organization (WTO), said "The WTO simply can not ignore the need to promote ecology and the environment. The priority must be to rebalance the global trading system for developing countries ".This need stems from the founding text of the WTO.
Indeed, the Marrakesh Accords (April 1994) give birth to this organization to regulate the international trading system so far governed by the General Agreement Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT). If the GATT remains the legal basis of the WTO, the creation of the latter marks a break with the previous system: the promotion of sustainable development is posed as the primary objective of the new organization.
The concept of sustainable development argues for the inclusion in the present of human responsibility in the longer term. It incorporates environmental principles (precautionary principle, "polluter pays"), commercial (non-discrimination, proportionality) and social (basic labor rights).
Nonetheless, in principle, by the issues that this raises problems, such as environmental protection and the fight against poverty, it appears that sustainable development is more an obstacle to trade liberalization as a factor which is favorable.
However, during the second half of the nineteenth century, it became clear that free trade was not always a factor in development and could lead to the deterioration of the global environment. To this extent, one can understand the emergence of the concept of sustainable development as a response to the questioning of the economic model.
Tags: World Trade Organization; challenge of sustainable development; trade liberalization; promoting ecology; rebalance global trading system;
[...] Environmental issues and sustainable development The emergence of environmental issues at the time of the GATT The problematic consequences of economic growth on social development and the environment in 1972 became official on the international stage with the Stockholm Conference convening on the management of the environment. The conference actually facilitated the study of links between growth, social development and the environment during the 1980s. In 1987, the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) prepared the report "Our Common Future", also known as the Brundtland Report. [...]
[...] Its mission is, in the words of the Council, to "identify the relationship between trade measures and environmental measures in order to promote sustainable development" and to "make appropriate recommendations to determine whether to amend the provisions of the multilateral trading system, respecting the open, equitable and nondiscriminatory character " During the negotiations of the Doha Round, the Ministers also requested the Committee on Trade and Environment and the Committee on Trade and Development to serve as a forum to identify aspects of the negotiations for the development and the environment debate, to help achieve the goal of sustainable development. [...]
[...] In the same spirit of reform, trade liberalization pursued by the WTO should take into account its impact on the environment to define the measures. Through the objective of sustainable development promoted by the WTO, some analysts suggest the idea of a reform along the lines of fair regulation of world trade. But the progress of negotiations does not show the beginning of a radically different approach. However, we observed the emergence of a "South Pole" from the preparations for the Cancun conference (2003). Its gradual increase could create a situation where rich countries would be forced to [...]
[...] This history highlights the idea that environmental protection requires a regulation of trade and international trade.That is why, from 1990, an agenda was set up to link the goal of sustainable development to the issue of international trade and trade liberalization. In this spirit was born the World Trade Organization (WTO). Sustainable development: new target in the WTO Indeed, twenty years after the creation of the GATT on measures concerning the environment and international trade, towards the end of the Uruguay Round (1986-1994), attention was again focused on environmental issues related to trade. [...]
[...] Moreover, developing countries are showing a certain distrust of impacts they perceive as new obstacles to market access in industrialized countries. Conclusion Ultimately, it appears that sustainable development has gradually become an issue intrinsically linked to the regulation of trade. Considering the pivotal role played by the WTO on the world stage, sustainable development has arisen as the ultimate goal of this organization. Because of its role and legally binding power, the WTO appears to be an organization capable of promoting sustainable development and to ensure that this aspect is one that directs future trade negotiations. [...]
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