UNCTAD Event Discusses Linkages among Trade, SDGs, Climate
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The UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) hosted an informal briefing on its role in three important negotiation processes taking place in 2015.

Titled ‘Climate Change, SDGs and Trade: At the crossroads of sustainable development,' the briefing focused on the commonalities and differences between these issue areas, and the importance of trade and implementation.

UNCTAD10 February 2015: The UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) hosted an informal briefing on its role in three negotiation processes taking place in 2015. The briefing, ‘Climate Change, Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and Trade: At the crossroads of sustainable development,’ focused on commonalities and differences between these issue areas as well as on trade and implementation.

The UNCTAD briefing took place on 10 February 2015, at UN Headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, during the 8th part of the second session of the Ad Hoc Working Group on the Durban Platform for Enhanced Action (ADP) of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). It aimed to inform ADP delegates on linkages between climate, development, and trade negotiations.

Guillermo Valles, UNCTAD, delivered an opening presentation on the ‘Crossroads of Sustainable Development,’ which highlighted the linkages between five parallel multilateral processes: the post-2015 development agenda; the climate change negotiations; the Third International Financing for Development Conference (FfD); the World Trade Organization (WTO) negotiations; and the 14th Meeting of UNCTAD (UNCTAD XIV). He identified trade and trade policies as cross-cutting issues among these discussions.

David Shark, WTO Deputy Director-General, described the on-going Doha Round of multilateral trade negotiations in the context of 2015, saying it is “critically important to ensure that the outcomes of our respective processes fully support each other.” He called for trade to be a platform for tackling climate change and for inclusive and sustainable development.

Karen Smith, UNFCCC Secretariat, addressed the road to the 21st Conference of the Parties (COP 21) to the UNFCCC, which will take place in Paris, France, in December 2015. She highlighted areas where trade issues are relevant in the climate discussions, including: carbon markets; response measures; agriculture; fuels used in international transport; and technology. Synergies with other multilateral processes are “an important part of reaching an effective and successful outcome in Paris,” she said.

The briefing also included a roundtable discussion on how trade policy can incentivize environmental and climate action. Member States and representatives of civil society and the private sector participated in the interactive discussion. [Event Website] [UNCTAD Website]


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