Promoting policy coherence in world trade agreements

Greater coherence in economic policy matters can contribute to sustainable development by facilitating a more integrated and comprehensive approach to policy making.

World Trade Organization multilateral regulations and rules need to achieve as much coherence and harmonisation as possible between domestic regulation and other international regulatory disciplines, in the economic, social and environmental fields, thereby minimising potential areas of dispute between WTO members.

Closer cooperation and coordination of the work of WTO and other international bodies involved in trade policy matters should help to ensure coherence and mutuality between countries' trade liberalisation commitments made within the WTO multilateral framework and other programmes of trade, economic and development policy reforms at the national level.
The [Uruguay Round Declaration on the Contribution of the WTO to Achieving Greater Coherence in Global Policy Making], recognised the importance of policy coherence and cooperation between international organisations in trade-related areas. The EU has proposed that a WTO Work Programme on coherence should be introduced by the Seattle Ministerial Declaration. This would focus on two issues: a co-ordinated approach to trade-related capacity building, and enhanced cooperation and transparency in support of trade liberalisation.

The [Uruguay Round Declaration] recognised the desirability of pursuing closer international cooperation between such international organisations as the WTO, the IMF, UNCTAD and the World Bank, in the area of global economic policymaking. The Cooperation Agreements concluded in 1996-97 between the WTO and these organisations provide for regular consultations between the institutions and for a more systematic exchange of information.

1. Coherence with other international organizations such as UNEP must be ensured. To achieve this goal, the US and EU must strongly support the proposed agreement between UNEP and the WTO.
Type Classification:
F: Exceptional strategies
Related UN Sustainable Development Goals:
GOAL 16: Peace and Justice Strong Institutions