The E15 engages key stakeholders – trade and investment policy makers, business and thought leaders – in policy dialogues in Geneva and around the world to explore and help validate ideas, align interests and strengthen the impetus for change.
Trade and Development Symposium
Enforceability of Trade and Investment Rules That Support Sustainability: The Case of Dispute Settlement Mechanisms
Dispute settlement provisions are an essential enforcement element of regional trade agreements (RTAs). In light of the different paces of rule-making at the multilateral level and regional level, dispute settlement mechanisms (DSMs) under RTAs are likely to become increasingly relevant in the future as litigious fora for addressing trade differences among trading partners, particularly with respect to WTO-extra obligations. However, the use of RTA DSMs has been fairly limited – a phenomenon that may be explained by political, cultural and technical factors, as well as case-specific elements. This session sought to identify the reasons behind the limited use of regional DSMs, and discussed systemic options for enforcing trade and investment rules that support sustainability. Additionally, the session sought to explore possibilities for convergence and coherence-building between RTAs and the multilateral trading system in the area of dispute settlement. This session was organised under the RTA Exchange, and was moderated by Robert McDougall, Senior Fellow at ICTSD.
The biennial Trade and Sustainable Development Symposium (TSDS), held alongside the WTO ministerial conference for over a decade, is the leading multi-stakeholder platform for intellectual enquiry and dialogue on sustainable development and the global trade and investment system. The TSDS – organised by ICTSD in partnership with the Centro de Implementación de Políticas Públicas para la Equidad y el Crecimiento (CIPPEC), the Inter–American Development Bank (BID), Consejo Argentino para las Relaciones Internacionales (CARI) and Bolsa de Cereales with the support and collaboration of the Ministerio de Producción, Presidencia de la Nación, Argentina – acts as an inclusive platform outside of the WTO negotiating setting for sharing ideas, engaging in dialogue, and influencing trade policy negotiations. Drawing in participants from government, business and civil society, the Symposium helps to maintain and elaborate a global vision of sustainable development in trade and investment policymaking.