Sustainable Development In Regional Trade Agreements

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The EU controls trade in hazardous and non-hazardous waste to ensure that waste is managed in an environmentally friendly manner and to avoid and minimise negative effects on human health. EU trade agreements with the following countries contain rules on trade and sustainable development: following a debate between the EU institutions, EU Member States and civil society organisations, the Commission services published on 26 February 2018 a non-paper containing 15 action points to make the implementation of the chapters on trade and sustainable development more efficient and improve their application. The Commission services regularly prepare updates on the implementation of the 15-point action plan. The EU is using more trade opportunities to promote improved labour standards while avoiding a “race to the downside”. Sustainable development is defined as development that meets the needs of today, without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs. This definition is based on the 1987 declaration of the United Nations World Commission on Environment and Development, which aimed to achieve economic and social development and environmental protection in a balanced manner and with the aim of socially inclusive and environmentally sustainable economic growth. These goals were set out in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development adopted in 2015, which includes 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) addressing, for example, poverty, health, urbanization, responsible consumption and production. The UN notes that trade liberalization can have both positive and negative effects on sustainable development: trade growth induces economic growth, but not necessarily without cost to the ecosystem. Developing countries should be integrated into the multilateral trading system while ensuring that this contributed to sustainable development. So far, the SDGs offer the most coherent framework for sustainable development to develop economic models with positive social contributions. Under the EU`s Generalised System of Preferences+, developing countries can benefit from additional access to the EU market by ratifying and implementing 27 international conventions, including most of the multilateral environmental agreements mentioned above.

Voluntary labelling can help consumers get more information about the sustainability of the products they buy. Transparent systems can help promote more sustainable trade. The EU`s trade policy must contribute to the responsible implementation of each phase in order to ensure respect for workers and the environment. Nevertheless, trade economic growth can also be unbalanced. In particular, trade liberalization can lead to increased inequalities within and between countries, so adaptation and adaptation measures are needed and must be taken into account to ensure that parties to an ATR can exploit the potential of trade. While the number of poor has declined throughout the region, inequalities remain high in many countries in Asia and the Pacific, for example in South-East Asia, particularly between urban and rural populations, and challenges remain with regard to access to health care, education, ICT, energy, transport, etc. In addition, due to high trade barriers and/or high trade costs or over-reliance on exports focused on raw materials and natural resources, some countries still face difficulties in entering global value chains (GCC) .. . . .


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