Conferences

At the core of Biotrade activities is the commercialisation of biodiversity based products and raw materials. This paper will look into one specific aspect of the BioTrade; namely: Natural ingredients from medicinal and aromatic plants for cosmetics and bio- pharmaceuticals. These natural ingredients include essential oils, natural dyes, soapy, creams, butter, and moisturizers in case of cosmetics and extracts and infusions from medicinal plants, natural medicines capsules in case of pharmaceuticals. Constraints and challenges in implementing BioTrade based on Nagoya Protocol for fair benefits sharing will also be discussed in order to meet the basic principles of BioTrade.

People are at the core of organizations whose mission is to deliver aid, through local communities working to generate income, and through national and international leaders working to shape policies and create good governance. At various levels, these interventions aim to lift people and communities out of poverty and ensure a decent standard of living.

WTO Public Forum on BioTrade: CSEND + UNCTAD, September 2015

Biodiversity is essential for the health of the planet's ecosystems and for the livelihood of rural communities in developing countries where 70 per cent of the world’s poor live (CBD Secretariat). These communities are highly dependent on sourcing natural resources to satisfy their basic needs and to generate income and are increasingly threatened by the loss of biodiversity. The roundtable was organized by the Centre for Socio-Eco-Nomic Development (CSEND) and the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD). Panelists were from international and intergovernmental organizations, a development bank, academia and from civil society who together discussed the opportunities and challenges for scaling up BioTrade while respecting the sustainable development policy objectives.

Cooperative enterprises are major players in the global economy. They range from small grassroots initiatives to multibillion dollar businesses and operate in all sectors of the economy. The panel will start with a theoretical presentation of the links between cooperatives and trade. The panel will subsequently turn to practical experiences, and build on cooperative-to-cooperative trade and how it can make value chains shorter, fairer and more efficient and competitive. The seven internationally agreed cooperative principles guide the work of cooperatives around the world. The principle, “Cooperation among Cooperatives”, is the principle most related to the trade, South-South and Global Value Chain perspectives. In the practical part, the case of “China Coop” on promoting cooperative-to-cooperative trade in Asia through different platforms will be presented. The agricultural and consumer cooperative experiences from Italy will be presented to showcase engagement in ethical trade practices using cooperative principles and highlighting the advantages of agricultural and consumer cooperatives working together across the value chain from a perspective of fairness and competitiveness. After the presentations, there will be a round table discussion followed by questions from the floor.

This Round Table offered an opportunity to exchange between diplomats, representatives of international organizations, experts, academics, researchers, journalists, and civil society actors, the principles and activities that contribute to sustainable development in a globalized world in constant change. In an open discussion, panelists, who are experienced professionals, expressed their opinions and made recommendations. During the second part of the Round Table, the panelists focused on different issues relevant for sustainable development such as security (inside and outside borders), employment, education and training, health, environment and sanitation of the environment, and information and communications technology (ICT). The event was organized by CSEND and COMDEV in collaboration with the Geneva Welcome Center and the Swiss Press Club.

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SESSION 29: PLURILATERALISM AGAINST MULTILATERALISM?: A MULTI-STAKEHOLDER PERSPECTIVE*

Tuesday, 25 September 2012, 18:15 — 20:15, Room S3

 

This session aimed to discuss the concepts of multilateralism and plurilateralism and to assess the potential impact of plurilateral agreements within the WTO multilateral trading system. Plurilateral agreements can be concluded by three or more WTO members and cover trade issues labelled WTO plus, extra or minus. They can be adopted both within and outside the WTO framework. They can be "preferential" agreements or agreements based on the most-favoured-nation (MFN) principles. Future plurilateral trade agreements negotiated within the WTO could bring more transparency, and third parties' rights would be better protected under the WTO dispute settlement procedure.

If a plurilateral agreement is adopted outside the WTO framework, other WTO members need not be included, and negotiations would not include other WTO members not party to the agreement. It would then lead to the creation of a "soft law", since a plurilateral agreement outside the WTO would not have the same legal and political weight and could not aspire to an "international standard". A plurilateral trade agreement within the WTO that extends MFN benefits to non-treaty WTO members would avoid trade distortions. Conversely, if a WTO-based plurilateral trade agreement is kept as a preferential agreement (non-MFN), it would avoid free-riding by non-members and provide an incentive for others to join.

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