Thursday, September 28, 2017

Role of trade key in achieving Sustainable Development Goals

Trade will play a key role in achieving the United Nations’ 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and both governments and the private sector need to be more active in ensuring trade’s full potential in contributing to these goals, speakers at the WTO’s annual Public Forum said.
The SDGs were the focus of discussion during a number of sessions at the three-day Public Forum from September 26 to 28, the WTO’s flagship outreach event. The Forum provided a unique platform for senior officials, leading global businesspeople, academics and civil society representatives to come together and discuss some of the major trade and development issues of the day.
The SDGs put significant emphasis on the role that trade can play in promoting sustainable development. There are direct references to WTO activities in many of the SDGs, ranging from ensuring food security and sustainable agriculture to conserving marine resources and promoting inclusive and sustainable economic growth.
Agriculture's role in meeting the SDGs was the centre of discussion at a Public Forum session on September 27 organised by the Geneva Office of the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group, the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) and the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO). Speakers noted that several of the SDGs directly relate to agriculture and that modernising agricultural production will be key to achieving this. WTO members have already agreed to eliminate export subsidies for agriculture, one of the SDG targets, at their 2015 Nairobi Ministerial Conference.
Director of the FAO's UN Liaison Office in Geneva Carolyn Rodrigues Birkett said that agriculture is changing in 'unprecedented ways', with growing demand for reliable and consistent food products and corresponding attention paid to sustainable development issues related to this production.
However, greater partnering between governments, international institutions, the private sector and civil society is needed to deliver further results that contribute to effectively achieving the SDGs.

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