UNEP-UNCTAD: Trade, Environment and Development Activities for 2005 E-mail
Wednesday, July 15, 2009
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Briefing on the UNEP-UNCTAD Capacity Building Task Force on Trade, Environment and Development Activities for 2005, Geneva, Switzerland: The Secretariats of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) and United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) jointly organised a briefing for Geneva based missions, donors, Inter-governmental Organisations (IGOs), Non-governmental Organisations (NGOs) and delegates to the World Trade Organisation (WTO) Committee on Trade and Environment (CTE) to inform them of the activities of the UNEP-UNCTAD Capacity Building Task Force on Trade, Environment and Development (CBTF) and to reflect on the successful cooperation between UNEP and UNCTAD. This briefing was convened on 6 July 2005 during the lunch break of the WTO CTE regular session to facilitate the participation of capital-based delegates in Geneva. The briefing was attended by 120 delegates, including many CTE delegates from the capitals.

Introductory remarks

The UN agencies through their combined technical expertise continue to strengthen the capacities of developing countries to address issues at the interface of trade, environment and development, thanks to the generous support of donors. So far, donors have contributed a total of US$2.5 million to the CBTF to carry out activities in response to government requests. During its first phase (2000-2003), the European Commission, the Governments of Germany, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, the United Kingdom and the United States provided financial support to allow CBTF to undertake country projects, thematic research and capacity building events. The following country/thematic research projects were completed in phase I and published reports are available with the CBTF secretariat.

• Sustainable Use of Natural Resources in the Context of Trade Liberalization and Export Growth in Indonesia: The Use of Economic Instruments in the Pulp and Paper Industry,
• Environmentally Sound Management of Used Lead Acid Batteries in Central America and the Caribbean, and
• Effects of Trade Liberalization on Agriculture in Lebanon, with Special Focus on Products Where Methyl Bromide is Used.

In the first phase, workshops focusing on the trade-environment-development interface were held in: Jamaica (Workshop on Trade, Environment and Sustainable Development for Caribbean Countries, November 2003); Cape Town (Workshop on Post-Doha Issues on Trade and Environment, May 2003); Geneva (Briefing Session, UNEP-UNCTAD CBTF Phase II, February 2003); Fiji (Workshop on Post-Doha Issues on Trade and Environment, November 2002); Johannesburg (Side Event on Capacity Building in Trade and Sustainable Development at the WSSD, September 2002); Singapore (Workshop on Post-Doha Negotiating Issues on Trade and Environment in Paragraph 31, May 2002); Geneva (Brainstorming Session on Trade and Environment Issues of the Doha Ministerial Declaration, February 2002 and Workshop on Capacity Building on Environment, Trade and Development, March 2002), Brussels (Policy Dialogue on Promoting Production and Trading Opportunities for Organic Agricultural Products, February 2002); Hanoi and Havana (Trade, Environment and Development Training Workshops with Local Partners, December 2001); Brussels (CBTF Programme for LDCs, May 2001).

A second phase of CBTF activities has been launched in 2004 with the financial support of the European Commission and the United States. Activities in Phase II focus on three thematic areas: environmental goods and services (EGS), including research on environmental goods (EGs) of export interest to developing countries; trade in organic agricultural products; and the mutual supportiveness of environment and trade policies.

The synergies between UNEP and UNCTAD activities in the area of trade, environment and development have led to closer cooperation and more efficient use of resources. The collaboration of the CBTF goes beyond the normal level of cooperation that occurs between IGOs. The management team of the CBTF meets every month to ensure smooth and efficient implementation of the CBTF workplan.


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