A global arrangement
between the Secretariat of the World Trade Organization and the United Nations as a
whole was agreed between the two Secretariats in an exchange of letters between the
Director-General of the WTO and the Secretary-General of the United Nations on 29
September 1995. In accordance with the mandate given to the Secretariat of the WTO and the
mandate given to the Secretariat of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP),
recognition is given to the importance of cooperation and collaboration between the two
Secretariats with respect to their work on issues of mutual interest.
the commitment of Members to continue to improve efforts towards the objective of
sustainable development, the WTO and UNEP Secretariats have elaborated the following
elements of cooperation between their respective organizations. This cooperation will take
place in the context of our respective mandates and within our respective resources.
on the global arrangement between the UN and the WTO, consultations have been held between
the Director-General of the WTO and the Executive-Director of UNEP to further effective
cooperation between the two Secretariats in areas of mutual interest and to help achieve
the aims of the Rio Declaration. It is understood that cooperation between the WTO and
UNEP Secretariats should encompass practical measures which could assist in the smooth and
efficient functioning of both organizations in areas where interaction could be of mutual
benefit. The goal is to improve the working relationship at all levels in the two
Secretariats, including with respect to technical cooperation and research initiatives.
between the WTO and UNEP Secretariats will thus include the provision and exchange of
relevant non-confidential information, including access to trade-related environmental
databases, and reciprocal representation at meetings of a non-confidential nature, in
accordance with the decisions of the competent bodies of the respective organizations.
With respect to participation and representation, it is noted that the WTO Secretariat is
an observer of the Governing Council of UNEP, and UNEP is an observer of the WTO Committee
on Trade and Environment.
on past practice, the Secretariats of the two organizations will also continue, as
appropriate, their cooperation and collaboration, in particular through informal staff
meetings and information sessions, including where feasible with the participation of the
Secretariats of Multilateral Environmental Agreements.
building for developing countries and countries with economies in transition is another
form of cooperative activity between the two Secretariats which could usefully be
continued and further strengthened, thus contributing to raising awareness on the linkages
between trade, environment and sustainable development and the development of policies
which integrate sustainable development considerations with trade policies. We agree to
work for complementarity in technical cooperation with the aim of improving cooperation
across the board and making better use of available resources.