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Deborah James, Co-ordinator, CEPR/OWINFS, USA


Governments around the world agreed in September 2015 to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) also known as Agenda 2030. Unfortunately, current WTO rules were not designed with these goals in mind. Therefore in the post-2015 environment, for the inclusive achievement of the SDGs, it is essential for international rules designed in previous eras to be brought into conformity with the new 21st century thinking on trade for development. Given that trade is referred to repeatedly under the SDG's Means of Implementation, and is one of the pillars of the Financing for Development agreement called the Addis Ababa Action Agenda (AAAA) as well as one of the priority areas of action of the Istanbul Programme of Action for the Least Developed Countries for the Decade 2011-2020 (IPoA) which recently in May had the High-Level Midterm Review; now is the perfect time for governments to review the existing WTO agreements with a view to ensuring that the rules allow for countries to achieve the SDGs, particularly in countries at the margins of the global economy in LDCs and Africa, or where inequalities serve to foment social conflict in the Middle East, as well as for workers in global supply chains worldwide.


  • Prerna Mingma Bomzan, Advocacy Co-ordinator, Least Developed Country Watch (LDC Watch), Nepal
  • Ranja Sengupta, Senior Researcher, Third World Network (TWN), India
  • Yorgos Altintzis, Economic & Social Policy, ITUC, Belgium/Greece
  • Jane Nalunga, Country Director, Southern and Eastern African Trade Information and Negotiations Institute (SEATINI), Uganda