DG Azevêdo briefed the UNSG on the WTO’s contribution to work on the SDGs. This included the ongoing negotiations at the WTO to eliminate harmful fisheries subsidies, which would deliver on a key target of SDG 14 on the sustainable use of our oceans. DG Azevêdo also briefed Mr Guterres on the forthcoming Global Review of Aid for Trade that will take place at the WTO on 3-5 July 2019 which will help developing countries to build their trade capacity and infrastructure.
The two heads also exchanged views on last weekend’s important outcomes from the G20 Summit in Buenos Aires, including the commitment of G20 leaders to improve and strengthen the WTO. They agreed to maintain their regular contact on the many issues of common interest between the two organizations.
DG Azevêdo said:
“Cooperation between the WTO and UN is essential in strengthening multilateral efforts to tackle some of the most pressing problems facing the world today. I thank UNSG Guterres for his leadership on this front and for his strong support of our work at the WTO. We will continue building on our cooperation, including towards delivering on the Sustainable Development Goals.
“Trade was essential in delivering the Millennium Development Goal on cutting extreme poverty and I have no doubt that it will prove essential again in delivering the SDGs. WTO members have already delivered on a key target of SDG 2 on Zero Hunger when they abolished agricultural export subsidies in 2015. Now we are working to deliver again on SDG 14 as members discuss how to tackle harmful fisheries subsidies. More broadly, we will continue working to ensure that trade continues to play its full part in driving growth, development and the eradication of poverty around the world.”
Earlier this year the WTO published a report on "Mainstreaming trade to attain the SDGs", which is available here.