ACCESSIONS:

Trade for peace through WTO accession

Approximately half of the countries in the process of acceding to the WTO are considered "fragile and conflict affected" (FCA). The "Trade for Peace" initiative, launched in December 2017 at the 11th WTO Ministerial Conference in Buenos Aires, aims at using the WTO accession process as a pathway to economic growth and development, fundamental elements for national, regional and international peace and security.

The initiative facilitates collaboration between the trade and peace communities by breaking down the silos of trade and peace, creating opportunities for establishing creative and interdisciplinary approaches on leveraging the multilateral trading system for peace and security. 

g7+ WTO Accessions Group

The g7+ WTO Accessions Group is a sub-group of the larger g7+, an association of 20 FCA states. The g7+ WTO Accessions Group was officially launched on the margins of the 11th WTO Ministerial Conference in Buenos Aires by eight g7+ members associated with WTO accessions: three recently acceded members (Afghanistan, Liberia and Yemen) and five acceding governments (Comoros, Sao Tome and Principe, Somalia, South Sudan and Timor-Leste).

In January 2019, the Group accepted Sudan (an acceding government and outside of the g7+) as its ninth member.

The main objectives of the g7+ WTO Accessions Group are:

  1. to facilitate the integration of FCA economies into the multilateral trading system through WTO accession-related reforms, including the establishment of credible economic and trade policy frameworks and institutions, and the promotion of transparency and good governance
  2. to support the efforts of the WTO acceding governments in the Group, including through information and experience sharing.

Outreach events

Under the Trade for Peace initiative, a number of outreach events have been conducted to examine the relationship between the multilateral trading system and peace and security. Also, partnerships have been established with other international organisations, multinational companies, academic institutions and professional associations. The initiative has been showcased at various fora that explore the intersections among multilateral trade, peace and security.

WTO Accessions – Building Peace Through Trade

Location: WTO
Date: 19 September 2018

The session addressed the nexus between trade and peace by:

  1. exploring the historical connection between peacebuilding and the multilateral trading system
  2. providing background on the meaning of peacebuilding in the 21st century
  3. considering how fragile and post-conflict WTO acceding governments identify WTO accessions as a pathway to establishing domestic stability, economic recovery and, ultimately, peace.

Speakers

  • Dr Achim Wennmann, Executive Coordinator of the Geneva Peacebuilding Platform
  • Ambassador Mohammad Qurban Haqjo, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Afghanistan to the WTO, Coordinator of the g7+ WTO Accessions Group
  • Ms Maryan Hassan, Chief Negotiator for the Accession of the Federal Republic of Somalia to the WTO

Moderator

  • Ambassador Alan Wm. Wolff, Deputy Director-General of the WTO

WTO Public Forum 2018 - Trade for Peace: Integration of fragile states into the global economy as a pathway to peace and resilience

Location: WTO
Date: 4 October 2018

The Public Forum is the WTO's largest annual outreach event, providing a platform for discussions on the latest developments in world trade and the enhancement of the multilateral trading system. The session focused on the opportunities and challenges that FCA countries face in developing their capacities to trade.

The session provided a platform for governments from FCA countries and the relevant development partners to:

  1. discuss and exchange ideas on the opportunities offered by trade in achieving peace, and the specific challenges faced on the way to integration into the multilateral trading system
  2. familiarise a broader audience with the implications of disruptions in trade and investment in poverty reduction and development
  3. identify how trade and the use of technology can contribute to recovery and reconstruction and build resilience.

The session provided concrete suggestions and recommendations on how FCA countries can be integrated into the multilateral trading system and also how trade in FCA countries can contribute to peacebuilding.

Speakers

  • Mr Kay Rala Xanana Gusmão, Eminent Person of g7+ and former President and Prime Minister of Timor-Leste
  • Mr Deng Deng Hoc Yai, Minister for General Education and Instruction, Republic of South Sudan
  • Ms Kamila Sidiqi, Deputy Minister for Commerce, Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Afghanistan
  • Ms Maryan Hassan, Chief Negotiator for the Accession of the Federal Republic of Somalia to the WTO
  • Ms Sara Sekkenes, Conflict Prevention and Partnerships Advisor, UNDP Office in Geneva
  • Mr Will Martindale, Head of Policy and Research at UN-Supported Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI)

Moderator

  • Ambassador Alan Wm. Wolff, Deputy-Director General of the WTO

Geneva Peace Week: Trade for Peace; WTO Membership for Peace and State Building

Location: United Nations Office, Geneva
Date: 9 November 2018

The session was organised by the WTO Secretariat as part of the Geneva Peace Week under the theme "Building Peace in a Turbulent World". The main aim of the session was to raise awareness about the contribution of multilateral trade to peace and state-building in FCA countries.

The session provided a platform for a discussion and exchange of ideas on the issue from the perspectives of government officials of FCA countries and people who come from these countries. The session provided insights into how countries that have long been isolated by years of conflict can fully realise their trade potential and reap the benefits while deliberating on how the WTO accession process can contribute to peacebuilding and development in FCA countries.

Speakers

  • Mr Axel M. Addy, Chief Executive Officer of Ecocap Investment Group, former Minister of Commerce & Industry of Liberia and Chief Negotiator for the accession of Liberia to the WTO
  • Ambassador Kadra Ahmed Hassan, Permanent Representative of the Republic of Djibouti to the United Nations and other international organisations in Geneva
  • Ms Kulé Galma, Youth Representative, Intern, WTO Accessions Division

Moderator

  • Ambassador Mohammad Qurban Haqjo, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Afghanistan to the WTO, Coordinator of the g7+ WTO Accessions Group

Second Regional Dialogue on WTO Accessions for the Greater Horn of Africa

Location: Djibouti City
Date: 3-6 December 2018

The Government of the Republic of Djibouti hosted the Second Regional Dialogue on WTO Accessions for the Greater Horn of Africa under the theme“Trade for Peace through WTO Accessions”. The underlying aim of the Regional Dialogue was to explore how WTO accession can complement the peacebuilding efforts and initiatives being conducted in the region for the realisation of sustainable peace and security, cornerstones for sustainable economic growth and development. The Dialogue was co-organized with the International Trade Centre and offered a platform for acceding governments to engage in experience sharing.

Trade for Peace through WTO Accession: Opportunities for South Sudan

Location: WTO
Date: 21 March 2019

The event was organised on the sidelines of the 1st Meeting of the Working Party on the Accession of South Sudan.  It examined the link between multilateral trade and peace. The discussion explored how peacebuilding in South Sudan impacts neighbouring countries socially, politically and economically, particularly in the Greater Horn of Africa region, while considering the role of the private sector in supporting South Sudan's WTO accession and peacebuilding initiatives.

Speakers

  • Ambassador Alan Wm. Wolff, WTO Deputy Director-General
  • Mr Aggrey Sabuni, Chief Negotiator for Accession of South Sudan to the WTO and Economic Advisor to the President of the Republic of South Sudan
  • Ambassador Kadra Ahmed Hassan, Permanent Representative of the Republic of Djibouti to the United Nations and other international organisations in Geneva
  • Ambassador Zorica Maric Djordjevic, former Permanent Representative of Montenegro to the WTO
  • Mr Daniel Weston, General Counsel and Global Head of Corporate Affairs and Creating Shared Value (CSV), Nestle Nespresso SA.

Moderator

  • Ambassador Mohammad Qurban Haqjo, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Afghanistan to the WTO and Coordinator of the g7+ WTO Accessions Group

Trade for Peace through WTO Accessions: Opportunities for the private sector

Location: WTO
Date: 3 July 2019

The event will be organised by the WTO Secretariat in collaboration with the g7+ WTO Accession Group and the Dutch government as a side event to the Aid for Trade Global Review 2019. For FCA countries, WTO accession is an opportunity for (re)structuring their economies in a manner that incorporates WTO-consistent trade, governance and policy frameworks. Such (re)structuring has peace dividends in countries since transparency and good governance are enhanced. The WTO accession process in FCA countries hence offers significant trade and investment opportunities for the private sector (MSMEs and multinationals), immersing the private sector into peacebuilding.

The session will focus on examining the involvement of the private sector in peacebuilding in FCA countries. It will:

  1. explore the business and investment opportunities with resulting peace dividends availed by trade as well as the associated challenges
  2. generate further awareness of the disruptions caused to private sector-led trade and investment by armed conflict and insecurity
  3. identify how the private sector can contribute to creating a peaceful and secure environment for sustainable development.

Partnerships

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