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The WTO and Sustainable Development
Gary P. Sampson
ISBN 92-808-1115-0
August 2005
  330 pages
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    The WTO has evolved into a World Trade and Sustainable Development Organization and many issues now on its agenda are far from traditional trade policy matters. Some have already proven to be particularly controversial and there is much more controversy to come.

    "The book will stimulate intellectual discourse for changing our mindset by putting fair trade in mainstream of sustainable development and poverty alleviation."

    - Educational Book Review, November - December 2005

    "The WTO simply cannot ignore the need to promote and preserve the environment. The priority must be to re-balance the international trade system in favour of developing countries. [This book] is a crucial first step in identifying and exploring the issues that fall under the umbrellas of sustainable development and the expanded agenda of trade policy. A crucial question is whether a clearer mission for the WTO in support of sustainable development implies major institutional reforms. I do not think so. To surmount the difficulties confronting the WTO, it must adapt. But the fundamental objective of the WTO has to remain the construction of fair trade rules to guarantee better, more long-lasting, more predictable and more transparent trade opening."

    - From the Foreword by Pascal Lamy, WTO Director-General and former European Union Commissioner for Trade (1999-2004)

    "Professor Gary Sampson

  • identifies an inventory of policy issues that fall within the overlap between trade and sustainable development, and analyses the implications of this overlap. He also presents policy options that are both ambitious and realistic, the pursuit of which could contribute to more coherent and mutually supportive action on the part of governments to both trade and sustainable development. This book is a useful contribution to the literature and should be of interest to a large part of the international community, including government officials, academics, the business community, and both intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations."

    - Dr. Supachai Panitchpakdi, UNCTAD Secretary-General and former WTO Director General (2002-2005)

    "For trade to contribute to sustainable development, it is pertinent that the WTO must shift. I welcome Professor Gary Sampson's book and hope that it will stimulate intellectual discourse for changing our mindset by putting fair trade in the mainstream of sustainable development and poverty alleviation."

    - Emil Salim, former Indonesian Minister of Population and Environment and former Chairman of the WSSD Preparatory Committee

    "Professor Gary Sampson's analysis

  • is sharp and his suggestions are full of wisdom. I regard this book to be a very important contribution to the study of the WTO."

    - Mitsuo Matsushita, founding member of the WTO Appellate Body

    Gary P. Sampson is the Professor of Economic Governance at the Institute of Advanced Studies, United Nations University, Yokohama, Japan, and Professor at the Centre for Business and Public Policy, Melbourne Business School, Melbourne University. He is a former Director of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade and the World Trade Organization.


  • Foreword
  • Acknowledgements
  • Introduction and overview
  • Institutional considerations
  • Trade liberalization, market access and sustainable development
  • Discrimination, WTO rules and sustainable development
  • WTO Agreements and standards
  • MEAs, the WTO and sustainable development
  • Biotechnology, sustainable development and the WTO
  • Trade in services and sustainable development
  • Special and differential treatment and sustainable economic development: Substance and process
  • Changing importance and perceptions of the WTO
  • World trade and environment organizations
  • Coherence and sustainable development

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