Members make progress on trade and environmental sustainability outcomes for MC13 – WTO Latest News

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The meeting was the final TESSD plenary meeting before MC13, which will take place on 26-29 February in Abu Dhabi. It followed informal consultations held with members by the co-conveners — Ambassador Nadia Theodore of Canada and Ambassador Ronald Saborío Soto of Costa Rica — and the meetings of the four informal TESSD working groups in September to November 2023.
“The mandate of TESSD was established by our ministers and was an ambitious one, but in my view, we have collectively risen to the challenge and can be very proud of what has taken place over this past year,” Ambassador Theodore said. “And we will get an opportunity to present that to our ministers at MC13 in a few short weeks.”
The TESSD package for MC13 will include a statement by the co-convenors which will present the evolution of the group since MC12 and reflect on work towards MC14. It will also contain the updated TESSD work plan for 2024 to guide work towards identifying possible concrete actions or recommendations by the next ministerial conference. Another element of the package are the outcome documents of the four TESSD informal working groups, for which the facilitators presented the latest drafts at the meeting. These are:
“The co-convenors believe these documents are comprehensive and reflect not only the progress but also the direction co-sponsors and members in general want to take within the discussions,” Ambassador Saborío said.
Several members took the floor to welcome the package and provided further suggestions for the draft documents, such as ensuring the complementarity of TESSD work with multilateral discussions at the WTO including the Committee on Trade and Environment.
Members also considered the Summary Report of TESSD for 2023 and summaries of informal working group discussions held on 19-20 September 2023 and 21-22 November 2023. Summary documents are available here. Presentations and documents related to the working group meetings are available here.
Members welcomed Peru as the newest co-sponsor of TESSD since the last plenary meeting in July where Barbados was announced as the latest to join the group, bringing the total number to 76.
Ambassador Theodore said: “We very much welcome the additional perspectives that the two of them will bring to our discussions, and hope that we see more developing members in particular join this year.”
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