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AuthorUnited Nations Conference on Trade and Development
TitleAchieving Objectives of Multilateral Environmental Agreements: A Package of Trade Measures and Positive Measures - Elucidated by Results of Developing Country Case Studies
Imprint Geneva, United Nations. 2000


Abstract: The study reviews the relevance of trade and positive measures (such as access to and transfer of technology, finance and capacity building) in achieving the objectives of selected multilateral environmental agreements (MEAs) in the light of their contribution to strengthening environmental policy, while at the same time minimizing economic distortions. The case studies review these measures as they are applied through different MEAs. The case studies refer to two MEAs - the Montreal Protocol on Substances That Deplete the Ozone Layer and the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES). Analysis of the Basel Convention on Transborder Movement of Hazardous Wastes and Their Disposal is also presented. These studies have been undertaken by researchers in developing countries under a project which UNCTAD is implementing in cooperation with UNEP. The studies show that when trade and positive measures are adopted as an integrated package they complement one another. Where one presupposes compliance, positive measures enhance national capacity in fulfilling MEA provisions. In practice, given differences between developing countries in the stage of development, technological profiles, market composition, and trade intensities, the relative emphasis on positive measures may result in non-uniform effects of trade measures. The studies confirm that trade and positive measures are pivotal for filling deficiencies in national policy in implementing the MEAs. But for the full utilization of the potential of the MEAs and their measures there should be a commitment to achieving their objectives. [English only]

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