Last week, a group of World Trade Organization (WTO) members discussed a road map at a meeting to strengthen the solution of global plastic pollution in the field of trade.
The WTO informal dialogue on plastic pollution and environmentally sustainable plastic trade (IDP) was launched in November 2020 to address the rising environmental, health and economic costs of plastic pollution. IDP currently has 18 members, including the UK.
On October 22, IDP discussed a draft ministerial statement setting out the actions to be taken by IDP members after the 12th WTO Ministerial Conference to be held in Geneva at the end of November.
These actions include sharing experiences in big data collection of trade flow and supply chain, strengthening cooperation with other international regulatory processes, and gaining recognition on environmentally sustainable trade policies and mechanisms.
The draft statement stressed the need to strengthen technical support for vulnerable economies, including the least developed members of WTO and small island developing States.
The Australian Ambassador George Mina, who chaired the meeting, said that this was a strong statement, showing the "enthusiastic participation" of the participants and marking "a very important moment in the WTO".
"In the past, the environmental dimension was considered an additional factor in the trading system, but this situation is changing," he added
The World Trade Organization (WTO) is an intergovernmental organization responsible for regulating and promoting international trade among countries. The government uses the organization to establish, modify and enforce rules governing international trade. Britain has been a member of the WTO since January 1995.
IDP identified key themes to be discussed in 2021, including: improving transparency; Monitoring trade trends; Promote best practices; Strengthening policy coherence; Determine the scope of the overall method; Assessment of capacity and technical assistance needs; And cooperate with other international regulatory processes and work.
At present, the 18 WTO members co sponsoring IDP are Australia, Barbados, Cape Verde, Canada, the Central African Republic, China, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Fiji, Gambia, Jamaica, Kazakhstan, Morocco, New Zealand, Russia, Switzerland, Thailand and the United Kingdom.
It is reported that some stakeholders said at the meeting on October 22 that the WTO needs to "continue to supplement the work of other international organizations" and "stimulate more action and cooperation through IDP".