WTO Director-General Roberto Azevêdo met United Nations Secretary General António Guterres to present him with a new WTO report on how trade is contributing to achieving the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The meeting took place at the UN Chief Executives Board session in London. The Director-General addressed the meeting on the current challenges faced by the international community in achieving the SDGs, including the need to resolve the current tensions between some trading partners.
The new publication, titled “Mainstreaming Trade To Attain The SDGs” looks at how engaging in international trade can help countries gain access to new markets and new investments, therefore boosting growth, raising living standards and promoting sustainable development.
The Director General said, “Trade has proved itself to be a powerful force for growth and development around the world. It played a crucial role in the early achievement of the Millennium Development Goal to halve the number of people living in extreme poverty. Now we are working to ensure that trade contributes again in meeting the Sustainable Development Goals. WTO members took a big step forward with the 2015 agreement to abolish agricultural export subsidies, which delivered a key target of the SDG on Zero Hunger. This new report examines a wide range of other ways that trade can contribute to this global mission — from tackling harmful fisheries subsidies to boosting the economic capacity of least-developed countries to maintaining and strengthening the multilateral trading system in order to provide the platform of stability and certainty upon which growth and development will continue to rely.”
The report looks at the SDGs from economic, social and environmental perspectives and outlines how trade is contributing to making progress in each of these areas, including through reducing poverty, improving health and tackling environmental degradation.