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Seminar on International Trade Law and Policy

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Seminar on International Trade Law and Policy

Deadline: Closed
The registration is closed.
New York, United States
18 Jul 2012 to 20 Jul 2012
Duration of event:
3 Days
Programme Area:
International Law
Specific Target Audience:
Participation for diplomats from developing and least-developed countries is free-of-charge. Delegates from developing and least-developed countries are kindly requested to send an email requesting a fee-waiver at the end of the registration process online. Applicants from all other countries may be admitted upon availability of places for a fee of $550. Students and Interns can get a reduced fee of $250 and if any students and/or interns who are willing to attend, please email us at for follow up process first
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While nations recognize the potential of international trade and the multilateral trading system to contribute to economic growth, development and employment, reaching agreements on trade issues especially in multilateral for a presents a myriad of challenges. The World Trade Organization (WTO) represents the principal international organization governing world trade and providing a multilateral forum for trade negotiations. Established in 1995 as a successor organization to the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT), the WTO counts 153 member states today. In November 2001, the WTO at its 4th Ministerial Conference held in Doha, Qatar, adopted the 'Doha Work Programme' focusing on broad areas of global trade. The Doha Round was supposed to have been concluded by 1 January 2005. The negotiations fell apart over the issue of the special safeguard mechanism for developing countries in the event of import surges.

With the global economic and financial crisis, WTO Members turned their attention to adopting policies to rejuvenate their own economies. Less attention was given to the Doha negotiations, even though there are several studies which indicate that the successful conclusion of the Round could boost the global economy by several billions of dollars. Since then, attempts to narrow the differences in Members' negotiating positions have floundered. As both momentum for the Round wanes and Members continue to disagree on key areas of the negotiations, there are now talks of salvaging the Round through a 'plan B' to preserve those areas that have been agreed to and protecting the vitality and credibility of the WTO.

At the end of the seminar, participants will be able to:
  • Explain the objectives and rules of the multilateral trading system and the WTO framework;
  • Analyze key negotiation issues and negotiation modalities under the Doha Round;
  • Identify and discuss issues that cut across different related areas, including climate change, Intellectual Property, gender, and development etc.;
  • Further develop their expertise to contribute positively to current trade-related duties and negotiations within the General Assembly and the Economic and Social Council.

The seminar will be divided into three parts. The first part will introduce participants into the functioning of the international trading system, including an overview of the role, structure, and the basic principles of the WTO, and will cover the latest developments in international trade. The second part will give an overview of the Doha Development Agenda, including the status of the negotiations in the various areas as well as the contentious issues involved that have prevented the conclusion of the Round. In particular, it will focus on the negotiations on agriculture and non-agricultural market access (NAMA). The third part will assess a number of cross-cutting issues that are related to world trade and development, including aid for trade and the inter-linkages between trade and gender, environment and employment.

The issues will be presented from various perspectives, and each meeting/panel will have a specified question and answer period. In addition, participants will have the opportunity to engage in interactive simulation exercises. The seminar will be conducted in English.


This seminar is intended for delegates of permanent missions to the United Nations in New York who are involved or interested in trade-related issues, and/or follow the work of the Second and Sixth Committees of the General Assembly and for outside participants from the UN system, civil society and the academic community. 

The Seminar will consist of three full-day sessions from Wednesday 18 July until Friday 20 July at the Permanent Mission of Malaysia to the United Nations, 313 East 43rd Street (Between 1st and 2nd ave) New York, NY 10017. 

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