COVID-19 has brought significant disruption to international trade and has revealed countries’ reliance on ad-hoc unilateral actions in response to crisis. Both trade restrictive and trade facilitating measures have been taken to combat the pandemic, but overall, their effectiveness has been undermined by lack of coordination. This has highlighted the gaps in the existing multilateral and regional trade agreements (RTAs) in terms of ensuring protection and resilience during a global or regional crisis.
In order to fill these gaps to ensure more resilient and predictable trade in times of future crisis, the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) and the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) in collaboration with UN regional commissions, the World Trade Organization (WTO) and other partner organizations launched the global Initiative on Model Provisions for Trade in Times of Crisis and Pandemic in Regional and Other Trade Agreements (IMP).
The major outcome of the IMP is a newly published UN Handbook on Provisions and Options for Trade in Times of Crisis and Pandemic. This Handbook provides a range of options for provisions that address key issues for trade in times of pandemic and other crisis and explains in detail those legal provisions. Based on the Handbook, ESCAP and UNCTAD are co-organising a free online Global Course on Negotiating RTAs for Trade in Times of Crisis and Pandemic.
The course endeavours to help improve RTAs so that they can promote greater preparedness and resilience of RTA parties to cope with future pandemics and crises. We are calling for interested participants who work or study in the field of international trade and want to understand the importance of adapting RTA provisions to cater for trade policy needs in times of crisis; strengthen the capacity in understanding, designing and drafting RTA provisions; join the discussion on how RTA provisions may be crafted to better address possible future crises.
This course will provide e-learning materials including readings, videos lectures, online quizzes and an online forum for discussion, in addition, it also includes 3 live sessions providing deeper and broader discussions with the lecturer and guest experts.
Interested candidates should apply by following the instructions HERE