The purpose of this meeting is to review the final draft of a new Handbook on sustainable development provisions and options in regional trade agreements. Preparation of the handbook was initiated as part of the implementation of the UN Development Account project on trade connectivity in the age of pandemics. The Handbook aims at supporting a more sustainable recovery post COVID-19 crisis, and complements a first handbook on provisions and options for trade in times of crisis and pandemic, issued as part of an ESCAP-led UN initiative on Model Provisions (IMP). This new handbook will provide a basis for a new online course on sustainable development provisions in trade agreement, building on previously developed materials.
Core experts and focal points of IMP partner organizations have been invited to the meeting. They will review the draft handbook during the meeting, following an introductory presentation by Katrin Kuhlman, Faculty Co-Director of the Center on Inclusive Trade and Development & Professor at Georgetown Law, who prepared the draft. To allow for live participation from experts across different continents, the meeting is organized in two sessions. The first review session will take place at 8:30 AM Bangkok time until all participating experts have provided their comments. The second session will take place at 4 PM Bangkok time, until all experts have provided their comments. The ESCAP Secretariat will conclude the sessions by proposing a plan for dissemination of the Handbook, and organization of follow-up capacity building and research activities.