oa Comparative and International Law Journal of Southern Africa - Global trade and sustainable development: two steps forward in the WTO?

Volume 35, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 0010-4051



This article discusses the delicate issue of how to strike an appropriate balance between growth in global trade and sustainable development. The world has in recent times seen a spectacular growth in global trade but at the same time, it has witnessed a spectacular failure to achieve sustainable development. This article discusses how the World Trade Organisation is approaching the challenge. It starts by examining how the GATT handled the issue. Next, it looks at how the question was dealt with by the WTO lawmakers during the Uruguay Round negotiations and how they have dealt with it since. The article then focuses on the judicial attempts to strike that appropriate balance between growth in global trade and sustainable development, starting with the GAIT Panel decisions and moving on to the recent decisions of the WTO's Appellate Body. Finally, the article discusses the Doha Development Agenda.

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