in DGAP Policy Brief No. 26
To address the dynamic challenges confronting modern trade relations it is imperative to update the rules of the World Trade Organization (WTO). Plurilateral agreements are a viable option for responding to trade issues on which multilateral consensus is difficult. They should follow an inclusive and development-focused framework for participation.
– In their current form, WTO rules do not adequately address pressing global challenges such as food security, pandemic responses, and climate change. Plurilateral agreements can be a viable option for reform.
– Effective plurilateral agreements feature a layered architecture of rights and obligations – similar to that of the Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) – and encompass capacity-building measures.
– WTO Members should initiate plurilaterals on topics that are of particular concern to developing countries and Least-Developed Countries (LDCs) and that can help achieve the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).