and a request for a substantive submission from the government of Mexico is pending.
In 1996, the OECD Environmental Policy Committee met at the ministerial level for the first time since 1991. In respect to the linkage between trade and environmental issues, the ministers
urged the OECD to continue its integrated work on trade and environmental issues, including that undertaken in cooperation with the WTO, UNEP, the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) and other relevant international bodies. They urged UNEP to take a greater role in ensuring that environmental aspects were fully taken into account in the trade and environment debate.
The ministers also observed that
[s]tudies by the OECD and other institutions confirm that environmental policies have not led to significant impacts, to date, on industrial competitiveness or trade, or to the movement by industry to countries with lower environmental standards. As globalisation increases competitive pressures, these interrelationships win require continuing close surveillance, and a readiness to respond with flexible policies.
APEC held its first Meeting of Ministers on Sustainable Development in 1996. An Action Program for sustainable development in APEC was adopted, focusing on sustainability of the marine environment, clean technology and cleaner production, sustainable cities, and innovative approaches to sustainable development. Ministers instructed their senior officials "to undertake an annual review of sustainable development work in APEC to advance the vision shared by the Leaders in Seattle and Bogor which made sustainable development a central APEC objective."
Frederick M. Abbott
In 1996, international financial institutions faced continued pressure to reshape their operational procedures in order to increase transparency and embrace the goals of sustainable development. Important developments included the active engagement of the World Bank Inspection Panel and the implementation of similar investigatory procedures at other multilateral development banks.