various environmental groups and labour unions added to the complexity of consensus building on any major issue. The developing countries did not evince inclination to support some of the proposals on environmental and labour standards for fear that these would lead to disguised trade protectionism in the developed countries.
The WTO charter and its preamble provide guidance to derive pragmatic multilateral trade policies consistent with environmental preservation and sustainable development. The member countries as well as the WTO Secretariat need to undertake necessary analyses and devise mechanisms to ensure a fair and equitable global trading regime. Such efforts can lead to confidence building for all the members and enable a reasonable consensus. It is also useful to realize that much of the debate on trade and development in the WTO framework (and under the GATT 1947 framework earlier) has been narrowly focused in terms of trade and developing countries, or in terms of developed and developing countries. This was also evident from the WTO High Level Symposium on Trade and Development held in Geneva during March 1999. Most of the modern concepts and approaches for development and sustainable development are still missing in their integration with multilateral trade mechanisms under the WTO charter. Several ingredients relevant for strengthening the framework are enunciated in this book within the context of trade-environment sustainable development.
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