CIGI’s International Law Research Program (ILRP) is delighted to host this panel as a Knowledge Partner of the ICTSD’s Trade and Sustainable Development Symposium in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
We have entered a moment of profound challenge for open societies. Overall poverty levels worldwide are diminishing with deepened trade, notably but not exclusively in China. Yet inequality within and across states is at record levels. The benefits of trade do not appear to have been evenly distributed, such that many workers consider themselves to be trade’s losers forced to bear the individualized risk of economic restructuring , and women and Indigenous peoples wonder if they will ever experience firsthand the benefits of participating in international trade . Th e dawning awareness of the uneven distribution of the benefits of international trade stokes fear and cynicism about globalization and calls for more trade protectionism.
This panel calls attention to the perceived mismatch between existing provisions in trade agreements, and the concerns about the impact of trade on labour and employment , and the need to ensure that global trade is inclusive of women and indigenous peoples. Th is panel will review existing trade agreements. It will consider the potential to enhance participation of labour, women and Indigenous peoples , and reinforce progressive social values while promoting global economic growth. It will consider the possibilities and limits for individual states in fostering an inclusive trade agenda and progressive trade adjustment measures. It seeks to push thinking further, to consider whether and how regional economic agreements might become sites through which to rethink distributive justice (social regionalism). It will bring together leading experts on the interface between equality rights, indigenous rights, labour law, development and trade law, to discuss how core social principles of inclusion, equity and decent work might better be embedded in regional and multilateral economic agreements.
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