Environment "must not be sidelined" in Doha

UNEP promotes "mutual supportiveness" of trade, environment, rules as world trade talks begin

As world governments prepare to gather in Doha, Qatar, on Friday in pursuit of a new round of world trade liberalisation negotiations, the UN environment programme (UNEP) has issued a plea for environmental issues not to be sidelined. "We must design new policies that successfully combine the efficiency and income generating opportunities of trade with effective protection of the environment," said UNEP chief Klaus Töpfer.

Walking a tightrope between opposing camps, the UNEP statement calls for sensitivity to environmental issues without supporting the EU's repeated call for "clarification" of the relationship between world trade organisation (WTO) and multilateral environmental agreements (MEAs) (EED 30/10/01).

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