The course is designed to help negotiations of provisions for sustainable development in Free Trade Agreements (FTAs). The objective is to improve FTAs in order for trade to contribute to sustainable development goals – better-designed sustainable development provisions would guide international trade in achieving greater societal and environmental benefits besides economic interests. ESCAP is organizing the first facilitated run of this course including two live sessions with distinguished guest speakers from the ILO, WHO, WTO, ADB, Asian Trade Centre, International Economics Consulting, Georgetown University and Universitas Pelita Harapan. The course is composed of five modules as follows:
- Introduction to Sustainable Development Provisions in FTAs
- Labour Provisions in FTAs
- Environment Provisions in FTAs
- MSME Related Provisions in FTAs
- Health related provisions in FTAs
Depending on your familiarity with the topic, you may allocate about 5-10 hours of your time to complete the course (including live sessions).
After passing the quizzes and completing other requirements, a free certificate from United Nations ESCAP will be issued to the participants.
The course is organized as a facilitated online e-learning course consisting of the following three parts:
- Reading and Video Lectures
The course is based on the ‘Handbook on Negotiating Sustainable Development Provisions in Preferential Trade Agreements’ has been developed in 2018 and updated in 2021. The course includes five pre-recorded video lectures including an introductory module and 4 subject-specific modules of about 15-20 minutes each. The participants are expected to read the Handbook and watch the recorded video lectures. The Handbook and video lectures will be made available to participants from 2 May, well in advance of the live lectures scheduled on 9 and 10 May.
After studying with the Handbook and video lectures, the participants are expected to take online quizzes associated with the course materials. Participants will have the opportunity to take the quizzes multiple times but are asked to attempt the quizzes at least once before each relevant live session. To obtain the free certificate from United Nations ESCAP for this course, a participant must take the three quizzes and obtain 75% of correct answers at each quiz.
- Live sessions
Two interactive live sessions will be held to provide clarification on quiz questions and further discussion on each subject. Each live session will consist of two parts: the course facilitator Runqiu Du will explain selected quiz questions in the first 15 minutes, then guest experts will give a short presentation (15min max.) followed by a Q&A session in the next 60-75 minutes. Participants will be encouraged to send written questions (if any) before the live sessions.
Live Session 1 (Monday, 9 May):
- Introduction to sustainable development provisions in FTAs
- Labour provisions in FTAs
- Environment provisions in FTAs
Live Session 2 (Tuesday, 10 May):
- MSME related provisions in FTAs
- Health related provisions in FTAs
- Gender related provisions in FTAs
- Closing remark
Please register by filling the registration form, kindly note that we approve registration on a selective first-come-first-served basis and that seats are limited. You will be notified as soon as possible (no later than 1 May) if you are successfully registered.
Registration deadline: 30 April 2022, please apply as soon as possible.
*The course materials (including the Handbook) were prepared by Paul Baker with assistance from Runqiu Du, with the guidance of ESCAP Trade Policy and Facilitation Section. The course benefited from feedback of participants during a BFTI-ESCAP workshop on Sustainable Development Provisions in Regional Trade Agreements held on 2 December 2021.
**Disclaimer: The designations employed and the presentation of the material in the online course do not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever on the part of the Secretariat of the United Nations concerning the legal status of any country, territory, city or area or of its authorities, or concerning the delimitation of its frontiers or boundaries. The United Nations bears no responsibility for the availability or functionality of URLs. Opinion, figures and estimates set forth in this online course should not necessarily be considered as reflecting the views or carrying the endorsement of the United Nations. Mention of firm names and commercial products does not imply the endorsement of the United Nations.