Document Type

World News

Publication Date

Summer 2003


In September 2003, the Fifth Ministerial Conference of the World Trade Organization (“WTO”) will meet in Cancun, Mexico. Cancun may provide an opportunity to reconcile many tensions between trade and the environment, although it seems likely that environmental concerns will remain marginalized. NGOs, governments, and other environmental agencies are eagerly waiting to see what happens at Cancun. At the Fourth WTO Ministerial Conference in Doha, Qatar, governments mandated the WTO to unilaterally clarify the relationship between trade rules and trade measures that enforce MEAs. The Doha mandate, however, established that the outcome of any negotiations “shall not diminish the rights and obligations of Members under existing WTO agreements,” thus continuing to subjugate environmental concerns to those of trade.