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Human Rights and Trade

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay says the need for an international trade regime that incorporates the full range of human rights has become even more stark “against the background of the recent food crisis, economic recession and financial downturn.”

A call for the international trade regime to incorporate all human rights. © UN PhotoThe High Commissioner joined Pascal Lamy, the Director-General of the World Trade Organization (WTO), senior diplomats and trade officials as well as experts from academia and civil society at an event organized by the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) in Geneva to discuss the linkages between trade and human rights.

Pillay says the Trade Policy Review and Dispute Settlement Mechanisms of the WTO could include analyses of how protection or abuse of human rights might affect the realizations of the WTO’s objectives.
Participants in the Doha round of negotiations for a new global agreement on trade have a “crucial role in ensuring that trade rules do not hamper the progressive realization of economic, social and cultural rights,” she says.

Read the full text of the High Commissioner’s speech to the UNITAR High Level Panel on Human Rights and Trade.

28 September 2010