The WTO is central to achieving the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which set targets to be achieved by 2030 in areas such as poverty reduction, health, education and the environment. The SDGs put significant emphasis on the role that trade plays in promoting sustainable development and recognize the contribution that the WTO can make to the 2030 Agenda.
By delivering and implementing trade reforms which are pro-growth and pro-development, and by continuing to foster stable, predictable and equitable trading relations across the world, the WTO will play an important role in delivering the Sustainable Development Goals, just as it did with the Millennium Development Goals before them.
This report identifies steps which would help to ensure that international trade contributes to accelerating progress in achieving the SDGs:
1. Mainstream trade into national and sector strategies to achieve the SDGs.
2. Strengthen the multilateral trading system so that it can continue supporting inclusive growth, jobs and poverty reduction.
3. Continue reducing trade costs including through full implementation of the WTO's Trade Facilitation Agreement.
4. Build supply-side capacity and trade-related infrastructure in developing countries and LDCs.
5. Focus on export diversification and value addition.
6. Enhance the services sector.
7. Apply flexible rules of origin to increase utilization of preference schemes.
8. Ensure that non-tariff measures do not become barriers to trade.
9. Make e-commerce a force for inclusion.
10. Support micro, small and medium-sized enterprises to engage in international trade.
The WTO originated as the International Congress of Official Tourist Traffic Associations, which was set up in 1925. It went through several transformations over the years and was officially converted into a specialized agency of the United Nations in 2003. The organization is the most significant global body concerned with the collection and collation of statistical information on international tourism and it serves as a global forum for tourism policy issues and practical tourism know-how. In 2006 it was comprised of 150 countries, seven territories and more than 300 Affiliated Members representing the private sector, educational institutions, tourism associations and local tourism authorities.