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Publications archive - International Activities and Commitments

Disclaimer

Key departmental publications, e.g. annual reports, budget papers and program guidelines are available in our online archive.

Much of the material listed on these archived web pages has been superseded, or served a particular purpose at a particular time. It may contain references to activities or policies that have no current application. Many archived documents may link to web pages that have moved or no longer exist, or may refer to other documents that are no longer available.

Australia's report to the UNCSD - 1996

Implementation of Agenda 21
Department of the Environment, Sport and Territories, 1996
ISBN 0 6422 4868 0

Case Study - International cooperation

Non-government organisation views on the trade liberalisation debate

Since the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED)(the Earth Summit), environment and overseas aid non-government organisations (NGOs) in Australia have given a high priority to examining the environmental, labour and human rights impacts of trade liberalisation.

Through Government - NGO consultative arrangements, such as the NGO Forum on International Environment Issues and the Fair Trade Forum, a number of these NGOs have expressed the view that international, regional and national environmental and social standards could be eroded by free trade agreements such as the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT).

There is also concern that the abolition of agricultural subsidies, whilst benefiting Australian farmers, will increase poverty, especially in low-income food importing countries, through increased prices and reduced food security.

Australian environment and overseas aid NGOs are particularly concerned that the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum, of which Australia is a member, is failing to incorporate adequate environmental protection, labour and human rights standards and concerns in institutional arrangements promoting trade liberalisation.