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Queen's University

Centre for International and Defence Policy

Transparency and Accountability: The World Trade Organization

Robert Wolfe


Transparency and accountability are two of the central pillars of good governance. Transparency is also a necessary precondition for the exercise of accountability since without access to clear, accurate and up-to-date information, it is impossible to judge whether the standard promised has been met. This project organized by the International Institute for Sustainable Development Geneva office is examining how to improve transparency—and especially accountability—in key international processes fundamental for sustainable development. We are, for example, part of the ENTWINED (Environment and Trade in a World of Interdependence) research consortium generously funded by the MISTRA Foundation of Sweden on trade and environment seeking, through targeted and practical research, to identify ways in which the World Trade Organization (WTO) might achieve its goal of a multilateral, rules-based trading system that contributes to sustainable development. Our work began by examining how the WTO uses transparency measures in its regular operations-what works, what doesn't and why. In the present phase of work, we are looking at what accountability mechanisms are at play and how they can be improved and extended. For more information, contact Professor Wolfe...

Robert Sutherland Hall, Ste 403
Tel: (1) 613.533.2381
Fax: (1) 613.533.6885