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International Economic Legal System and Sustainable Development - I 16

By: United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR)


02 - 30 May, 2016  29 days

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USD 600

Economic activities have a double relationship with environmental protection. They are a threat to the environment but also the most promising way to preserve it. The link between economy and environment has been recognized globally and environmental initiatives are being increasingly integrated into the global economic framework. Sustainable development shall follow the same path and take into account both potential harms and uses of economic incentives in the protection of the environment.    

Event Objectives

The main objective of the course is to introduce effective ways of integrating sustainable development into international economic agreements and other legal instruments (i.e. bilateral investment agreements, free trade agreements, and agreements within the WTO framework).

Learning Objectives

At the end of the Course, participants will be able to:

  • Explain the relationship between trade liberalization and environmental protection;
  • Describe the development of international trade law in the context of sustainable development;
  • Analyze how multilateral negotiations related to trade and environment deal with environmental issues;
  • Determine bodies, mechanisms and processes connecting foreign investment and environmental protection.

Content and Structure

The Course is organized in 4 weeks and structured in 4 modules:

  • Module 1: Framing the trade and environment nexus.
  • Module 2: Mutual supportiveness as a principle to achieve sustainable development.
  • Module 3: Potential synergies between foreign investment and environmental protection.
  • Module 4: Conflicts between foreign investment and environmental protection.

Each module will guide you through different topics: mechanisms for environmental protection developed by the major international economic forums, the WTO Doha round, and recent international investment disputes with an environmental component.

The course has approximately 45 learning hours. On average you need to commit around 10 hours/ week. The learning-path has some degree of flexibility but you should respect specific deadlines for assessments and collaborative activities.


The course promotes an interactive approach through lessons and multimedia material, stimulating critical thinking. 

Contents and activities are practice-oriented so you will learn through practical examples and assignments associated with research and report-writing.

Group-activities encourage strong collaboration and critical debate among participants and between participants and facilitators. You will participate in peer-reviews and guided discussion forums.

Your learning-path will be supported by additional resources, such as videos, external links and a digital library.

Targeted Audience

Government officials, international civil servants, NGO representatives, academics and private sector professionals in the field of environmental law, sustainable development, and international investments and trade.

Web based May 02 - 30 May, 2016
USD 600.00
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+41 22 917 8400