The International Convention on Sustainable Trade and Standards (ICSTS) is an international framework that aims to uphold multi-stakeholder dialogue on voluntary sustainability standards. The Convention is dedicated to the practicalities of leveraging sustainability standards as a mean to foster sustainable global value chains and green exports, while addressing the challenges and opportunities where these standards can eventually contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Implemented in

  • Africa
  • Asia / Pacific
  • Europe and Central Asia
  • Latin America / Caribbean

Sectors of activity
Agricultural and Fishery, Consumer Goods, Forestry

Type of initiative
Capacity Building & Implementation, Policy Frameworks & Tools, Research, Analysis, Assessment

Type of lead actor
United Nations / intergovernmental organizations

Start date

End date

Shared by

Santiago Fernandez de Cordoba

Coordinator, Senior Economist

United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD)

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(i) Increase multi-stakeholder dialogues on Voluntary Sustainability Standards
(ii) Develop an international framework to be adopted through national action plans
(iii) Strengthen the collaboration between countries through their National Platforms


As collected through the One Planet Reporting

No activities have yet been reported under this initiative

Impact and Results

All these events have been very successful in advancing the role of standards in sustainable development. They have received tremendous recognition upholding the significance of Voluntary Sustainability Standards (VSS) as a tool for sustainable development and market access.

The 1st ICSTS was the first of its kind — a multi-stakeholder convention dedicated solely to the practicalities of leveraging trade, global value chains, standards and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). This was also an event that marked the first ‘Declaration of Cooperation on Sustainability Standards between the National Platforms’ signed by INMETRO, Quality Council of India and the Mexican Ministry of Economy on an agreement of 9 action points towards achieving the 2030 SDGs collectively.

Next steps and how to get involved

This is a public convention open to all societies, institutions, the private sectors, academia and
all others who are interested in dialogues related to trade, sustainability standards and global
value chains, coming together with international representatives, namely the Steering
Committee members of the UNFSS, which include the UNCTAD, ITC, UNIDO, FAO and

We highly encourage the participation of representatives from high-level governmental and
intergovernmental officials, other National Platforms, members of MERCOSUR, LAIA,
Brazilian partners from South America, members of state governments, international
organizations, non-profit organizations/ NGOs, stakeholders from international and national
businesses, policy-makers, research institutions and think-tanks, standards organizations &
alliances, national standardization bodies, major industry associations from around the world,
producers and SMEs who form different parts of value chains, smallholders, civil society and
major group stakeholders, consumer protection associations, among others.