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WEBINAR: AAC Roundtable: Sustainability Standards and Economic Concerns

  • Published on June 1, 2021
  • June 17
  • 2:00 PM to 3:30 PM UTC
The UNFSS’s Academic Advisory Council will be hosting the 3rd AAC Virtual Roundtable Series on Sustainability Standards and Economic Concerns.

DATE: 17 June 2021

TIME: 2:00pm – 3:30pm (CEST)

The expansion of international trade and the complexity of global value chains (GVCs) have brought welfare benefits across the globe. Nevertheless, it may fail to address the adverse environmental, social, and economic impacts. This implies the necessity to transform towards a more sustainable value chain. Voluntary sustainability standards (VSS) could be considered as tools and instruments that contribute to this transformation. VSS specify requirements that cover a wide range of environmental, social, and economic issues. They allow producers of environmentally safe and socially and economically responsible goods to credibly convey this information to consumers who care about how products are made.

From the economic perspective, there are different channels through which VSS can potentially affect the market structure and GVCs participation. This meeting will cover the means of maximizing VSS economic benefits while minimizing their risks.

A Dialogue on VSS and Economic Concerns

The UNFSS’s Academic Advisory Council (AAC), in partnership with Evidensia, will be hosting the 3rd AAC Virtual Roundtable Series on Sustainability Standards and Economic Concerns on 17th June 2021, 2:00pm – 3:30pm (CEST).

Register here

This roundtable discussion will help provide inputs and develop a common foundation upon which further research and discussion in the area of sustainability standards and economic concerns could be conducted. This dialogue is compounded with questions such as:

  • What is the role of VSS in transforming the GVCs structure and participation?
  • From a developing and least developed countries perspective, what are the determinants of VSS being catalysts or barriers to trade? And how to enhance their favorable impact on trade?
  • On which economic dimensions would VSS be a challenge to address, and which of these dimensions can VSS make a difference and/or should prioritize?
  • What are some of the main knowledge gaps and where we need more research/type of research?


  • Rita Mendez, Senior Coordinator, Impacts and Evidence at Evidensia, ISEAL
  • Santiago Fernandez de Cordoba, Senior Economist and UNFSS Coordinator, UNCTAD
  • Bernard Hoekman, Director, Global Economics at the Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies, European University Institute
  • Stefano Ponte, Professor, Centre for Business and Development Studies (CBDS), Copenhagen Business School
  • Thomas Dietz, Professor, University of Muenster
  • Mercedes Aráoz Fernández, Professor of Economics, Universidad del Pacifico, and Former Second Vice President of Peru
  • Siti Rubiah Lambert, UNFSS Secretariat, UNCTAD
  • Vera Thorstensen, Professor, Head of the Centre for Global Trade and Investment Studies, Getulio Vargas Foundation (FGV) Brazil
  • Vidya Rangan, Senior Manager, Impacts and Evidence, ISEAL
Event start date
02:00 pm
Event end date
03:30 pm

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