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On 26-28 January the Independent Expert on International Order participated in a “Strategy meeting on catalyzing reform of trade negotiation processes” hosted by the Electronic Frontier Foundation at the Open Society European Policy Institute in Brussels.

Consensus was reached that current and past trade negotiations on free trade and investment agreements do not meet the requirements of proactive disclosure of information, meaningful consultation of all stakeholders, public participation and parliamentary review. Current and future negotiations must conform to human rights treaty norms, including articles 14, 19, 21, 22 and 25 of the ICCPR and not prevent or delay the fulfillment of ICESCR treaty obligations and SDG pledges, which cannot be trumped by economic projections based on market fundamentalism.

Human rights, health and environmental impact assessments shall inform the negotiation process and ensure transparency and accountability throughout.