28.10.2018

The 2030 Agenda raises issues in terms of the orientation of IPR systems towards the needs of sustainable and inclusive development

The recent Report Toward Optimal Provision of Regional Public Goods in Asia and the Pacific 

the United Nations recognized regional integration as an important tool to support national efforts in implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The outcome document of the Rio+20 summit, The Future We Want: Our Common Vision, emphasized that “regional and sub-regional organizations, including UN regional commissions and their sub-regional offices, have a significant role to play in promoting balanced integration of the economic, social and environmental dimensions of sustainable development” (UN 2012). The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development encourages “all member states to identify the most suitable regional forum in which to engage” to ensure an inclusive regional follow-up and review process (UN 2015a)

RPGs can effectively bridge the gap between national and global public goods and hence contribute to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. Infrastructure connectivity can facilitate international trade, increase employment and incomes both domestically and across borders. Transnational impacts on agriculture and food supplies due to climate change and environmental pressures require collective responses. More open trade regimes and increased labor mobility have potential to spread contagious diseases that can be tackled through regional cooperation in multiple areas such as health, trade, transport, and tourism. RPGs produce spillover benefits that extend beyond borders. However, along with the often-unclear scope of benefits, their nature of being “public” gives a rise to market failures. Collective action for RPG provision can be difficult to achieve without a regional institution or framework that can coordinate provision across countries. Supply may also hinge on the willingness of countries to cooperate. Individual members in the group acting in their private interests may fail to achieve an optimal outcome for the group. Therefore, policy interventions are required to ensure the provision of adequate level of RPGs

By Katsiaryna Serada

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