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Mongkolnavin, Phuchphop (2001) Trade and Environment in APEC: Assessing the Potential of APE's Dispute Mediation Service for Resolving Trade and Environment Disputes in the Asia-Pacific Rim. PhD thesis. SOAS University of London. DOI:

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In the 1990s, the relationship between trade liberalisation and environmental protection was widely discussed in several fora around the world. At the 1992 Earth Summit, it was acknowledged that, in order to achieve the long-term goal of sustainable development, trade liberalisation and environmental protection should be made mutually supportive. However, integrating trade and environment paradigms is an arduous task. Conflicts have already manifested themselves, leading to trade and environment disputes. These disputes often arise because one party uses trade measures, sometimes with a protectionist intent, to pursue its environmental goals. Unless settled in a balanced fashion, these disputes will prolong the trade and environment tension. As a result, both economic and ecological interests would be impaired. This thesis has set out to assess the potential of the dispute resolution mechanism of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) - the Dispute Mediation Service (DMS) - for resolving trade and environment disputes between APEC members in the balanced fashion. It was found that while the quasi-judicial dispute resolution mechanism of the World Trade Organization has often been used for resolving trade and environment disputes, it could be argued that APEC could potentially succeed in resolving such disputes while maintaining the trade-environment equilibrium by using the mediation technique. Two main factors have made this possible: APEC's distinctive features and the unique characteristics of trade and environment disputes themselves. It was also found in this thesis that the APEC's DMS would be particularly useful when used as a dispute avoidance mechanism, preventing a conflict from escalating into a full blown dispute. Despite its promising future, the present form of the APEC's DMS could be further improved with a view to enhancing its potential for resolving trade and environment disputes in the balanced fashion if some recommendations, developed along the line of the North American Free Trade Agreement model, could be implemented.

Item Type: Theses (PhD)
SOAS Departments & Centres: SOAS Research Theses > Proquest
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
Date Deposited: 12 Oct 2020 17:20

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