Save-the-Date: 2nd International Convention on Sustainable Trade and Standards (ICSTS), 16 -18 September 2019, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Brazil has historically played an important role in the international sustainability discussions. In 2018, the Institute for Applied Economic Research (Ipea), a public Brazilian think tank, presented the adaptation of the global 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development to the Brazilian reality. This is part of the national effort towards internalizing and implementing the Agenda. The 2nd ICSTS aims to bring together Brazilian partners and stakeholders from around the world to broaden and deepen the discussions on VSS, increase collaboration especially among Latin-American countries, and collectively build solutions to foster Sustainable Value Chains and Standards.

The first international multi-stakeholder dialogue on VSS can be dated back from the ‘International Conference on Sustainable Trade and Resource Efficiency in Supply Chains’ in June 2017. This Conference was organized by the International Trade Centre (ITC) and the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), in collaboration with the China Association for Standardization (CAS) which was held at the Qingdao Forum on International Standards. The event received tremendous recognition upholding the significance of Voluntary Sustainability Standards (VSS) as a tool for sustainable development and market access. The event represents the first technical assistance training that UNFSS embarked on, as well as marking the launch of the China VSS National Platform.

In an effort to strengthen the networks between the National Platforms, the Quality Council of India (QCI), the convening body of the India National Platform on Private Sustainability Standards (India PSS Platform), with the support of the United Nations Forum on Sustainability Standards (UNFSS), originated the 1st International Convention on Sustainable Trade and Standards (ICSTS). The event 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.

In light of the declaration, the 2nd ICSTS will complement thought leaders to bridge the gap between debates on sustainable supply chains and standards, and the challenges and opportunities these standards pose on international trade, as well as referencing the efforts with the UN SDGs. The convention intends to increase multi-stakeholder dialogue, improve the transparency of VSS and foster closer international connection to achieve sustainable global value chains.

Who should participate?
This is a public convention open to all societies, institutions, the private sectors, academia and all others who are interested on 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 UN Environment. 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.

To find out more about ICSTS, download Concept Note here.
Stay tuned for the program agenda and registration details.



The United Nations Forum on Sustainability Standards (UNFSS) is a joint initiative of 5 UN Agencies (FAO, ITC, UNCTAD, UN Environment and UNIDO) that seeks to address these challenges. It is a demand-driven forum for intergovernmental actors to communicate among each other and engage with key target groups (producers, traders, consumers, standard-setters, certification-bodies, trade diplomats, relevant NGOs and researchers) to address their information needs and influence concerned stakeholders. It aims to provide impartial information, analysis, and discussions on VSS and their potential contribution to facilitate market access, strengthen public goods and achieve Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Most importantly, the UNFSS focuses on potential trade or development obstacles VSS may create, with particular emphasis on their impact on SMEs and less developed countries.

%d bloggers like this: