The roles of the international standard-setting bodies that are mandated to facilitate safe trade, such as the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE), the Codex Alimentarius Commission, the International Plant Protection Convention and the World Trade Organization, are well documented, as are the roles of the international organisations responsible for global health issues: the OIE, the World Health Organization and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. However, developments in international trade, such as accelerating globalisation and the frequent emergence and re-emergence of diseases affecting both humans and animals, have brought new challenges and the need to reconsider the future roles of such organisations. New participants and new demands have also emerged to challenge these mandates, leading to potential areas of conflict. The need for countries to establish themselves as new trade partners, or to strengthen their positions while still maintaining safe trade, poses a challenge to standard-setting organisations, which must meet these demands while still remaining sensitive to the needs of developing countries. In this paper, the author describes and discusses some of these challenges and suggests how international organisations could evolve to confront such issues.
Emerging diseases – Globalisation – International organisation – Private standard – Safe trade – SPS Agreement.