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The government seeks to address trade and labour-related matters that will reflect its objective of promoting decent work in the global economy. In 2001 the government adopted a framework to integrate labour issues and free trade agreements to guide our negotiations with other countries. The core elements of the framework are co-operation, consultation and establishing common principles on trade and labour.
Despite attempts by New Zealand and like-minded countries, forceful opposition from most developing countries prevented trade and labour from making its way onto the Doha negotiating agenda.
However, paragraph 8 of the Doha Ministerial Declaration states:
“We reaffirm our declaration made at the Singapore Ministerial Conference regarding internationally recognised core labour standards. We take note of work under way in the International Labour Organisation (ILO) on the social dimension of globalisation.”
In the absence of a specific negotiation on trade and labour issues, New Zealand - consistent with its trade and labour policy framework - will pursue its interest in this area by: