On June 13, 2018, the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine created the Trade and Sustainable Development Council, including its mandate and membership. The Council is a consultative body for the Government created to commence the work of the Advisory Group on Sustainable Development and nominate experts for the Group of Experts under articles 299 and 301 of the Association Agreement. 

The Advisory  Group on Sustainable Development should have been created some time ago, since the group on European side is ready to work. During the last year’s Civil Society Forum the Ukrainian group was represented by an ad-hoc delegation. The decision by the Government gives some hope for progress on this issue, yet it is unclear how quickly the Trade & Sustainable Development Council, comprising 26 (!) members, can move to start operation of the Advisory Group.

In addition to representatives of state authorities, the membership of the Council includes civil society organizations, trade unions, employers’ associations. Therefore, we hope that such wide representation in the Council can ensure wide representation of all stakeholders in the Advisory Group itself. 

Lastly, the newly created Council can submit proposals to the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine regarding implementation of the Chapter 13 of the Association Agreement “Trade and Sustainable Development”, therefore extending its mandate beyond institutional issues.