This article considers the approaches of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) and the World Trade Organisation (WTO) to trade, the environment and sustainable development. It examines the main principles and rules of GATT/WTO which are relevant for the examination of the trade-environment issues and the dilemmas they pose for trade and development prospects of developing countries. The main objective of this article is to identify and illustrate the pressing issues for developing countries in the process of intersection between multilateral trade liberalisation and the environment.

In view of the concerns of developing countries regarding the interaction between trade and the environment, the article argues that the objectives of sustainable development can be achieved by taking into account the developmental needs, limited resources and level of economic development of developing countries. Developing countries’ concerns need to be addressed as a priority in order to make any progress in achieving the global objectives of environmental protection and sustainable development.