At the end of a two day event entitled “Pre-UNCTAD XII Civil Society Forum in Africa” the participants have made several recommendations to the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development to consider them at its quadrennial conference (UNCTAD XII) to be held in Accra, Ghana on 20-25 April 2008.
Multilateral institutions have to ensure better policy coherence between trade and development, and the global agenda for trade and development must orient towards benefiting the poor most. UNCTAD is to carry out capacity building, monitoring, evaluation and implementation of national, global and international policies on international trade to ensure such coherence.
UNCTAD should critically evaluate the paradigms of the World Trade organisation (WTO) and WTO negotiations with a view to propose paradigms suited for fair trade and development by ensuring the effective participation of developing countries. Furthermore, UNCTAD should analyse the developments of EPA (Economic Partnership Agreements between the European Union and the Africa, Caribbean and the Pacific countries) negotiations, outcomes and implementation-related issues, discussion and exchanges so that appropriate policy interventions can be undertaken and corrected in the interest of ACP countries.
UNCTAD should concentrate more on supply-side capacities of developing countries by taking into consideration institutional capacity, trade negotiation capacity, policy coherence, utilisation of development aid and aid for trade, with a view to championing the interest of developing countries so that effective participation of these countries in global trade can be enhanced.
UNCTAD should develop and adopt a clear and comprehensive dissemination and implementation strategy at the national, regional and international levels, with full participation from civil society and the private sector.
UNCTAD’s NGO Liaison Office should be strengthened as a Civil Society Liaison Service and be provided with adequate resources for building closer relationships with civil society at the national, regional and international levels, with a view to increasing their participation.
More than 50 participants from 20 countries participated at this forum. It was organised by CUTS Centre for International Trade, Economics & Environment (CUTS CITEE) as a part of its project on trade-development-poverty linkages, which is being implemented with the support from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MINBUZA), the Netherlands and the Department for International Development (DFID), UK.
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