End Poverty 2015 - trade http://endpoverty2015.org/en/taxonomy/term/147/0 en UN MILLENNIUM CAMPAIGN CALLS ON G-7 FINANCE MINISTERS TO CREATE VULNERABILITY FUND FOR POOR, KEEP AID PLEDGES AND INCREASE TRADE http://endpoverty2015.org/en/global-partnership/resource/un-millennium-campaign-calls-g-7-finance-ministers-create-vulnerability-fund-poor-keep-aid-pledges-a <p>The United Nations Millennium Campaign is urging G-7 finance ministers, meeting in Rome on February 13-14 to address the economic crisis, not to forget about the world’s poorest people, who have had nothing to do with the causes of the crisis, but are facing the consequences.</p> <p>It is estimated that the number of people living on less than $1 per day could rise by 40 million and the number of people living on less than $2 per day could rise by 100 million as a direct result of the financial crisis. The finance ministers must keep the needs of the most vulnerable on the agenda during this week’s talks, create a vulnerability fund to help poor countries weather the financial crisis, clearly spell out plans to deliver on their aid commitments and avoid protectionism. The work done in Rome this week will set the stage for the outcome of the full G-8 meeting in July. If these issues are not addressed now, by summer it will be too late.</p> Global Partnership English ActionAid G 7 trade Tue, 10 Feb 2009 14:12:58 -0500 Sebastian Majewski 451 at http://endpoverty2015.org Keynote speech at the opening of the Geneva Trade and Development Forum’s conference in Crans-Montana http://endpoverty2015.org/en/node/364 <p><strong>Introduction: the MDG’s</strong></p> <p>Pascal Lamy stated in Delhi last month: “With the adoption of the Millennium Development Goals in 2000, the world saw an unprecedented collective effort to pursue a shared future….; moving the Doha Round to its successful conclusion remains a good test for our collective determination to a global partnership for development”</p> Global Partnership English Developement trade Tue, 16 Sep 2008 09:00:53 -0400 Sebastian Majewski 364 at http://endpoverty2015.org Global Trade Talks deadlocked: Missed opportunity or blessing in disguise? http://endpoverty2015.org/en/global-partnership/news/global-trade-talks-deadlocked-missed-opportunity-or-blessing-disguise/05/aug/08 <p><span class="caps">NEW</span> <span class="caps">YORK</span> &#8211; The breakdown of the latest round of global trade talks has clearly weakened the multilateral trading system, a system originally designed to offer a fair trade system to all. The collapse of negotiations on July 29th in Geneva, is yet another lost opportunity for creating a more just and fair trading system long promised to poor countries. </p> <p>The failure of the latest round of talks illustrated a clear lack of political will on the part of rich countries to prioritise development and has resulted in further delaying urgently needed reforms in the international trade system which would have guaranteed resources for poor countries to achieve the <a href="http://endpoverty2015.org/goals">Millennium Development Goals</a> (<span class="caps">MDGS</span>) by 2015. Yet despite the impasse, there is a recognition that the success of the Doha round based strictly on what was on the table, would have taken poor countries even further away from the sustainable achievement of MDGs. The package under discussion contained a number of elements that would have been damaging for poor countries, particularly in relation to agricultural trade. </p> <p>Many analysts had hoped that soaring food prices could have been a catalyst for overcoming the farm trade issues, particularly the distortion in global and local agricultural markets that have discouraged production in low-income countries. <br /> On the contrary, the talks stalled largely due to the division between countries with large numbers of poor farmers who wish to protect their farmers in the face of increasing import of agricultural products and the richest countries who were against this proposal. </p> <p>Civil Society organizations have voiced their disappointment at the collapse of the talks but have supported poor countries for standing their ground. They also felt that decision-making continued to be dominated by a small group of self-selected rich countries and emerging economies leaving out most <span class="caps">WTO</span> member countries as mere spectators. Protests by the Africa Group and other poor countries continued to be ignored. Many CSOs felt that as always, for rich countries the collapse of these talks will have little impact. Business will go on as usual. The EU and the US will continue to provide high levels of agricultural subsidies which allow their farmers to over-produce agricultural products at a significantly reduced cost. Farmers in poor countries will continue to struggle to compete with this subsidised production and the excess farm products like chicken, milk and tomatoes which are then dumped in developing countries at uncompetitive prices. A particular concern was that the United States recently passed the contentious Farm Bill which guarantees the continuation of agricultural subsidies to US farmers for the next five years. The value of subsidies and other support to agriculture in <span class="caps">OECD</span> countries now runs at $268billion per year, more than double the value of global aid. For poor countries, this failure to reach a deal on global trade will be felt acutely. Farmers in poor countries will not be able to get wider access to certain protected markets, especially those in developed countries. It also presents an increased risk of an intensification of bilateral trade negotiations, from which only industrial countries and the more powerful developing countries can gain. This would create a huge disadvantage for poorer, less powerful developing nations, who are in a considerably weaker position in bilateral trade negotiations. Bilateral trade deals are no substitute to a multilateral trade deal in which smaller nations would be able to negotiate with the superpowers on an equal footing and the poorest countries will almost certainly be excluded from an increase in two-way and regional deals because they have little to offer wealthy nations in return.</p> http://endpoverty2015.org/en/global-partnership/news/global-trade-talks-deadlocked-missed-opportunity-or-blessing-disguise/05/aug/08#comments Global Partnership English 2005 Doha Round doha geneva trade Tue, 05 Aug 2008 12:24:41 -0400 admin 354 at http://endpoverty2015.org SPAIN: The fight against poverty hits the electoral campaign http://endpoverty2015.org/en/spain/news/spain-fight-against-poverty-hits-electoral-campaign/15/feb/08 <p>The <a href="http://www.pobrezacero.org">Spanish Alliance Against Poverty</a> gathered representatives from three main political parties in Spain &#8211; <span class="caps">PSOE</span>, PP and IU- to discuss their electoral proposals to address international poverty and inequality, before the upcoming general elections on March 9. During the debate the political representatives and the pubic talked about cooperation, trade and immigration policies.</p> <p>The questions of the Spanish Alliance Against Poverty-a civil society platform formed by trade unions, NGOs and environmental organizations, youth, women, and citizens&#8217; groups, representing more than 1,000 social organizations- focused on the political commitments to achieve the <a href="http://endpoverty2015.org/goals" title="MDGs">Millennium Development Goals</a>, the need to improve and increase <a href="http://endpoverty2015.org/taxonomy/term/116" title="ODA">official development assistance</a>, tackling external debt and ensuring a fair trade system for all countries.</p> <p>At the debate, and following the Alliance’s demands, the three political representatives agreed to consider the quality of aid as the key issue for the next legislative period, especially given that all parties have committed to allocate 0.7% of <span class="caps">GNP</span> to official development assistance by 2012.</p> <p>The Alliance also called for concrete steps to address the lack of coherence between European policies on migration and international trade and the principles of equitable and sustainable development. Initiatives such as the Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs), promoted by the EU and rejected by African countries a recent summit in Lisbon, have failed to adequately create consistency and cohesion between development policy and trade policy.</p> <p>On the debt release front, the debate focused on the <span class="caps">FAD</span> credits, one of the existing mechanisms generating debt in Spain &#8212; managed until now by the Ministry of Economy. The three political representatives were in favour of reforming this system: for the IU representative, this reform was one of its legislative priorities for the next years and the <span class="caps">PSOE</span> delegate supports a policy that would no longer count <span class="caps">FAD</span> credits as <span class="caps">ODA</span>. The PP proposed continued support for debt swap: a practice where debt is cancelled in exchange for social investment in education by the debtor nation.</p> <p>Finally, the Spanish Alliance Against Poverty asked political parties about the creation of the State Board for Social Corporate Responsibility. The wanted more information on how this institution will influence Spanish multinationals abroad and ensure decent work and respect for human rights. All the parties agreed on the importance of this regulatory Council. IU also considered necessary a Corporate Social Responsibility Law.</p> http://endpoverty2015.org/en/spain/news/spain-fight-against-poverty-hits-electoral-campaign/15/feb/08#comments Spain Global Partnership Alianza Espanola Contra La Pobreza elections Official Development Assistance (ODA) Spanish Alliance Against Poverty trade Fri, 15 Feb 2008 11:10:04 -0500 admin 263 at http://endpoverty2015.org Trade and Development Index: Millennium Goals Are Possible http://endpoverty2015.org/en/end-hungernews/trade-and-development-index-millennium-goals-are-possible/08/nov/07 <p><span class="caps">GENEVA</span> &#8211; The world’s poorest countries, even those of sub-Saharan Africa, are ‘’approaching’’ the <a href="/goals">Millennium Development Goals</a>, the new Trade and Development Index (<span class="caps">TDI</span>) indicates.</p> <p>But after pointing out that possibility to <span class="caps">IPS</span>, Supachai Panitchpakdi, the secretary-general of the <a href="http://www.unctad.org" title="UNCTAD">United Nations Conference on Trade and Development</a>, clarified that ‘’performance will have to be sustained and improved in certain areas if countries are to meet the 2015 MDGs,’’ which were adopted by the international community in 2000.</p> <p>&#8220;I think we must still have hope that the positive robust economic performance in the sub-Saharan economies will continue,&#8221; said Supachai.</p> <p>&#8220;Our forecast for next year’s global trading scene is a continuation of the trend we see this year, so that would be six consecutive years of robust growth around the world, particularly for the sub-Saharan area,&#8221; he added.</p> <p>&#8220;If this can continue we would come very close to the targets, although like this (<span class="caps">TDI</span>) report says, it&#8217;s not good enough to be close in certain areas,&#8221; said Supachai, referring to the MDGs that were adopted by the U.N. member countries in 2000.</p> <p>The eight MDGs are: halving extreme poverty and hunger, achieving universal primary education, promoting gender equality and the empowerment of women, reducing maternal mortality by three-quarters and infant mortality by two-thirds, combating HIV/<span class="caps">AIDS</span>, malaria and other diseases, adopting an environmentally sustainable development model, and building a global partnership for development. Most of them are to be achieved by 2015, based on 1990 levels.</p> <p>‘’For example, in export performance, you have to be also consistent, with the same positive performance in the areas of macroeconomic discipline&#8221; as well as social welfare and institutional quality, said the head of <span class="caps">UNCTAD</span>.</p> <p>In his presentation of the <span class="caps">TDI</span> &#8212; UNCTAD&#8217;s Developing Countries in International Trade 2007 &#8211; Trade and Development Index &#8212; Tuesday, Supachai said &#8220;That&#8217;s why this has been a good benchmarking exercise in that you can look to other countries with different levels of performance and benchmark yourself against that to see where you need to move further in which areas.&#8221;</p> <p>The first <span class="caps">TDI</span> was published in 2005.</p> <p>The aim of the report is to guide governments, especially in countries struggling with poverty, low levels of development and sluggish economic growth, and help them identify the means of improving their performance in world trade.</p> <p>The index ranks 123 countries, measuring &#8220;the positive interaction between two broad sets of measures: input-based measures such as human capital, physical infrastructure, macroeconomic stability, openness to trade and access to foreign markets; and outcome-based measures, such as trade performance and economic and social well-being.’’</p> <p>Supachai said the Human Development Index prepared periodically by the <span class="caps">UNDP</span> (U.N. Development Programme) could be ‘’a subset of what we are doing here, because what we are doing here is trying to capture social development in different areas, not only education and health care, but everything.&#8221;</p> <p>The <span class="caps">TDI</span> shows that developing countries are still lagging behind industrialised nations in terms of human capital, physical infrastructure, financial intermediation, institutional quality and trade performance.</p> <p>The United States once again leads the ranking, as &#8220;the world&#8217;s best combination of economic, social, regulatory, and government attributes.&#8221; The <span class="caps">UNCTAD</span> experts clarified, however, that the index was based on 2006 figures and did not take into account recent difficulties in the U.S., associated with macroeconomic imbalance, the depreciation of the dollar, and the collapse of the housing market bubble.</p> <p>Following the United States are Germany, Denmark, the United Kingdom, Singapore, Japan, Sweden, France, Norway and Canada.</p> <p>At the bottom of the ranking are the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Niger, Nigeria, Guinea-Bissau and Sudan.</p> <p>The <span class="caps">TDI</span> highlights how far the seven main emerging economies (E7) &#8212; Brazil, India, China, South Korea, Mexico, Russia and South Africa &#8212; have climbed up on the list since 2005, with China showing the greatest increase, followed by India.</p> <p>On average, the E7 countries had better <span class="caps">TDI</span> scores than other developing nations, and the gap between their scores and those of the 10 countries that joined the European Union in 2004 was not significant.</p> <p>Among developing countries, those of East Asia and the Pacific had the highest scores, followed by those of the Middle East, North Africa, and Latin America and the Caribbean.</p> <p>The biggest drops from 2005 to 2006 occurred in Botswana, Jamaica, Uruguay, Cameroon and Syria, while the largest increases for developing countries were seen in Ecuador, Honduras, Iran and Oman.</p> <p>In the case of Iran and Oman, the increase in scores was driven by the rise in oil prices. In general, all energy-exporting countries saw their scores go up in 2006, with the exception of Malaysia.</p> <p>Because of the rise in international commodity prices, eight commodity-dependent economies &#8212; Malawi, Central African Republic, Iceland, Rwanda, Guinea-Bissau, Uganda, Ethiopia and Paraguay &#8212; had higher <span class="caps">TDI</span> scores in 2006 than in 2005.</p> <p><span class="caps">UNCTAD</span> said the index showed that a disproportionate emphasis on a limited number of policies is likely to lead to marginal results. For example, when a country exclusively focuses on economic integration and trade liberalisation, it fails to adequately address development issues.</p> <p>The U.N. experts agreed that despite widespread trade openness, many of the least developed countries have failed to significantly reduce poverty, and some have even suffered setbacks in development. (END/2007)</p> http://endpoverty2015.org/en/end-hungernews/trade-and-development-index-millennium-goals-are-possible/08/nov/07#comments End Hunger Global Partnership trade trade and development index UNCTAD Thu, 08 Nov 2007 11:59:20 -0500 admin 133 at http://endpoverty2015.org