Issue No. 621/622, 16 July – 15 August 2016
Nairobi conference exposes North-South faultlines over UNCTAD

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UNCTAD’s roles reaffirmed, but only after significant wrangling
The UN’s leading development organization concluded its latest conference with the adoption of an outcome declaration, but the difficult process in attaining agreement reflected the shaky state of North-South relations.
by Martin Khor

UNCTAD 14 adopts Nairobi Azimio and Nairobi Maafikiano
UNCTAD 14 concluded after adopting a political declaration and a negotiated consensus outcome document which framed the agenda for UNCTAD’s work over the next four years.
by Kanaga Raja

Nairobi Maafikiano sets UNCTAD’s work for next four years
The 14th session of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD 14) ended on 22 July with the adoption of two documents, one of which is the Nairobi Maafikiano, or the Nairobi consensus document, which sets out the work programme for the organization for the next four years.

Some excerpts from the Nairobi Maafikiano (advance copy dated 22 July 2016), which is titled “From decision to action: Moving towards an inclusive and equitable global economic environment for trade and development”, are reproduced here. 

UNCTAD’s integrated approach must be strengthened, say CSOs
Civil society organizations meeting on the eve of UNCTAD 14 underlined the need to strengthen UNCTAD’s integrated approach to trade, finance, investment and technology, declaring that the UN body “provides a critical institutional framework and a unique forum for taking up the challenges of equitable development”.
by Kanaga Raja

Widespread misinvoicing in South’s commodity exports
A study released at UNCTAD 14 on misinvoicing of commodity exports suggests that this practice constitutes a major channel of capital flight that is depriving developing countries of much-needed development resources.
by Chakravarthi Raghavan

South losing $23 billion a year due to G20 NTMs
Non-tariff measures, which are becoming increasingly prevalent, are raising trade costs for developing countries and restricting their access to export markets, according to UNCTAD.
by Kanaga Raja

Lack of progress on key issues for South at WTO
A 25 July meeting of heads of delegation at the WTO heard reports by the chairpersons of the various Doha Work Programme negotiating bodies which indicated that the talks had made scant headway on key issues of interest to developing countries.
by Kanaga Raja

US, EU and Australia want “hefty payment” for PSH and SSM
Member states of the WTO remain sharply divided over moves to better enable developing countries to hold public food stocks and to protect their farm sectors from drastic market fluctuations.
by D. Ravi Kanth

Brazil derided at G20 meet on domestic support proposal
A proposal co-sponsored by Brazil, a leading member of the developing-country G20 grouping in the WTO, on dealing with trade-distorting farm subsidies has failed to gain traction among some of its fellow G20 members.
by D. Ravi Kanth

Concerted move by EU, US and allies to rewrite e-commerce work programme
A number of proposals have been presented seeking to push forward the WTO’s work on electronic commerce, but several developing countries are urging caution over any expansion of activities in this area.
by D. Ravi Kanth

Brazil rebuffed on effort to wind up CTS subordinate bodies
Brazil has been unable to secure sufficient backing for a proposal to suspend the subsidiary bodies of the WTO’s Council for Trade in Services, reports D. Ravi Kanth..

Opinion: The UN and global economic stagnation
Marginalization of the UN system in global economic governance is threatening the very future of economic multilateralism, writes Jomo Kwame Sundaram.