south-north development monitor - SUNS [Email Edition]

SUNS #4411
Friday ,9 April 1999


Trade: Intense talks, manoeuvres on next WTO head (Chakravarthi Raghavan)

Group of 77: Call for "workable positive agenda" (Chakravarthi Raghavan)

Finance: G24 want mechanism that does not derail economies (Someshwar Singh)

Development: World Bank sees long wait for global recovery (IPS, Washington)

Trade: Mercosur in a flurry, Brazil strikes out on its own (IPS, Montevideo)

Mexico: Growing dependence on food imports (IPS, Mexico City)

Brazil: Workers Party Governor locks horns with GM, Ford (IPS, Rio de Janeiro)

United States: Republicans split over Kosovo (IPS, Washington)

Excerpts from some articles:

Trade: Intense talks, manoeuvres on next WTO head

Geneva, 8 Apr (Chakravarthi Raghavan) -- Coming back from the Easter holidays, trade diplomats appeared to be engaged in intense consultations to end the impasse over the selection of the next Director-General of the World Trade Organization.

The Chairman of the General Council, Tanzania's Amb. Ali Mchumo in making a report on 31 March, had sought further time to enable him (and facilitator Amb. Rossier of Switzerland) to come back to the issue after the Easter holiday. He expressed the hope that a Director-General could still be named as originally planned at the regular session of the Council on 14 April.

But as of Thursday early afternoon, there was no word whether the Council, which is in suspension on this issue, is going to meet again this week to resolve the problem.

At the 27 March meeting, Mchumo had said, without providing any numbers that the two candidates (Thai deputy prime minister Supachai and New Zealand's Michael Moore) both "enjoyed a level of support close to each other" but that both had difficulties in getting a consensus. On 31 March, he had said, the difficulties faced by both are so serious that neither can enjoy a consensus from the membership.

Group of 77: Call for "workable positive agenda"

Geneva, 8 Apr (Chakravarthi Raghavan) -- The coordinators of the chapters of the Group of 77 have called on the members of the group "to strive together to achieve the common goal of equitable development for all nations, develop a workable positive agenda and ensure that international trade, financial and development policies complement and reinforce each other."

This appeal came in a communique issued after a two-day meeting here of the coordinators of the G77 chapters in New York, Geneva, Nairobi, Paris, Rome and Vienna and of the Group of 24 (at the IMF/World Bank) in Washington.

In the communique the G-77 coordinators said that in the light of the profound changes unleashed by the processes of globalization and liberalization, "the establishment of new trade and financial regimes and obligations to restructure their economies posed enormous challenges to developing countries", who are still vulnerable to external economics "and not sufficiently competitive."

Finance: G-24 want mechanism that does not derail economies

Geneva, April 8 (Someshwar Singh) -- Mr. Abdelkrim Harchaoui, the Algerian Finance Minister and Chair of the Group of 24 (G-24) stressed here Wednesday the need for a new mechanism to finance development so that it does not destabilise economies as they liberalise.

The G-24 is the developing country at the IMF and the World Bank.

The increasing level of poverty and the growing marginalisation of people, Mr Harchaoui said, raised some basic questions about the kind of economic growth they were witnessing.

"With three-fourths of the world population marginalised (in terms of education and socio-economic conditions) and the increasing level of poverty, there are many questions relating to the growth that the world economy has gone through," said Mr Harchaoui.

Speaking on the problems faced by developing countries in terms of finance for development, the G-24 chair noted that debt servicing imposed a great suffering. Private capital, on the other hand, did not respond to the needs of development, since private capital movement was normally based on profit and security considerations - and went only to certain regions and certain countries.

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