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SUNS #4625 Monday 13 March 2000

south-north development monitor SUNS [Email Edition]

contents

Trade: Meltzer report wants WTO powers reined in (Chakravarthi Raghavan, Geneva)

Development: Somavia seeks WB support on new policy architecture (Someshwar Singh, Geneva)

Trade: EU Study accused of "pro-liberalisation bias" (IPS, Brussels)

Trade: Asia major beneficiary of global travel boom (IPS, Berlin)

Indonesia: Rice farmers in uproar over cheap imports (IPS, Jakarta)

Pakistan: Runaway prices upset poverty removal plans (IPS, Islamabad)


TRADE: MELTZER REPORT WANTS WTO POWERS REINED IN

Geneva, 9 Mar (Chakravarthi Raghavan) -- The Meltzer Commission of the United States has called for some significant curbs on the powers of the World Trade Organization in disputes: extending scope of explicit commitments of countries and/or use of retaliatory trade sanctions.

The Commission's report and recommendations on the IMF and the World Bank have been widely reported, but not its views on the WTO.

The recommendations covering the WTO, like most other parts of the report, are by a 8-3 vote.

The only unanimous recommendations of the Meltzer Commission are those that (1) the IMF, the World Bank and the regional development banks write-off in their entirety of all claims against the heavily indebted poor countries (HIPCs), and (2) that the IMF should restrict its lending to the provision of short-term liquidity and end its current practice of extending long-term loans for poverty reduction and other purposes.

DEVELOPMENT: SOMAVIA SEEKS WB SUPPORT ON NEW POLICY ARCHITECTURE

Geneva, Mar 10 (Someshwar Singh) -- The Director General of the International Labour Organization (ILO), Mr. Juan Somavia, is seeking partnership with the World Bank on an integrated approach to a new development policy architecture.

In an address to the staff of the World Bank (2 March 2000), Somavia said there that had to be a sea-change in the attitudes of those responsible for public policy at both the national and international level.

"Deregulation at national level and 'unregulation' at international level had produced a volatile cocktail," Somavia said. "This has provoked much soul searching in the family of multilateral institutions."

 


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