Trade Advocacy Fund

LDC Group Retreat – WTO Director General says LDCs remain a clear priority

April 29th, 2016 by

Between 17th and 18th April, nearly 70 WTO ambassadors, delegates and Heads of Agencies participated in a brainstorming retreat organised by the Group of Least Developed Countries (LDCs) in Montreux, Switzerland with support from TAF. The event was organised by TAF at the request of H.E. Ambassador Eloi Laourou of Benin, the new Coordinator of the LDC Group, and marked the final milestone in a TAF flagship project that has supported the LDC Group in Geneva in WTO negotiations.

The event, titled ‘Reflections on MC10 Outcomes for LDCs and Advancing LDC Interests Post-Nairobi’, gave LDC Ambassadors and delegates the opportunity to reflect on the outcomes of the WTO Nairobi Ministerial Conference in December 2015, and agree on common LDC Group positions for 2016 and toward the WTO’s Eleventh Ministerial Conference in 2017.

The high-profile event raised considerable interest and was attended by the WTO Director General Mr. Roberto Azevedo; the UNCTAD Secretary General Dr. Mukhisa Kituyi; International Trade Centre (ITC) Executive Director Ms. Arancha Gonzalez; and WTO Ambassadors of the United States, Brazil, EU, China and Australia, amongst others. The WTO Director General was part of a high-level panel during which he congratulated the LDC Group on the initiative to hold the retreat and reviewed some of the next steps which would be needed to take forward the decisions on LDC issues which were taken at the Nairobi Ministerial Conference in December 2015.

H.E. Ambassador Eloi Laourou summed up the panel session by confirming the LDC Group’s interest in concrete implementation of existing WTO decisions for LDCs in agriculture, cotton, services, and DFQF as well as increased participation of donors in the Enhanced Integrated Framework (EIF).

The retreat was highly successful and LDC Group participants noted that the retreat was well-organized and provided rich and practical discussions that resulted in a number recommendations and negotiation positions agreed upon. To access the WTO Director General’s full keynote address during the retreat, please read this news article from the WTO Secretariat.

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TAF Projects (December 2013)
Country or Region Grant Title

Implementation Status

Afghanistan Advisory Mission to Afghanistan

Completed

COMESA Advisory Mission to the East and Southern Africa (ESA) Group

Completed

EAC Advisory Mission to the EAC

Completed

Ethiopia Advisory Mission to Ethiopia

Completed

Global Feasibility Study for Advisory Centre on Regional Trade Agreements (ACORTA)

Completed

Global TAF Advisory Event 1

Completed

Lao PDR Advisory Mission to Lao PDR

Completed

Lesotho Advisory Mission to Lesotho

Completed

Malawi Advisory Mission to Malawi

Completed

Multi-Region Advisory Mission to  the AUC

Completed

Nepal Advisory Mission to Nepal

Completed

PIFS Support to Pacific ACP States in EPA negotiations

Completed

Samoa Logistical Support

Completed

Sierra Leone Advisory Mission to Sierra Leone

Completed

Solomon Islands Advisory Mission to the Solomon Islands

Completed

Sri Lanka Advisory Mission to Sri Lanka

Completed

Uganda Advisory Mission to Uganda

Completed

Vanuatu Advisory Mission to Vanuatu

Completed

ACP Call-down Support to the ACP Group in Geneva

Ongoing

Afghanistan Trade Negotiation Training and Capacity Building Support to Ministry of Commerce and Industry

Ongoing

EAC TradeSift Training for EAC Tripartite FTA Negotiations

Ongoing

ECOWAS Trade Capacity Building Programme

Ongoing

ECOWAS WTO Law Advisory Services and Capacity Building

Ongoing

Global Channel 2: Training on WTO Law and Dispute Settlement – ACWL

Ongoing

Global Channel 2: Training on WTO Law and Dispute Settlement – Trapca

Ongoing

Global TAF Advisory Publications/Toolkits

Ongoing

LDC Group Support to LDC Services Waiver

Ongoing

Nigeria Support to Nigeria Ministry of Trade and Investment

Ongoing

PIFS Support to the Pacific ACP States in EPA negotiations

Ongoing

OCTA Support for PACER Plus Negotiations

Ongoing

Solomon Islands Strengthening Trade Negotiation Capacity of Solomon Islands

Ongoing

The Gambia Support to the Ministry of Trade

Ongoing

TMSA Support to Tripartite FTA negotiations

Ongoing

Vanuatu Trade Negotiations Support

Ongoing

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