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What's new at the ICDA Secretariat?
(Not quite a press release)
2003 Secretariat News

2002 Secretariat News

2001 Secretariat News

What's happening at ICDA in March?
The first week of March has been astonishingly replete, or filled, with meetings. Please check our Latest Meetings page.

  1. Tuesday 2 March: both Maria & Emmanuel attended a roundtable debate at the European Parliament entitled "Bananas & the EU: Fair Trade or Free Trade. The discussion/debate was rather arid. Nonetheless, the meeting has helped stimulate attention in some quarters about the impact of the ten new countries on the banana industry in West African countries, like Côte d'Ivoire and Cameroon. ICDA Secretariat represented the UK's Banana Link. The Secretariat took documents, including a statement produced by both EUROBAN and Banana Link's Alistair Smith, head of the Norwich-based NGO.

WTO Impact List:: ICDA's flagship newsletter has gone out reasonably on time, but the Secretariat prefers to only send a WTOIL when it can, as sometimes priorities on other things can force the staff to under-prioritise it--either because of time constraints, or those brought about because of having to attend a(n urgent) meeting.

UNCTAD:: The Secretariat's efforts in ascertaining cleavages of opinion, as it were, from ICDA Members on UNCTAD continues to intensify. Currently, our efforts are two-fold:

  1. Monday focus on WTOIL (UNLDC3-UNCTAD)
  2. ICDA Members Newsletter that goes out first Friday of every month

Further activities for this month and beyond are in the pipeline, but we will do our very best to communicate this on the website as soon as we have more information. Do please feel very free to check our UNCTAD XI page here.

unpaid VACANCY!:: The Secretariat is looking for a Part Time Book keeper/Part Time Administrative Assistant.

This person should be able to work in an international non-profit environment. He/She must also be able to understand both written and spoken French, but most importantly, have secretarial and office management experience as well as be able to work with computers and, most importantly, Microsoft Excel.

If you are interested, please contact the Secretariat, with your CV to ekbensah@icda.be, with copies to computerB@icda.be [Posted: Friday 12 March 2004 @ 2.30pm CET]

What's happening at ICDA in February?
The word at the Secretariat has been around UNCTAD, and UNCTAD XI. This has dominataed much of the work that both Maria and Emmanuel are working on, other than their usual assigned tasks, which you can find more about here. To be frank, both Monday and Tuesday were spent at meetings:
  • European Trade Network meeting--the first for 2004; and
  • DG Trade Civil Society Meeting on Update of Doha Development Agenda Tuesday. The meeting was punctuated with the word "constructive" by the Acting Head of DG Trade I, Mr.John Clarke--famed for his excellent insights of the WTO process. That he has been a trade negotiator in Hong Kong has nothing to do with this expertise he exudes(!). On a more serious note, Clarke provided an overview of the state of play, and discussed the following issues:
    1. Brazil's political stance at Cancun, and post-Cancun
    2. India post and pre-Cancun (Clarke praised India's so-called "flexibility" on the Singapore issues (investment, govt procurement; trade facilitation, to name but three of the four)
    3. the US's desire to "make the best of 2004", especially because it's an election year
    4. the months ahead (most likely no mini-ministerials as people tend to talk "past each other" (Clarke's words) )

    Both Maria & Emmanuel also attended the under-attended DG Trade Civil Society Issue Group on WTO Institutional Reform. At this meeting, the business NGOs (such as UNICE, and BDI, and European Services Forum) dominated the discussions, outlining what they'd like to see on: the talked-about

  • WTO Consultative body
  • WTO's Green Room process.

  • It has all made for an interesting and insightful day for the ICDA Secretariat. We'll do our best to reflect our findings on our website, but hopefully, pages like the ICDA Latest Pages/Meetings page are a step towards our advocacy.

    You can find more about these themes on ICDA's latest news page for meetings here. [Posted: Monday 12 January 2004 @ 1.35am CET]

    What's happening at ICDA in January?
    NEW INTERNS!: HAPPY NEW YEAR to all our visitors! ICDA is pleased to welcome two new interns at the Secretariat--Ms.Maria Tikmanidi and Ms.Ileana Miritescu. Maria will be working at the Secretariat on a full-time basis, with Ileana working on a part-time basis. Emmanuel continues to work at ICDA on a full-time basis.

    WTO Impact List!: ICDA's flagship electronic newsletter will be back in February. We are updating the system and moving it to topica.com. For those interested in the WTO Impact List, pls visit the site here [Posted: Wednesday 18 February 2004 @ 1.40am CET]

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    Last Updated: Monday 12 January 2004 @ 1.32am CET
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