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Flashback: A Short History
Previous LDC Conferences...

More on the UN Conference on LDCI, Paris, 1981
Find out how ICDA became involved in a campaign to promote the LDC cause. Also, read on to find out why the NGOs emerged disappointed from this first and crucial conference.

More on the UN Conference on LDCII, Paris, 1990
At this conference, the NGO Agenda contained a number of new concerns. Some of these were TRIPs, human rights, and biotechnology. Trade issues also started to take precedence.

The United Nations comes to Brussels
In 1997, the United Nations' General Assembly decided to convene the 3rd UN Conference on LDCs. UNCTAD became the focal point.

Talk about any UN Conference developments!

The Trade Caucus Group at Third UN Conference on LDCs (from left to right: Alvero (Youth Peace Quest Sweden); Ritchie Jones (Action Aid); E.K.Bensah (ICDA); Brussels, 2001

ICDA delegate Meredyth Bowler-Ailloud waiting to read ICDA's Statement at Third UN Conference on LDCs; Brussels, 2001

Third UN Conference on LDC Home Page
ICDA was also represented at the Trade Caucus of the NGO Forum. You can:
  • Listen to Ms.Meredyth Bowler-Ailloud of Strategic Development Initiative (SDI) read ICDA's Statement here
  • Read the actual document here
  • Read ICDA's general statement coming from the Trade Caucus here
  • Read ICDA delegate Emmanuel.K.Bensah's account of the last day of the conference here

  • Latest News (Updated: 19 January 2004 @ 5.35pm CET)

  • Preparations for UNCTAD XI-- This is the new page for UNCTAD, with compilations by the ICDA Secretariat, on issues, and events in the run-up to UNCTAD XI, which is to take place in June 2004, in Brazil. Please note that this is a particularly auspicious year for UNCTAD, especially because it will also be celebrating its fortieth anniversary. We aim to update this page periodically.

  • UNCTAD's Civil Society Outreach Newsletter--Read up news that the ICDA Secretariat has selected from UNCTAD's CSO newsletter on: how an NGO network is monitoring LDCIII follow-up; how UNCTAD is collaborating with United Nations University's Institute of Advanced STudies on biotechnology applications and trade; an emphasis of the role of civil society in the run-up to Cancun WTO ministerial; and how academics from developing countries are participating in courses on trade. You can also find the actual newsletter on this Special UNCTAD page, with link to the UN agency's re-vamped website.

  • African Regionalism--The European Union, since June 2000 in Cotonou, has embarked on one of the most ambitious projects of imperial aspirations: to turn most of the African continent into free trade areas, or better still, regional free trade areas. Can Africa, with its many regional initiatives withstand the heat--or should it begin to gather up courage to get out of the global economy's kitchen? If the latter option is chosen, it would mean regionalisms that become, like the EU is towards its Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), protectionist. How palatable would that be?

  • Read January--March 2003 editorials of ICDA's WTO Impact List-- * Food Security: Insecure in South Africa,Secure in West Africa; (*Sécurité alimentaire: incertain dans l'Afrique du Sud, Certain dans l'Afrique de l'Ouest*)
    * LDCS May Not Support WTOMC5;(*PMAs risquent de ne pas supporter la cinquième ministerielle de l'OMC*)
    * GHANA & Fair Trade (*le Ghana et la commerce équitable*)
    * BANGLADESH Presses for Duty-Free Access; (*La Bangladesh monte la pression pour l'access au marché du SAARC hors taxe*)
    * ZIMBABWE Tops ACP-EU Agenda; (*La Zimbabwe fait la une dans l'agenda du réunion du pays ACP*)
    * African Union Meet Focuses on Human Rights & Gender (*L'Union Africaine met l'accent sur les droits humains et le genre*)
    * Under Free Trade, Not Everyone is Treated Equally; (*Sous La Libre-Echangeisme, pas tout le monde est traité également*)
    * UGANDA Not Benefitting from AGOA; (*L'OUGANDE ne profite pas de l'AGOA*)
    * INDIA & It's Market Access Initiative (*L'INDE et son initiative sur l'accès au marché*)
    * Understanding Int'l Trade, BBC-Style (*La Commerce Internationale, selon la BBC*)
    * BANGLADESH Calls on ILO Over Unfair Trading Practices; (*Bangladesh fait appel à L'OIT*)
    * COTE D'IVOIRE Worried about Cocoa; (*Craintes sur le Cacao en Côte D'Ivoire*)
    * PAKISTAN Tells WTO/EU Not to Expect 100% Reciprocity;
    * ASIA-AFRICA Unite Over Rice Production;
    * UN Says Hunger On the Rise
    * INDIA Calls for (Third World) Unity at WTO;
    * NAM Must be United on IFI Reform & Trade;
    * UNDP Encourages Democratic Governance in West Africa
    * BANGUI Faces Agricultural Problems Says UN's FAO;
    * LAMY Claims Aid &Trade Linked;
    * Why Can't AFRICA Feed Itself?
    * Non-Aligned Movement Prepares for February Summit;
    * EU Pledges 77 Billion Dollars to Africa.
    * African Union (AU) Summit Opens in Ethiopia;
    * Removing Barriers to Trade? Remove Barriers to Human Rights!;
    * Not Again, Africa!;
    * ETHIOPIA to Join WTO
    * ZAMBIA Gains on Sugar from EBA Initiative;
    * The Voice of the Third World;
    * LDCs Win UN Praise
    * Dot Keet Blasts NEPAD--Trade *Not* End-All;
    * Regional Agreements Could Hinder LDC Exports
    * Diversification Paramount!

  • [Posted: April 24, 2003 @ 1.18pm EST]
  • Going for Gold?-- The 49 Least Developed Countries (LDCs) may have another contender in the running after the recent inclusion of Senegal. Read this exclusive interview by ICDA of Dr. John Cuddy, Executive Secretary of the last UN Conference on LDCs, as well as incumbent UNCTAD official.[Posted: May 15, 2001]

  • Important Issues I:
    The EBA Initiative

    Visit the EU's Official Page on the EBA
    In February this year, EU Trade Commissioner Pascal Lamy rushed through the unique 'Everything But Arms'(EBA) Proposal. Its primary objective is to abolish EU barriers to all LDC imports on rice, sugar, bananas. There is mounting evidence that this initiative is nothing more than a slipshod way of preparing, by force, developing countries for a new WTO round, which is incontestably even more problematic for the LDC countries.

    Read Oxfam UK's Report in support of the EBA
    This report, written by Oxfam's Christopher Stevens and Jane Kennan, was prepared in January of this year. In it, the authors attempt to provide a broad perspective, covering issues such as the positive impact of the initiative, developing country concerns; and the dynamic effects on global exports such as sugar.

    Talk about any UN Conference developments!

    Other Useful Links on the EBA
  • Terra Viva Europe's article on EBA (27 Feb) --Read TVE's article featured on the Third World Network's Website.
  • Terra Viva Europe's article on EBA's adverse effects (1 March) --Read TVE's article on how the EBA initiative will affect Caribbean producers.
  • Keep Your Enemies Even Closer -- This is a must-read for "EBA-phobes'. It provides a damning insight into the real reason behind the EBA Proposal.
  • Contributions to the EBA debate

    Read Solagral's Report!
    This article in French analyses the impact of the EBA on LDC countries. It also discusses policy lessons for the EU on this initiative, as well as NGO positions on the issue. Of particular concern is the impact the EBA will have on rice, banana and sugar, which the report covers extensively.

    Talk about the EBA Initiative

    Useful Links on Regional organisations in Africa
    Regional organisations are a topic that ICDA has covered in over 200 editions of its WTO Impact List since July 2001, when the 5-day focus was introduced. The reason why it is on this page at all has to do with ICDA's efforts in presenting a holistic picture as possible of the areas we cover for the WTOIL. This includes looking at LDCs (Monday focus), which there are many more in Africa than in the rest of the developing world.

    As the negotiations between the ACP Group and the European Union gather pace, especially by way of the so-called Economic Partnership agreements (EPAs), we hope that these brief links below can give you a better insight into the regional organisations in Africa, and consequently, hope we can equally spark interest in the rest of civil society towards a continent that runs the risk of becoming a dumping ground for Western goods.

  • African, Caribbean, Pacific (ACP) Group of States
  • AU (African Union) *At time of writing, website is still not working*
  • CEPGL (Communauté Economique des Pays des Grands Lacs)
  • COMESA (Common Market for Eastern & Southern Africa)
  • ECCAS (Economic Community of Central African States)
  • ECOWAS (Economic Community of West African States) *At time of writing, EU Trade Commissioner Pascal Lamy is in Ghana to discuss so-called Regional Economic Partnership Agreements (REPAs) with ECOWAS. He will also visit Senegal*
  • IGAD (Intergovernmental Authority for Development)
  • MRU (Mano River Union)*This is not the official website, as there is none, but an interesting essay*.
  • UEMOA (Union Economique et Monétaire Ouest-Africaine)
  • French site on Regional integration organisations in Africa--with color maps!

  • Basic Facts About LDCs
  • 49 LDCs make up 10.5% of the world's population
  • The 1st UN Conference on LDCs was held in Paris in 1981 and adopted the SNPA (Substantial New Programme of Action)
  • Lack of substantial change/progress in the 1980s led to the convening of the 2nd Conference in Paris in 1990 which adopted the Programme of Action for LDCs for the 1990s.
  • The Paris Conference agreed on a three-tiered mechanism that covered national, regional, and global follow-up to monitor the effective implementation of the Programme.
  • A Mid-term of the Implementation of the Programme of Action for the LDCs for 1990s came to the conclusion that these countries remain marginalized.
  • In 1997, the UN's General Assembly responded to the marginalization of LDCs by deciding to convene the 3rd UN Conference on LDCs and designated UNCTAD as the focal point for the preparation of the Conference.
  • The General Assembly designated Secretary-General of UNCTAD, Mr.Rubens Ricupero as Secretary-General of the 3rd UN Conference on LDCs.
  • The above information on LDC facts was culled from: United Nations Website on LDC III Conference.

    Last Updated: Monday 19 January 2004 @ 5.43pm CET

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