Thursday, August 28, 2008

Formulation of West Africa's EPA market access offer to the EU

Mr. Darlan Marti, Programme Officer, Trade for Development Programme participated in workshop organized by the commission and secretariat of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and West Africa's Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU) on 4 and 5 August 2008 in Dakar, Senegal for the validation of a regional list of sensitive products with a view to preparing the West Africa's EPA market access offer to the EU.

The workshop built upon the work of national committees entrusted with the identification of agricultural and manufacturing sensitive products in West Africa's member states.

The South Centre and its work to support the region in the topics of the workshop was acknowledged by the ECOWAS' Commissioner of Trade during the opening ceremony.

South Centre participates in Assilah Foundation Forum on UN Reform and South-South Cooperation

Mr. Vice Yu, Coordinator, Global Governance for Development Programme, participated in the Assilah Foundation Forum on UN Reform and South-South Cooperation from 8-11 August 2008 in Assilah, Morocco.

The Forum was a part of the 23rd session of the Moatamid Ibn Al-Abbad Summer University, organized by the Assilah Forum Foundation within the framework of the 30th International Cultural Festival of Assilah.

New York: Review Meeting of Doha Outcome Document

Irfan ul Haque, Special Advisor Finance and Development, South Centre participated in the Meeting on Preliminary Review of the Doha Outcome Document organized by the G77 and South Centre in New York on 4 August 2008.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Benjamin W. Mkapa Launches the INSouth

8 August 2008: Mr. Benjamin W. Mkapa, the former President of Tanzania and the Chairperson of the South Centre today launched the Intellectual Network for the South (INSouth) at the opening session of the Fourth South Intellectual Platform at the Ecumenical Institute at Bossey, on the outskirts of Geneva.

INSouth embodies an understanding, from a South perspective, of the new and emerging issues in the international arena, and the challenges and opportunities they pose for the South.
It is envisaged that the INSouth will serve as a reference point for the South for:
• Analysis of existing development paradigms, imbalances in the current global system, and the limits they pose to the development and policy space of the South
• Alternative solutions that address the development needs and priorities of the South.
• Promoting new forms of South-South and South-North cooperation.

The Network brings together intellectuals from the global South amongst policymakers, research and academia, the media, the private sector and civil society.

INSouth is currently hosted by South Centre , the Geneva-based intergovernmental policy thinktank of the developing countries.

For more details, write to Mr. Vikas Nath, Coordinator, the Intellectual Network for the South (INSouth), Geneva.

21st Meeting of the Board of the South Centre held in Geneva

6-7 August 2008: The Board Members of the South Centre convened in Geneva under the Chairmanship of the former President of Tanzania, Mr. Benjamin W. Mkapa to review the work of the South Centre.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

H.E Zeine Ould Zeidane, former Prime Minister of Mauritania Visits South Centre

The immediate former Prime Minister of H.E Mauritania Zeine Ould Zeidane, and now special envoy of the President visited South Centre along with Her Excellency Mrs. Mounina Mint Abdellah, Ambassador of Mauritania to the UN Mission in Geneva on 30 July.

The meeting last over one hour and covered wide ranging issues including trade and investment, WTO Mini-Ministerial, food and energy security, climate change and South-South Cooperation.

H.E Zeidane was Prime Minister of Mauritania from 20 April 2007 to 6 May 2008. During this time he led the country's first post-transition government.

Business Daily/South Centre: Paris Declaration on aid a form of collective colonialism by donors

South Centre article authored by Yash Tandon, Executive Director, South Centre appears in Business Daily (Nairobi):

August 1, 2008: At first glance, the Paris Declaration (PD) looks benign. It recognises faults of the present system, and sets out sensible principles. Why, then, are the developing countries not all that excited? Many have signed on to the PD, but apparently without fully analysing the implications of its proposals. Meanwhile, awareness is growing among both civil-society and government actors in the developing world that not all that glitters about the PD is gold, and that underlying the declaration could be another agenda not readily transparent at first reading.

Read the complete article at:

South Centre organizes e-Forum on Aid Effectiveness: Donor Harmonisation or Southern Discomfort?

The Third High-Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness will be held in Accra from 2-4 September 2008 where the Accra Agenda for Action (AAA) to strengthen the Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness is expected to be endorsed by the participants. While the governments of rich nations want to streamline their aid efforts within the OECD-DAC context, those of many developing countries are less enthusiastic, and doubt the OECD High Level Forum in Accra in September will achieve much good.

This forum jointly hosted by the South Centre (South Intellectual Platform) and Fahamu will carry out discussions leading upto to the Accra meeting on the issue of "Aid Effectiveness: Donor Harmonisation or Southern Discomfort?"

The forum will run for two weeks from 8 August until 22 August 2008. Join this e-Forum by registering yourself at:

WTO Mini-Ministerial: Doha Collapse because of Failure to Deliver Development

Mini-ministerial meet of 30 countries in Geneva attempting to reach an accord on liberalising markets in agriculture and industrial goods to salvage the Doha trade round collapses on day nine.

The collapse of the Doha talks illustrated a clear lack of political will on the part of the developed countries to deliver on development. From the start, the developed countries were hearing but not actually listening to the development concerns the majority in the WTO have been voicing. This continued through the past week until it became untenable to bridge the differences.

Read the entire commentary available online (in English, French and Spanish) at:

South Centre in Media: IP Rights In Standards Impede Competition, Disadvantage Developing Countries

South Centre gets reported in the IP-Watch News Service:

"The inclusion of intellectual property rights in standards also is creating an anti-competitive effect, said panellists at the 30 June seminar in Geneva, hosted by the South Centre.
While standards are established to ensure compatibility in technology to the advantage of all users at national, regional or international levels, intellectual property rights are meant to provide an exclusive use, reward innovation, and are territorial in nature, according to speakers."

Read the complete news clipping at:

South Centre in Media: Africa: U.S. Farm Subsidies May Survive WTO Doha Round

South Centre gets mentioned in the Inter Press Service:

"According to an analysis by the non-governmental research and advocacy organisation South Centre, the NAMA 11 developing countries will have to reduce their tariffs by between 54 and 60 percent while the developed countries reduce their tariffs by only 30 percent. "

Read the complete press clipping at: