lundi 26 mai 2008

Economic and Social Council: Commission on Science and Technology for development, eleventh session.

Economic and Social Council: Commission on Science and Technology for development, eleventh session.
26 May 2008

Opening ceremony.

Introduction by Dr. Supachai Panitchpakdi, Secretary-General of UNCTAD:

Knowledge technology and innovation capacity are important challenges for development. The need for help from developed countries to less developed countries deals with transfert of technology and globalization.
LDP should integrate simple and emerging tecnologies in their development policies.

Dr. Hamadou Touré, Secretary-General of the International Telecommunication Union.

How can we create energy, how can we grap attention of decision makers? We have to work as a team play.

Mr. Mauro Dell’Ambrogio, State Secretary for Education and research of Switzerland.

The priority is on science, technology and development, including innovations and transfers. Developing human capacity is another challenge to fight famine threat.

Dr. Nina Fedoroff, Science and technology Adviser to the United States Secretary of State.

Internet development allows many minds to work together. Thanks to emails, phones, transportation capabilities, people interact, but paper journals still have to be shared.
The role of education is also to be emphasized. Governments should create neutral structures to allow access to Information and Communication technologies (ICT).

Mr Subramanian Ramadorai, CEO and Managing Director, Tata Counsulting Services, and Chair of the International Chamber of Commerce’s BASIS Initiative.

Technological development results in a better way of life, and in a more inclusive society.
In India, two rural projects are emerging considering rural employment with private and public sectors. Importance of the lack of scientists (mathematics and sciences), however need to prepare ourselves to the world market. Reduction of the numeric gap is to be considered as essential.

Ms. Zeinab El Bakri, Vice President, African Development Bank.
Today a food crisis is threatening political stability in Africa, but not only this continent. The food deficit is a fact. How should science and technology can answer to this problem is in the short and long run? We need partnership between governments, enterprises… Cooperation is the solution.

Item 1: Adoption of the Agenda and other organizational matters.

Item 2: Science, technology and innovation, and follow-up to the World Summit on the information Society.

Mr Reilly, moderator, Senior Director Cisco Systems.

Introduction of this session as an interactive dialogue.

Iraq: recent development of phones. Problem of policies and lack of clear vision.
Malaysia: technology progress thanks to innovation is to be completed by R&D. Too important numeric gap. Malaysia is trying to create bio-technology industry.
Tunisia: The 3rd International Forum is in preparation collaborating with UNCTAD, ITU, African Development Bank…
Pakistan: Increased its budget in this sector.
Lesotho: liberalized the telecommunication sector. Problems are a question of institutional and human capacities.
Burkina Faso: Today 15 phones per 100 inhabitants: recent and important development. Participative approach combating poverty.
Angola: Difficulty of application. Liberalization of the market of fixed and mobiles phones.
South Africa: Projects in rural areas concerningcommunities, to combat numeric gap.
Philippines: Increased its science and technologic budget of 46%. Strategy for innovation.
Jordan: Role of small areas with high technologic and enterprises levels. Fights against unemployment, particularly concerning youth.

Suzanne Roset.

vendredi 4 avril 2008

Group 77 and China, 4th, April 2008.

Group 77 and China, 4th, April 2008.

Reminder by the Chair:

Sub theme 3 is almost clean. Some delegations (US and EU) want to reopen negotiations on it on intellectual property rights. Need to find a compromise.
Still problems on § 127 where we look for an adjustment, and § 95 bis (language problem).
EU do not want any reference to ‘dissent work’, we could have it in the policy response in sub theme 3.

Sub theme 4 still knows some movements.
We will not be flexible on the independence of the secretariat, but we can be on technical cooperation issues. Trade and Development Board keeps its own mandate.
The challenge for next week will be the commissions (change in numbering issues and agreed outcomes).


· Honduras requests interpretation even in pre-conference. It is a crucial point from their point of view that all the ambassadors can understand and be understood.
· Concerning sub theme 3, reopening the negotiations and reinterpretations is particularly dangerous. Concession will be needed of some other points.

The secretariat would like section C to become the guidelines for its work. Our Group does not want this because such a decision can create a precedent, it does not want explication on the implementation. But it is acceptable to write a paragraph at the end saying that the guidelines would be drawn from section C. It is an alternative and a good solution. The problem of the first proposed solution is for the financing for development next semester.
‘Dissent work’ is a good solution in the policy response in sub theme 3.

Thailand asks for a document showing the main elements of the whole text: it would be helpful for ambassadors.
If negotiations are reopened, it will be important to speak in general terms.

US and EU want to reopen on this matter because the paragraph is good from our point of view.

There is an important risk to reopen the negotiations. We need a strategy because negotiations are ‘open’ until Accra. There is no real need to ‘reopen’ it.

Argentina shared Honduras views concerning the US and EU’s reopening wills. Moreover in Accra there will be experts from the capitals. We need to maintain and avoid the fight for reopening.
Risk of confusion concerning the changing numbering. Cannot we maintain it?

We can maintain it and change it only at the very end.

Negotiations are almost ending. We need to be clear on what is to be considered as important. We need to define priorities, such as section C.

‘Session is closed’.

Suzanne Roset.

mercredi 12 mars 2008

South Centre: Some Reflections on Formulating Chinese National IPR Strategy

12.03.2007, 15:00-18:00 – Room XXV (Palais des Nations)

1. Some Reflections on Formulating Chinese National IPR (Intellectual Property Rights) Strategy

(Speaker: Dr. ZHANG Qin –

Phases of formulation:

  • Phase 1: 2004 – Formulating Proposal, pre-study on outline, organizing the formulation system (leading group headed by Wu Yi, 28 formal members plus 5 informal members, Office settled at SIPO), getting approval from state council
  • Phase 2: Jan 2005 – Aug 2005: Formulating the study framework: 1+20
  • Phase 3: Aug 2005 – Jan 2007: Study of 20 related subjects and 1 outline
  • Phase 4: Feb 2007 – now: Formulation of the outline

Features of the formulation:

  • Government is responsible for the quality of study (rather than scientists, lawyers… in order to make the study USEFUL for the government)
  • Joint study crossing related ministries (28 ministries involved – these were the formal members)
  • Receiving worldwide contributions including the domestic and foreign enterprises, firms, NGOs, embassies, etc. (many conferences and discussion, also participation from abroad in order to learn from experience in other countries – China even asked foreign embassy officials to give their opinion on China’s IPR strategy)
  • Participation of hundreds of experts good in law, economics, regulation, etc.

Questions that need to be answered in IPR strategy formulation:

  1. What is it
  2. Why
  3. What to do
  4. How to do it
    (-> 3 & 4 lead to the actual strategy formulation)

What is IPR?

(Brief outline of the presentation)

  • IPR
  • The institution of IPR
  • The FUNCTION of the IPR institution
  • The background of the IPR strategy
  • The principle of the IPR strategy
  • IPR problems in China

Scope of IPR

  • Patents
  • Trademarks
  • Copyrights
  • Industrial design
  • New variety of a plant
  • Geographical indication
  • Integrated circuit layout design
  • Trade secret
  • Traditional knowledge

Simpe IPR definition in Chinese IPR textbooks:

“IPR is a natural or legal person’s property right prescribed in law based on the
achievent of intellectual activity”

OBJECT: Achievement of intellectual activity
SUBJECT: Natural or legal person
TARGET: Property right
DERIVATION: Prescribed in law

Problems with this definition:

  • Hard to include Geographical indication, trademarks, collected data, etc.
  • Unclear why it is thus prescribed in law
  • Incomplete target (without "mental" right) – IPR involves 2 types of rights…
  • Incomplete subject (without "non-legal person organization")

Proposed IPR definition to rectify the problem:

“IPR is the legislated property right and the mental right of the civil subject
on specific useful information”

OBJECT: Specific useful information
SUBJECT: Civil subject (natural or legal person, non-legal person organization
TARGET: Property right & mental right (the property right is important in China; it is man-made and TRANSFERABLE; the mental right is a right by fact/by natural law, it is NON-TRANSFERABLE)
DERIVATION: legislated (different – here IPR is man-made, not natural!)

Scope of IPR institution

  • IPR laws and regulations
  • IPR examination / registration system (2 separate departments in charge of these tasks!)
  • IPR enforcement system (judicial and administrative) – work done by courts as well as government agencies; In China, there are 2 types of protection (judicial, and administrative (through courts))
  • IPR policies

Functions of the IPR institution

  • Encourage innovation and creation
  • Encourage knowledge dissemination (other people can profit from a discovery without repeating the entire research)
  • Inherit TK & protect genetic resources
  • Maintain fair competition
  • Protect consumers (If goods are counterfeited, consumers cannot find the good they really wanted to buy)
  • Promote national culture

Background of IPR strategy

  • Knowledge economy (economy based on the knowledge with IPR) -> knowledge is not free in our time!
  • Globalization of the economy -> globalizatuion of IPR regulations (TRIPS), and development of the global economy -> IPR becomes a basic economical institution
  • Challenge to China: Its main source of competitiveness comes from cheap labor, but it needs to start paying its labor more, so production costs will rise. Another challenge is China’s huge need for energy, and its increasing dependence on imports. This also bears environmental costs. So, China must improve the QUALITY of its competitiveness (depend less on cheap labor and become more energy-efficient in order to avoid depending too strongly on oil imports; focus the economy on becoming more of a knowledge/technology – based economy
  • Need for an IPR strategy (what to do and how to do it?)

Principle of IPR strategy in China
The goal of any country's IPR strategy must be to maximize the total national benefit

  • Synthetic benefit (IPR, trade, research, education, culture, defense – short & long term benefits, etc.)
  • The IPR strategy must fit the development level of a country
  • Balance the benefits of rights holders, users, and consumers/public
  • Balance between domestic innovation and attraction of foreign technology / culture / brand / management / investment / etc. (China doesn’t want to close its border to the outside world, but encourage foreign contributions to its development)
  • Win-win situation for various countries
  • Together development of different geographical areas (-> Eastern China, cities very developed; but 2/3 of China are in the mountains, and these areas are very poor) -> different areas of China are at different levels of development; China should try to have its areas develop together

IPR problems in China

  • Shortage of IPR innovation/application
  • Weakness in IPR protection enforcement
  • Difficulty in prohibiting IPR abuse (China has a big problem with counterfeits, copies, trademark violations, etc.; this hampers China’s growth and weakens it -> the cost is still very high for a patent holder to have his rights protected in China)
  • There are two elements of IPR: 1) protect the right, 2) prohibition of abuse; China protects IPR very well, but is not so strong on the prohibition of abuse (much of IPR abuse in China hurts its economy and culture, but it doesn’t have the means to fight this abuse completely)
  • Shortage of IPR culture (awareness, basic knowledge, respect, creativity, protection of mental rights, professional, etc.) -> need for more education for managers, students,… need to increase people’s knowledge about the meaning of IPR
  • Imperfect IPR institution

Why? (A critical look at the reason for IPR's)

  • example: comparison between Joanne K. Rowling’s riches from writing “Harry Potter”, while Homer and Shakespeare never became rich…
  • Why are the famous Chinese “basic” inventions such as gunpowder, paper manufacturing, etc. not Chinese intellectual property, while white tea, silk, chinaware ARE Chinese intellectual property?
  • Why are Albert Einstein’s discoveries (e=mc^2) not IPR?
  • Why is industrialization based on China’s own independent innovation illegal? (Because somebody else may have already happened to patent it one day earlier…); if a scientist forgets/fails to get a patent, his IPR is lost, he is prohibited from reproducing his own invention!!
  • Are all IPR infringements "stealing", in the same sense as stealing cars is?
  • Since developed countries usually apply for patents usually earlier than developing countries, should the latter lose their right to apply the technology they could have also achieved later, unless they pay much as the “earlier inventors” want? (Ex. DVD player: most of the sale price of DVD players produced in China must be paid as royalty (about 60%!!) as royalty; often pay $13-18 in royalty and only earn $1 per player sold; is it fair that the right holder can simply fix a royalty price and demand that it be paid?)
  • Why is the history of IPR only a few hundred years old (it is less than 30 years old in China!) while the history of private (tangible) property is thousands of years old?
  • Is IPR “natural” private property, based on the principle of “whoever creates something, owns it”?
  • Is TRIPS the protection of human rights?
  • Why can’t discoveries be patented?
  • Why is IPR protection valid for so long (invention: 20 years, copyright: until 50 years after author's death, etc.)
  • Why is IPR law different from country to country (ex. software rights different in Europe and China from the USA), while the property rights for TANGIBLE goods are almost the same in many different countries? (a person can trade goods in almost any country, without needing to know the local property laws for tangible goods; the same is not applicable to intellectual property)

Proposed answer
All answers can be found in the correct DEFINITION of IPR!

  • The object of IPR is (useful) information
  • Information is not scarce once it is created or obtained
  • Open information cannot be held by the creator in the same way as a tangible object can be (-> it is non-exclusive!)
  • Non-tradable secret information is not the object of IPR, but the skill of the holder (ex. painting skill; it can’t be legally protected, but can be used in trading on the market)
  • IPR law prohibits only ILLEGAL obtainment, sale or opening of trade secrets, but there is another LEGAL way
  • IPR does not protect IPR objects, because information cannot be returned and removed from the “thief” of it; information made available to the public cannot be made “unavailable” again or removed..
  • Information itself cannot be property, in NATURE, because there is no scarcity… (normal property has 2 properties: 1) it must be useful, 2) it must be scarce -> information, like air or sea water, is useful, but not scarce, so it cannot be treated as private property)
  • In history, it is the non-property feature of knowledge/information that makes human achievement become a driving force of progress
  • Tragedy of the commons: If discoveries/inventions are made freely available, then nobody will innovate or try to discover things..
  • IPR has thus been recently designed, in order to legislate a sort of “artificial” scarcity of knowledge/information
  • The scarcity is related to only the right to use the information, but not the information itself (only the ACCESS, but not the OBJECT is meant to be protected in IPR -> the object itself is still public, by law even, because the patent must be detailed and public, but only specific subjects (the right holders) may put it to commercial use)
  • The scarcity is created only by legislation (thus, it is completely artificial)
  • The IPR law is designed by the legislator
  • A legislator tends to represent only his national benefits, rather than the benefits of the entire society
  • Einstein’s discovery is too great, too basic to patented; it must be rewarded, but not through IPR
  • Discovery should only be patented if this improves society as a whole (-> gene patenting…)
  • Different legislators in different countries at different levels of development see different benefits, thus they create different criteria for IPR laws

Tangible property rights

OBJECT: tangible, consumable, naturally exclusive, naturally scarce, protected by law

RIGHT: based on natural law, right before it became law, same in all countries, non-separable from the object, disappears if the object disappears

Intellectual Property Rights (IPR):

OBJECT: Intangible, non-consumable, naturally non exclusive, naturally not scarce, not protected by law (historically)

RIGHT: man-made right, law comes before the right, different in different countries, separable from countries, disappears while object still exists

Further doubts on IPR protection:

  • Low quality counterfeits = IPR infringements? (There is no reason to link bad-quality products to IPR; rather, it concerns basic consumer protection rights)
  • Hit to illegal disk/CD production = enforcement of IPR protection? Questionable… Believes that this is competition law, not IPR law… Under IPR law, one should first prove that something is being counterfeited…
  • Who should pay for IPR protection? In Mr. Zhang’s opinion, the patent holder should!! But most people believe that China’s government should pay for this…
  • Why and in what cases is the government responsible for IPR protection?
  • Should private property rights by enforced by courts (judicial) only?


  • IPR is not simply based on natural law or human rights, but based on benefits for different countries
  • Developed countries generally want strong IPR protection, and developing countries usually want weak IPR protection, because they have different costs / benefits facing them; BOTH sides’ views are reasonable, and BOTH sides should gain from this, rather than only one!
  • International IPR regulation should be a balance of different benefits, and should result in a win-win situation
  • Every country should be aware of what its costs and benefits are…


2. A Comment on Dr. Qin ZHANG’s seminar

(Speaker: Prof. Dominique FORAY - EPFL, Lausanne)

Introductory remarks:

  • A national IP strategy needs to fit the development level of the country
  • BEFORE defining a strategy, one must ask: Where are the payoffs? (Should a country focus on CREATING knowledge, or more RE-CREATING or INNOVATING on existing knowledge??)
  • Pre-TRIPS history provides numerous examples of countries able to frame IP institutions to fit their growth strategy: Switzerland (excluded all chemical companies from patent laws, allowing current companies such as Novartis, Roche to become competitive, then introduced IPR!!; Switzerland’s IP strategy was to protect DOMESTIC IPR’s, but not FOREIGN IPR’s!!) and India
  • TRIPS leaves policy with some space for adjusting institutions
  • Policymakers should ask: What are the capacities I want to support through adequate institutions: reverse invention, radical innovation,... ?

China at the frontier? (At what development stage is China, and what will be its driver for future growth)-

  • Intel's CEO in 2003 identified China’s rising technological capacities as constituting a competitive threat to US high tech
  • UNCTAD World Investment report 2005
  • China's exports overlap to a surprising extend with OECD countries' exports

Increase in R&D investment in China expected:

  • But, R&D operations by US MNC’s in China lower than rest of world (except Africa)
  • US patent data suggests that China is not an important generator of US patents
  • China’s ability to innovate, as evidenced by numbers of US patents with at least one China-based inventor, remains well behind Japan, Taiwan and South Korea
  • China exports huge quantities of high-tech goods, but it is usually importing the high value-added components of these goods!
  • -> China is NOT yet becoming a technological superpower; there is rapid growth in R&D, but from an extremely small base

The Economist: “Invention is costly and frustrating work; China has better things to do.” (->China could find more lucrative uses for its resources)


  • Basically agrees with Dr. ZHANG
  • There is no CONSTANT ‘best form’ of IP institutions (“Take 20 different economists, and they will have 20 different views on China”)
  • Regional differences also matter
  • There must be a co-evolution of national IP strategies and R&D capabilities.


3. Another commentary on Dr. ZHANG’s seminar

(Speaker: Prof Kiyoshi ADACHI - UNCTAD)

  • UNCTAD follows intellectual property rights in developing countries: China’s IP strategy will be important as an example for many developing countries!!
  • Increasingly, we must expect other countries such as China, India, Brazil to take on an important as reference points as decision makers concerning IPR’s (whereas at the moment, the European / American rules are usually the only ones applied)
  • In India, a very strict law was adopted, making it very difficult to have something patented (-> An example of IPR adapted to India’s level of development!)
  • Where to strike the balance between exclusive rights and public domain? This involves many philosophical questions..
  • Not simply a matter of mimicking an existing law; an IP strategy must be thought about thoroughly
  • IPR was not approached for IPR’s sake, but in the view of accomplishing something: independent innovation (in the case of China)
  • With so many stakeholders, it is impossible to develop a strategy that would please everybody
  • With every strategy, there will be a need for periodic reviews!

- Nathan J. Wooden

UNCTAD: Trade and Development Board, 43rd executive session

Trade and Development Board, 43rd executive session

(March 34d, 2008 - 3 p.m. in Room XVIII of the Palais des Nations)

1. Special address by the Secretary-General of the United Nations, Mr. Ban Ki-moon

The secretary-general of the UN, Mr. Ban Ki-Moon held a short introductory speech today in anticipation of the meeting of UNCTAD to be held in Accra, Ghana in April. He mentioned that 2008 should be the year of the “Bottom Billion”, an initiative to help the poorest countries which have been left behind in economic growth.

He went on to mention the most recent successes of the UN concerning Darfur, climate change, and many other problems.

He spoke of the “resolve of the forgotten people” to have their voices heard, their welfare more taken into account. He reminded the assembly of the special duty of the UN to poor people (i.e. of people earning less than $1 a day). In this context, he also made reference to an MDG Africa group meant to help Sub-Saharan Africa achieve millennium goals.

Optimistic about the future of UNCTAD, he confirmed that he expects a crucial boost in UNCTAD’s importance and activity in April when the meeting takes place in Accra.

He stressed the need for an international resolve and consensus to do same for bottom billion as has already done on climate change, underlining how the international community can reach its goals if all countries work together.

He emphasized that the meeting in Accra must not only lead to trade and investments helping to reduce poverty, but also to help “unblock” the Doha round.

He suggested to scale up UNCTAD activities in support of MDG, closing his speech with a remark that development is not a privilege of the few, but a right for all.

Speech by Chitsaka Chipaziwa (Ambassador from Zimbabwe)

The ambassador emphasized his resolve to strengthen UNCTAD and to increase its importance and scope of action, reminding the assembly that the G77+China would not countenance any diminution of UNCTAD’s role in the UN development “machinery”.

He also expressed concern that the UN’s main focus is swinging too much away from economic issues; but without an increases in income, poverty can’t be overcome, and many other areas of action will become more difficult for the UN. Mr. Chipaziwa also expressed great praise for the secretary general’s speech. At the same time, however, he urged him to bring the United Nations’ main focus back to economic development.

Clodoaldo Hugueney (Ambassador from Brazil & chair of the G77)

The Brazilian ambassador also stressed the issue raised by the ambassador from Zimbabwe, repeating that the international community’s focus must be moved back to economic development.

He added that the meeting in Accra should lead to a global consensus on development, and strengthen UNCTAD’s role. However, the meeting should not only deal with economic issues, but it should also address climate change, energy and migration.

He proposed relaunching the commodity program (which is of particular importance to Africa).

He also cited climate change as a development challenge that requires UNCTAD’s contribution.

He also justified his reference to migration with the explanation that no single UN organization addresses migration.

On trade, he said that UNCTAD should send a strong signal against protectionism, influencing the Doha round positively. He added that Brazil is determined to bring the Doha round to a close this year.

In order to underline Brazil’s high-level participation in the Accra meeting, he stated that both Brazilian president Lula and a high-level economic minister would be present in Accra.

Andrej Logar (EU Ambassador from Slovenia)

The Slovenian ambassador said that Europe sees UNCTAD as an important arm of UN, although mainly limited to its core area of “comparative advantage”

He also made some suggestions on how to strengthen UNCTAD:

- establish clear priorities for its work (based on its areas of expertise)
- better involvement of national actors
- increased intergovernmental cooperation

Mercy Amoah (Ambassador from Ghana)

The ambassador from Ghana expressed her pride and anticipation to hosting UNCTAD 12.
She cited Africa as the continent with the biggest challenges in development, and reminded the assembly that it looks to UNCTAD for support. She expressed her appreciation that 2 major events will take place in Africa this year (UNCTAD + UN high-level meeting)

2. Preparations for UNCTAD XII

High Level Panels:
Trade and development for Africa’s prosperity; action and direction (Host country with UNCTAD will choose an event that is interesting to it) -> Attendance by presidents of Ghana, Brazil, Finland… -> hope that other heads of state will attend // plan to invite 25 more African heads of state

9 round tables identified
Looking for participants, which country would be a good fit for which round table

Some of the tables:
- South-South trade
- Harnessing knowledge and technology for development
- Debt management solutions
- Strengthening UNCTAD’s role in development

Ghana: Logistical problems being solved (accommodations, transportation, infrastructure, visas,…) -> visas can even be issued on the spot, at the airport!!

Pakistan: vaccinations? -> all measures will be put in place, for vaccinations that are immediately effective
Oman: Possible to obtain visas in Geneva for countries w/o embassy from Ghana?

Plan to bring secretariat football team to play with 11 Ghanan ministers

- Nathan J. Wooden

lundi 3 mars 2008

Preparatory Committee for UNCTAD XII: Hearing with civil society and the private sector

Preparatory Committee for UNCTAD XII: Hearing with civil society and the private sector

3 March 2008


The second hearing took the form of an interactive debate and provided an opportunity for dialogue and an exchange of views among representatives of UNCTAD member States and representatives of civil society and the private sector and parliamentarians on issues relevant to the theme and sub-themes of UNCTAD XII:
The outcome of the hearing will be summarized in a report of the Preparatory Committee to UNCTAD XII.

Opening remarks both by Ambassador Petko Draganov, President of the Trade and Development Board, and Supachai Panitchpakdi, Secretary-General of UNCTAD.

The aim of the meeting is to make UNCTAD stronger and link three UNCTAD’s pillars.
M.Panitchpakdi thanks Canada, Island, Norway and Ghana for their active (financial) participation in the process of UNCTAD.

Sub-theme 4: Strengthening UNCTAD: enhancing its development role, impact and institutional effectiveness

1. Strengthening UNCTAD: Institutional aspects


Alpha Ayande, Synergy for Development and International Partnership (SYFODIP):

The main important is to build a consensus, to focus on poor people and we need coordination between UNCTAD and civil society to strengthen UNCTAD.

Adalbert Nouga, Village Suisse ONG :

UNCTAD need to integrate factor of migration, local knowledge and support NGOs which need some funds.

Iara Pietricovsky de Oliveira, Instituto de Estudos Sócioeconômicos (INESC) :

Lack of balance and democracy nowadays (inequality rich and poor); to strengthening, the organization needs more wait. In the same time, UNCTAD helping countries to create a policy space but they’re also need to keep their sovereignty; we must create synergies between civil society and UNCTAD.

Answers of the others participants:


On behalf African’s NGOs, UNCTAD should provide advice to African countries; recommendation 6 of the high level panel is relevant.


LDCs need tools for professional service and trade; this meeting gives the opportunity to make a trade and economic network.

Philippines (G77):

Importance of consensus building: slow but dividend in the long term. Thanks to the NGOs to be here and to speak about the ground because at Geneva in UNCTAD we are sometimes out of the reality.
Because of prepcom process, G77 lack of time to organize a G77 meeting with civil society.


On subtheme 4, NGOs need to take part on the TDB (Trade and Development Board) collaborative (funds).


UNCTAD must keep on assist Developing countries and government must to bring policy space.

Slovenia (EU):

Importance of research, to strengthen UNCTAD quality is better than quantity (and set up rather than substance); we always have included civil society in the three UNCTAD’s pillars.

Brazil (G77):

Civil society brings special analyses in developing countries; we need to vtke care about the share of the migration; As M. Panitchpakdi has said on introduction, energy and climate change is keys issues for the G77, and also the importance of multilateral approaches.


It exist regional and national level to strengthen UNCTAD. The main question is: how will become more effective on the ground? We need implementation of trade rules.

Indonesia: Hope for more participation of civil society in the process.

Iran: Consensus building pillars; IPR (Investment Policy Reviews) contribute to strengthen UNCTAD.

2. Role of civil society in the activities of UNCTAD


Anne Laure Solnon, The Conference of NGOs in Consultative Relationship with the United Nations (CONGO):

Stress on the importance to hearing civil society, importance of research and analysis pillar: pro active way of UNCTAD. We need a more intensive integration of civil society (as it was said on Sao Paulo Consensus).

Biro Diawara, Centre du Commerce International pour le Développement (CECIDE) :

To solve poverty issues, implement MDGs, need a new direction for UNCTAD, strategic partnership with small farmer. Keep on training program for NGOs and private sector.

Village Suisse:

Civil society should be including in the Commission on science and technology for development.


This meeting permits a fresh start between UNCTAD and civil society.

Revitalizing UNCTAD: Priority issues (sub-themes 1, 2 and 3)


Esther Busser, International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC):

Spoke about job’s inequality (improve the social condition; recall the one dollars by day).

Anne Laure Constantin, Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy (IATP):

Lack of relevant things on UNCTAD XI; be careful about the volatile prices (bad effects).


To stress UNCTAD on the issue of promote commodities (oil, food…).


We’ve a lack of financial resources in Africa so we need to strength UNCTAD to strength Africa.

Closing remarks

UNCTAD must stay on the spirit of cooperation.


lundi 17 décembre 2007

14.12.2007: UNCTAD/Trade and Development Board: Consultations of the President of TDB (afternoon)

This afternoon, the document being discussed was the PROGRESS REPORT ON THE IMPLEMENTATION OF THE RECOMMENDATIONS IN CLUSTER I. Most of the points discussed were not controversial, and mainly the chair was presenting its document, explaining the work done to prepare it.

Mrs. Puri noted that recommendation 5 concerns UNCTAD’s core area of competence (trying to build partnerships with other organizations in different areas...)

Portugal noted that the document still contains mistakes; the NGO list incomplete, contains some typos, some incorrect e-mail addresses, lists Albania instead of Austria…

The USA noted that they want to make sure only issues that actually fall under UNCTAD’s mandate appear in the implementation report. If an issue does not appear, they argued, then it should not be considered in UNCTAD’s mandate.
The chair responded that the members will determine UNCTAD’s mandate, not the document presented.

Argentina praised the document - mostly recommentadions 5 and especially 6; they declared a wish to expand their work with civil society.

Chair: Working with ILO, ITC, other organizations on many of these issues (non-tariff barriers), working with UNDP…

Portugal: Page 4, UNCTAD’s biofuel initiative…
Portugal argued that the lack of reference to the integrated framework (IF) is bad, seeing as UNCTAD is one of the 6 agencies responsible for the integrated framework. Financing should occur through the integrated framework rather than through extra-budgetary resources.

Chair (Mrs. Puri) – one of the main problems being focused on is brain drain and lack of skilled individuals in developing countries…

Uganda: Recommendation 18, criteria for countries’ participation?

The chair also asked for all countries to find more participation of civil society organizations… All countries were called on to look for various domestic civil society organizations.

The U.S. requested that any reference to climate change be removed from the document, as it’s already being discussed in Bali.
The chair replied that it could not be removed, as the secretary general of the UN himself had already identified climate change as the major challenge, for developing countries as well; it must NOT be removed from the agenda.

- Nathan J. Wooden

14.12.2007: UNCTAD/Trade and Development Board: Preparatory process for UNCTAD XII (morning)

This morning, the consolidated UNCTAD XII pre-Conference negotiating text was presented to all UNCTAD members to be discussed. There were various points of disagreement - generally, delegates from the European Union, Japan and the USA wanted to limit the text as much as possible and make sure that it did not reference subjects not within UNCTAD's "competence", while G77 countries - most notably Brazil - wanted to maintain a large version of the text, declaring that UNCTAD also can contribute in areas such as trade and financial stability.

Paragraph 21:
Here, there was much discussion about the terms "integration" and "cooperation". The U.S. wanted to keep both words in, keeping the text as general as possible. Brazil insisted that "integration" and "cooperation" are two similar, but different concepts (first comes cooperation, then integration CAN follow, but doesn't in all cases) and wanted to emphasize separately how EACH of the two concepts is important.

Paragraph 21bis:
The United States delegate, supported by Portugal (who was representing the EU all morning) wanted to strike this entire paragraph because it sounds too "negative" and suggested combining paragraphs 21 and 21bis, mainly using the wording of paragraph 21. The U.S. also objected to the use of the term "unfettered market forces". One of their further points was that this text should not be talking about financial markets, as that is in the competence domain of the Bretton Woods institutions.
Once again, the delegate of Brazil and some other G77 countries objected to the U.S. and EU suggestions, arguing to keep paragraph 21bis.

Paragraph 22:
Once more, Brazil objected to the U.S. delegations changes to the last line ("efforts to build a cooperative monetary system" instead of "efforts to build a truly cooperative monetary system at all levels"). The U.S. maintained that it believed these words to be unnecessary, Portugal even suggested deleting the entire paragraph. But Brazil maintained that the sentence should be left in its complete form.

Paragraph 23:
Here, the U.S. maintained that the text should speak about "international" rather than "harmonized" standards.

Paragraph 24:
This paragraph was a source of very heated debate. The United States suggested deleting the entire paragraph, arguing that financial crises happen and have always happened and that little can be done to prevent them. And, the measures to be taken fall in the competence area of the FFD, not UNCTAD. Portugal also argued that UNCTAD does not have a mandate in this area. However, many G77 countries spoke out against the deletion of this paragraph; Brazil argued that crises can indeed be controlled (even if not prevented in all cases) by regulating speculation, and they also maintained firmly that this is not only the IMF's competence area; UNCTAD can also contribute to financial stability measures and already has. The delegate from the Philippines also argued that it was irresponsible to assume that since crises can't be prevented, one should simply do nothing about them. Iran went so far as to say that this was actually a core mandate of UNCTAD, and that the paragraph should absolutely stay.
At this point, the United States took the floor again and argued that UNCTAD would be stepping out of its area of competence in making policy recommendations to the world in financial and monetary issues, since this was clearly the mission of the IMF and World Bank. The US delegate also argued that the real problem causing financial instability was not at the international level, but bad governance, corruption and lacking accountability at the level of national governments. Brazil once again took the floor and maintained that in some small countries, it may be the case that financial crises were a purely domestic problem, but crises in big and developed countries have a much more devastating impact on the global community; thus, developed countries have a systemic responsibility in this area. Russia also sided with Brazil in this debate. Portugal once again maintained that this was not UNCTAD's area of competence, but Brazil replied that UNCTAD is already acting in this area. To underpin his argument, he cited a brief on the current subprime crisis issued by UNCTAD, as well as the Integrated Framework, where UNCTAD is one of the 5 participating organizations, along with the WTO, the IMF and the World Bank.

Paragraph 25:
Brazil took the floor first, objectiong to the EU's proposed deletion of the first sentence (concerning preventive measures to debt crises). The USA responded by suggesting to delete the entire paragraph, claiming that it was "too technical" and inappropriate for UNCTAD. The USA went on to explain that UNCTAD was the wrong forum to discuss this type of problem and that UNCTAD's work would be more meaningful if it was confined to the limited areas of trade and development rather than "overstepping" its competence and becoming "watered down". Portugal sided with the United States, maintaing that if their amendments were not accepted, they also preferred to delete the entire paragraph. Brazil responded the the U.S. argument of UNCTAD overstepping its area of competence by explaining that financial and monetary stability are crucial elements regarding trade and development; they are largely interrelated, thus UNCTAD does indeed have a mandate to make suggestions and policy recommendations in these areas as well.

Paragraph 26:
Brazil took the floor first, requesting that the USA and the EU explain their modifications. The USA responded by suggesting to delete the entire paragraph and replacing it with 26alt. Russia and Portugal also preferred 26alt, although Portugal requested that ODA's be mentioned in 26alt if 26 were deleted. The U.S. delegate agreed to ask her government to agree with adding ODA's. Brazil, however, objected to this change and maintained that they preferred the original paragraph 26.

Paragraphs 27 and 27alt:
The USA took the floor first, showing its support to the EU's amendments to paragraph 27. This time, Brazil also agreed. However Paragraph 27alt cause more discussion. Japan, the USA and the EU all suggested deleting this paragraph, but Brazil, Algeria and Iran argued against this step. Iran also argued against the mention of the Paris declaration in these two paragraphs, since it was not a completely multilateral agreement that was not completely agreed on internationally. The USA was quick to respond that if this were the case, then the entire text would have to be changed and all references to non-universal institutions would have to be removed.

Paragraph 28 and 28alt:
Japan suggested deleting paragraph 28 and replacing it with 28alt. Brazil argued that it was very important to keep the reference to the "challenges of globalization". Cuba also intervened at this point, objecting mainly to the last sentence of Paragraph 28alt (which had been added by the USA); they argued that UNCTAD's role should be to reduce poverty, not to merely promote globalization and free trade.

Paragraph 29:
Brazil took the floor first, objecting to the EU's deletion of the first sentence here. However, all states present were able to come to a consensus to remove sub-paragraph d) here.

Paragraph 29bis:
Brazil suggested deleting this entire paragraph, as its reference to "resource-rich" countries was more confusing than helpful.

- Nathan J. Wooden