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WTO NEWS: 2002 NEWS ITEMS

Washington D.C. 26 February 2002
Final joint communiqué by the six core agencies of the Integrated Framework — IMF, ITC, UNCTAD, UNDP, World Bank and WTO

World Bank Headquarters in Washington D.C.

The heads and representatives of the six core agencies of the Integrated Framework —
Mr. Eduardo Aninat, Deputy Managing Director of the IMF,
Mr. J. Denis Bélisle, Executive Director of ITC,
Mr. Carlos Fortin, Deputy Secretary-General of UNCTAD,
Mr. Mark Malloch-Brown, Administrator of the UNDP,
Mr. James D. Wolfensohn, President of the World Bank, and,
Mr. Mike Moore, Director-General of the WTO, — 
met at the World Bank Headquarters in Washington D.C. on 26 February 2002, and issued the communiqué which follows:

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Heads of international agencies agree to work together to implement the WTO's Doha Development Agenda



We, the heads and representatives of the six core agencies of the Integrated Framework, meeting at the World Bank, Washington D.C., reaffirm our collective commitment to assist the meaningful integration of developing and least-developed countries into the multilateral trading system and the global economy. We welcome the launch of new trade negotiations at the WTO Fourth Ministerial Conference held in Doha in November 2001, which places development, the priority needs and interests of developing and least-developed countries at the heart of the negotiations and the work programme(1).In this context, we welcome the importance accorded to the Integrated Framework in paragraph 43 of the Doha Ministerial Declaration, and we are convinced that its implementation will contribute to the realisation of the Doha Development Agenda.

We recognise the urgency of enhancing linkages and improving coherence between the trade and development communities and amongst agencies. Improved coherence is necessary in addressing the trade-related development concerns of developing and least-developed countries. For the poorest countries — LDCs and non-LDC low-income economies — it requires that they are supported to negotiate in their own best interests, stimulate supply-side responses to improved market access opportunities, diversify their production and export base, and enhance their trade-supporting institutions. We are committed to responding to these needs in accordance with our mandates and expertise. 

Trade reform and liberalisation are powerful factors for economic growth, and can contribute to poverty reduction and sustainable development. We emphasise the central role of technical assistance for capacity building in developing and least developed countries. But markets and technical assistance are no substitutes. Markets also need to be open, so as to ensure that developing countries, and especially the least-developed among them, secure a share in the growth of world trade commensurate with the needs of their economic development. In this regard, we further recall the commitment by WTO Ministers in the Doha Ministerial Declaration to the objective of duty-free, quota-free market access for products originating from LDCs. We also stress that domestic regulatory reform, and coherent macroeconomic and trade policies are necessary and indispensable for trade development. Within LDCs themselves, it is essential that trade priority areas of action, including trade-related technical assistance (TRTA), are reflected within development plans and strategies for poverty reduction. 

  

Integrated Framework back to top

We remain convinced that the IF is an effective mechanism for mainstreaming trade into national development plans and strategies for poverty reduction, as well as a mechanism for the delivery of TRTA. We recall our review of the Integrated Framework at our first meeting at the UNDP, New York, 6 July 2000, where we took the necessary measures to strengthen the IF. We stress that no single agency or bilateral donor, on its own, can meaningfully or significantly respond to the complex trade and development challenges facing LDCs. This is why the concept and the mechanism of the IF remain a vital instrument for joint responses. 

Early progress with the Integrated Framework Pilot Scheme is encouraging. We acknowledge the value of the diagnostic trade integration studies (DTIS), led by the World Bank with the support of the other core agencies. We note the considerable efforts made by the three pilot countries82  to develop an inclusive, participatory process, led by themselves(2). recognise that it is now time to provide effective follow-up to the DTIS through the concrete delivery of TRTA. We commit ourselves to enhance our own agencies' responses to the priority technical assistance needs identified in the DTIS, and urge bilateral donors, regional development banks, and other development partners to join in this effort. Follow-up action requires an effective and predictable arrangement to deliver on the priority TRTA recommendations. We urge bilateral donors and multilateral agencies, in consultation with the national authorities of the pilot countries, to assume “Lead Donor Roles” in the individual beneficiary countries, with a view to ensuring that the priority technical assistance recommendations in the action plans/matrices are implemented. We instruct representatives of UNDP and the World Bank to consult with donors and national authorities at the country level with a view to designating a lead donor, and to report to the IF Steering Committee. 

We reaffirm the lead role of the World Bank in supporting the process to mainstream trade into development plans and strategies for poverty reduction, and underscore the need for the active participation of the other core agencies, taking advantage of their respective expertise. We continue to support inclusive participatory efforts by the beneficiary countries to integrate the results of the DTISs into their Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers and into the meetings of the World Bank Consultative Group and UNDP Round Table. We welcome cross-representation and improved coordination between national IF Steering Committees and the PRSP Committees, which would further enhance the effectiveness of the IF. 

We confirm, drawing on the lessons from the first group of pilots, that the IF is being extended to a second group of recommended LDCs(3) on the basis of the agreed criteria(4). We have already begun working in four LDCs(5). We support the further extension of the IF, to be preceded by a thorough review by the IF Steering Committee. We agree to act swiftly to extend the benefits of the IF to as many LDCs as possible by the time of the conclusion of the new Doha Trade Round. To achieve this goal, however, we will need to mobilize resources and means within the mandates of our agencies. Furthermore, we welcome and acknowledge the significance of bilateral donor contributions to the IF Trust Fund, which is a critical element in the continued extension of the IF. We emphasise the need for a significant up-scaling in resources for TRTA. 

We acknowledge requests from several non-LDC low-income economies to respond to their trade development needs through the extension of the benefits of the IF. We encourage those agencies and donors in a position to do so, without diverting resources from the IF nor distracting from the priority accorded to LDCs, and acting outside the institutional framework of the existing IF, to consider favourably these requests to provide support for mainstreaming and for trade-related technical assistance, building on the IF model. 

  

Doha Development Agenda back to top

We agree that technical cooperation and capacity building are core elements of the development dimension of the multilateral trading system. We are committed to working together and providing complementary contributions in accordance with our institutional agency mandates. We agree that our agencies, taking into account our areas of expertise, shall focus, inter alia, on addressing the immediate needs of developing countries to participate in the current trade negotiations and draw on the benefits of the open trading system. Based on consultations amongst our agencies, coordinated and joint inter-agency action could include such areas as negotiating issues, human capital capacity building for trade negotiations, and research and analytical studies on negotiating topics of interest to developing countries. Enhancing institutional capacity for trade support services, export strategy development, and establishing a sustainable capacity in training for trade are important areas of our collective undertaking. 

We welcome and support the initiative of the WTO working with the Development Assistance Committee of the OECD, and in coordination with other multilateral agencies and bilateral donors, to establish a TRTA Database, on the basis of country files, agency and donor country providers and agreed, comparable TRTA categories. This database will improve coherence, maximise available resources and minimize duplication. It will act as a transparency mechanism in the exchange and sharing of information. In this context also, we welcome the decision to establish a new IF website to be managed by the WTO, with the support of the core agencies. 

We agree, however, that responses to the challenges to the Doha Development Agenda must extend well beyond the provision of TRTA. We are committed in particular to supporting trade reform and other measures that are important for the orderly development of trade, such as sound macroeconomic, regulatory and trade policies, providing trade-related policy advice and policy analysis, support to ease supply-side constraints in developing countries, as well as to provide support to protect the poor from the possible dislocations associated with liberalization. It is essential that the trade and development communities work closely together, with regional banks, the private sector and civil society, in ensuring the overall coherence of policies and assistance, which will contribute and facilitate the successful implementation of the Doha Development Agenda. 

We express our appreciation to Mr. James D. Wolfensohn for hosting this second meeting of the IF Heads of Agency, and agree to meet again after the 5th WTO Ministerial Conference in Mexico, to review the effective implementation of our commitments.

Heads of international agencies agree to work together to implement the WTO's Doha Development Agenda

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Note:

1. WTO document WT/MIN(01)/DEC/1, 20 November 2001. back to text
2. Cambodia, Madagascar and Mauritania. back to text
3. Burundi, Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Guinea, Lesotho, Malawi, Mali, Nepal, Senegal and Yemen. back to text
4. The agreed criteria are contained in WTO document WT/IFSC/W/9. back to text
5. Lesotho, Malawi, Senegal and Yemen. back to text