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More on WTO assistance for developing countries
Remarks back to top
Keynote address by
Dr. Kipkorir Aly Azad RANA
World Trade Organization
Distinguished delegates from JITAP partner countries, and from the Permanent
Missions in Geneva,
Colleagues from the three agencies, ladies and gentlemen.
It is a great pleasure once again to address this gathering of JITAP
managers from the field and Geneva representatives to this management
meeting. Normally we organize such meetings in the field but this year, we
are holding the Management meeting in Geneva back-to-back with the meeting
of the Common Trust fund partners — donors, beneficiaries and agencies. This
permits you field managers to participate in the CTF meeting this coming
JITAP II is now well on course since its launch in February 2003. 2003-04
had delayed implementation due to a number of factors, including the delay
in finalizing country project documents, and the preparations for the Cancun
meeting. Next year will mainly concentrate on enhanced delivery so as to
frontload the implementation activities contained in the JITAP country
DDA Negotiations back to top
Perhaps this is a good point to say a few things about the DDA negotiations
in which all of us have an interest.
It is important to recall that JITAP played a crucial role in preparing
partner countries in Africa for Cancun. National compendia on negotiating
positions helped the national delegations come well prepared to the
conference thanks to intense interaction among the IICs and the organisation
of a series of videoconferences on subjects of particular interest
(Agriculture, NAMA and Services) immediately before Cancun to brief the
delegations on the status of play. This allowed the African countries to
play an active role at the conference.
As a follow up to Cancun, a series of videoconferences on Agriculture, NAMA and Services were held in the course of June and July this year to keep
partner countries informed and up to date with DDA negotiations.
As we all know, in July, WTO Members reached a major decision in several
key areas of the negotiations, which will be the basis for concluding the
Doha work programme.
Modalities were agreed in the critical areas of agriculture and NAMA. If
we can all maintain the momentum, there should be significant progress to
report at the next Ministerial meeting in Hong Kong, China, in December
Even more significantly, Members took a decision to launch negotiations in
trade facilitation — an area in which a number of developing countries have
an interest in improving their trade performance so that their goods can
flow smoothly. This will hopefully reduce transaction costs for a better
Progress on implementation back to top
The initial difficult phase of launching the JITAP programme is over. All
country project documents were finalized, and what remains is to implement
what is contained in those project documents.
This implementation phase is a very crucial phase and it requires
additional efforts from the agencies and the countries as well.
For the eight countries that were participants in the initial programme (JITAP
I), it is imperative for them to accomplish the consolidation of their
capacity in order to take part fully in the MTS, and possibly draw
advantages from market access opportunities. These countries will phase out
from JITAP soon, in order to let other countries benefit from the programme
as soon as a decision is taken to extend the programme and new resources are
Toolkits for Module 1 (MTS institutional support, compliance and
negotiation), Module 2 (Reference Centres and National Enquiry Points) and
Module 4 (Product and services sector strategy) have been finalised. Each
Toolkit is designed to help countries in the self-implementation of their
activities. Several persons from the public, private and academic sectors
were trained on the use of these Toolkits.
The agencies are now working on the two other toolkits for the MTS
training and networking. These toolkits are the crosscutting modules and the
platform for sustainability after the programme ends in your countries.
These toolkits will be delivered to you during 2005. You will see during
this meeting a very ambitious training programme that will help you
consolidate the human capacity in order for your countries to engage fully
in the MTS.
I am pleased to inform you that JITAP and IF are now closely coordinating
their respective operations to maximise the synergy between these two
complimentary TRTA initiatives. To better streamline the activities of the
two important initiatives IF and JITAP, it has also been recommended by the
agencies that those countries which are both in JITAP and IF should consider
having one focal point and one steering committee for the two programmes.
This will also help our programming in the three agencies and also at your
level in the field. This action has been taken in order to reduce the
management burden on you. As we all know you are very stretched due a
multiplicity of TRTA initiatives and other negotiation agendas (RTAs, EPAs,
We intend to similarly build synergies with the STDF programme which was
launched in Paris in April 2004, by five agencies (WTO, World Bank, WHO, FAO
and OIE). This programme addresses issues of capacity in the area of SPS and
food quality, where African countries are in urgent need of TRTA. WTO host
the Secretariat of STDF.
I am also pleased to note that JITAP is also working with other relevant
agencies such as FAO, UNIDO, ECA, UNDP and WIPO to coordinate activities and
to deliver TA jointly, where feasible.
Exit strategy back to top
As we are aware, the agencies are proposing to the CTF-SG meeting
scheduled for Friday the consideration for an extension of the period when
the original eight countries are to exit so that they complete and graduate
successfully from the programme. We need to reflect very well on this point.
The draft proposal is in your documentation for the meeting and you can
reflect on it.
The graduation of the original JITAP beneficiary countries will allow
other African countries the opportunity to benefit from this very successful
programme once it is extended and new resources allocated to it.
Expected outcomes of this Management meeting back to top
Your deliberations should allow for:
An assessment of progress-to-date in implementing JITAP II, on a
country-by-country basis and at a programme-wide scale. You should recommend
solutions for speeding up this programme implementation. Look at all aspects
of programming. You may also wish to study problems and issues such as:
timely access to the agencies' technical resources and expertise,
timely access to the programme’s financial resources,
implementation capacity in the partner countries,
and any other relevant matters;
A precise planning of country and programme activities in line with the
schedule of negotiations following the WTO’s General Council Decision of 1
August 2004 taking into consideration related deadlines in 2005. This will
help JITAP countries in participating actively and advantageously in the WTO
negotiations and other agendas namely EPAs and regional negotiations.
Identification of priorities at country and regional level, finalisation
of implementation plans for 2005, and planning resource allocations by the
I hope that your attendance of the General Council made you realize the
best way JITAP could assist you in coping with your negotiation
This meeting is also an opportunity for establishing or strengthening
closer contacts and collaboration among the countries, to tap all
opportunities to help each other, not only on the process of negotiations,
but also in training and consolidating MTS institutions, through learning
from each other’s experiences and best practices. The agencies are ready to
support you in that effort.
Conclusion back to top
The quality of work that will be undertaken under JITAP and other
technical cooperation initiatives will impact on the effectiveness of your
countries’ participation in the next WTO Ministerial conference. I encourage
you to take full benefit from the assistance provided by the agencies and
the donor community,
Let me take this opportunity to most profusely and sincerely thank the
Donor community for their financial assistance provided and their continuous
support to this excellent programme.
May I also commend and congratulate the three agencies for their steady
commitment to JITAP and the efficient work undertaken. In the same vein, I
would like to congratulate our Coordination Unit for the work well done and
for keeping the programme together.
I would like to take this opportunity as a fellow African to pay a special
tribute to three non-Africans, Mrs. Lakshmi Puri, Director of the Division
on International Trade in Goods and Services, and Commodities at UNCTAD, and
her very able assistant Mr. Bonapas Onguglo, and Mrs. Adair Heuchan from the
Canadian Mission, who have worked selflessly to contribute to trade-related
technical assistance and capacity building in Africa.
I wish you fruitful deliberation during the next three days and look
forward to seeing you all at the CTF-SG meeting on Friday.