on technical assistance
The Heads and Representatives of the six core agencies of the
Integrated Framework —
Ms. Anne O. Krueger, First Deputy Managing Director of the IMF,
Mr. J. Denis Bélisle, Executive Director of ITC,
Mr. Rubens Ricupero, Secretary-General of UNCTAD,
Mr. Zéphirin Diabré, Associate Administrator of the UNDP,
Mr. James D. Wolfensohn, President of the World Bank, and
Deputy Director-General of the WTO, Dr. Kipkorir Aly Azad Rana —
met at the International Monetary Fund Headquarters in Washington D.C.
on July 10, 2003 and issued the communiqué which follows:
We reaffirm our commitment to assist in the effective integration of
least developed countries (LDCs) into the multilateral trading system
and the global economy. We believe that trade is an important means to
achieve economic growth and poverty reduction. Focused and
well-coordinated trade-related capacity-building and technical
assistance are central to realizing the development benefits of trade.
This requires a major effort to assist LDCs to build their capacity to
formulate policy, to negotiate, and to tackle supply-side challenges in
responding to new market access opportunities.
In this context, substantial progress has been made in the initial phase
of the Integrated Framework for Trade-Related Technical Assistance to
Least Developed Countries (the IF). Collaboration among our agencies,
donors, and IF countries has strengthened. This has established a sound
basis for raising the volume, relevance, and efficiency of trade related
capacity-building for our LDC partners. The principles of the IF—strong
country ownership and a commitment to integrate trade into national
development plans, such as Poverty Reduction Strategies—are central to
enhancing the role of trade in development and leveraging increased
development assistance for trade.
The efforts and commitment of LDC participants in the IF must be matched
by a pro-development outcome in multilateral trade negotiations. The
Doha Declaration placed development and the needs and interests of
developing countries at the heart of the negotiating agenda. It is
expected that WTO Members will deliver on these commitments. The
forthcoming 5th Ministerial Conference in Cancún will be an important
benchmark of progress. In particular, increased efforts are needed to
resolve issues of major concern to developing countries, including LDCs.
Diagnostic studies under the IF have demonstrated the great potential
that exists in many LDCs, if faced with a more supportive trade
environment, for strengthening and diversifying agricultural and
Progress on the IF
The IF is moving from a diagnostic stage to the implementation of action
plans. Diagnostic trade integration studies (DTIS) have been completed
or are near completion for the thirteen LDC countries that entered the
initial phase of the IF. The diagnostic studies have provided a sound
policy basis for the delivery of technical assistance and
capacity-building on trade, and have contributed to greater coordination
among trade, finance and other ministries. What started as an
inter-agency process is now embedded in a clear set of trade priorities
and activities at the country level. The LDC governments have taken an
active role in managing this process. There are encouraging signs of
progress in implementing projects based on diagnostic action plans.
Since the last Heads of Agency Meeting, donor and agencies’ financial
contributions to the Integrated Framework have continued to grow. We
welcome the adoption of the Terms of Reference for a bridging mechanism
to finance concrete, modest, and priority technical assistance projects
under Window II of the IF Trust Fund. Eventually, trade-related
assistance needs must be integrated into donor and multilateral
development agency programs at the country level in order to ensure
their sustainable funding.
On this basis we strongly reaffirm our commitment to the IF as a viable
model for LDCs' trade development, as endorsed by WTO Ministers in
Paragraph 43 of the Doha Declaration. We underscore that building
capacity and institutions is a development process that takes time.
To build on this progress, the challenge now is to implement what we
have started. To maintain momentum we commit to the following:
We will step up our efforts to help countries integrate their diagnostic
studies into national development plans such as poverty reduction
strategies. This requires embedding trade into existing national
consultative processes with the development community, the private
sector and civil society.
We will further integrate the IF activities into the work of our
We will continue to improve the IF process, on which we await the
outcome of the IF evaluation. We will seek ways to make the IF process
more flexible in the diagnostic phase and accelerate the
implementation of DTIS action plans.
We support the extension of the IF to further LDCs, following
completion of the evaluation of the IF now underway. In the meantime,
we will provide assistance to help LDCs prepare the ground for their
participation in the IF through pre-DTIS activities.
We will continue our efforts to increase synergies and complementarity
between the Integrated Framework, the Joint Integrated Technical
Assistance Program for Africa (JITAP) and other trade-related
technical assistance programs, both at the country level and between
More broadly, and in the context of the Doha Development Agenda, we
stand ready to help developing countries and LDCs engage in the
multilateral trading system. Removing supply-side constraints to trade
is important in generating a response to market access opportunities. We
will step up assistance on trade-related infrastructure, private sector
development and institution-building to help countries to expand their
export base. Within our respective competencies, we will assist LDCs in
meeting social, fiscal, balance of payments, and other adjustment needs
that might arise from trade liberalization.
We express our appreciation to the International Monetary Fund for
hosting the meeting and providing hospitality.