Partners' Conference on support for cotton and cotton by-products

Geneva, WTO Headquarters

Concept and main objectives:

The partners' conference represents a unique high-level platform for development cooperation partners to discuss their engagement for the sustainable development of the cotton sector, particularly in Africa and in Least-Developed Countries (LDCs).

The conference will allow participants to:

  • Consolidate their engagement in ensuring that African cotton-producing LDCs benefit from agricultural development activities to assist production, value addition and exports of their cotton and cotton-related products.
  • Strengthen their contribution to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals by supporting cotton development projects aimed at poverty reduction, decent work and inclusiveness, industrial development, and responsible consumption and production.
  • Bridge the gap between cotton-related development assistance needs and responses from the international donor community.
  • Ensure synergies and coordinated action and avoid overlaps in project design and implementation.
    • Express support for the implementation of the following cotton projects:
    • Project on technology transfer for the development of cotton by-products in African LDCs (the "CBP project"), to be implemented by UNCTAD and ITC.
    • Support for the participation of LDCs' national cotton sector focal points in WTO cotton meetings in 2020 and 2021.
    • Any other collective or individual engagement in support of the cotton sector, particularly for African LDCs.


  • Keynote speech by S.E. Mme Shadiya Alimatou Assouman, Minister of Industry and Commenrce, Bénin;
  • Statements by the Focal Points of the Enhanced Integrated Framework (EIF) from the 8 CBP project countries:
    • Benin: Mr. Jean-Bernard Favi, Director-General for Commerce
    • Burkina Faso: Mr. ILBOUDO Seydou, Conseiller des Affaires Économiques
    • Chad: Mr. Souleyman Abakar Ahmat, EIF Focal Point
    • Mali: Mr. Doumbia Boucadary, Directeur General du Commerce
    • Mozambique: Ambassador of Mozambique to the WTO
    • Tanzania: Mr Marco Mtunga, President of the African Cotton Association, intervening on behalf of the EIF Focal Point of Tanzania
    • Uganda: Mr. Frederick Itungulu, on behalf of EIF Focal Point
    • Zambia: Ms. Lillian Bwalya, Director Foreign Trade
  • Statements by the EIF Focal Points of Togo and Malawi:
    • Togo: Mr. Talime ABE, Directeur commerce intérieur
    • Malawi: Ambassador of Malawi to the WTO
  • Statement by the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) and the International Trade Centre (ITC) on CBP project implementation phase:
    • Ms. Pamela Coke-Hamilton, Director, Division on International Trade and Commodities, UNCTAD
    • Mr. Anders Aeroe, Director, Division of Enterprises and Institutions, ITC
  • Announcements of prospective support in favour of cotton and cotton by-products value chain development:
  • Brazil:
    • H.E. Amb. Demétrio CARVALHO, vice-President, Brazilian Cooperation Agency (ABC)
  • China:
    • Dr. Gong Xifeng, Counsellor of Chinese Mission to WTO
  • European Commission:
    • H.E. Dr. Leonard Mizzi, DG-DEVCO, EU Commission, on behalf of Commissioner Neven Mimica
  • India:
    • H.E. Mr J S Deepak, India's Ambassador & Permanent Representative to WTO
  • Agence Française de Développement (AFD):
    • Mr. Christian Fusillier, Responsable de la Division Agriculture, Développement rural et Biodiversité, Agence Française de Développement
  • Enhanced Integrated Framework (EIF):
    • Mr. Simon Hess, Head, Monitoring and Evaluation, EIF Secretariat
  • United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO):
    • Mr. Riccardo Savigliano, Chief of the Agro-Industries Technology Division, UNIDO
  • Open Q&As in the remaining time.

Annex – WTO Ministerial Mandates to which this event responds

  • General Council 2004 Decision: "[T]he General Council instructs the Director General to consult with the relevant international organizations […] to direct effectively existing programmes and any additional resources towards development of the economies where cotton has vital importance." (para. 1, b) (emphasis added).
  • Hong Kong Ministerial Declaration MC6: "[W]e urge the development community to further scale up its cotton-specific assistance and to support the efforts of the Director-General." (para. 12) (emphasis added).
  • Bali Ministerial Declaration on Cotton MC9: "[W]e urge the development partners to accord special focus to such needs within the existing aid-for-trade mechanisms/channels such as the EIF and the technical assistance and capacity building work of relevant international institutions." (para. 10) (emphasis added).
  • Nairobi Ministerial Declaration on Cotton MC10: "[W]e recognize that the Aid-for-Trade (AfT) initiative, including through the Enhanced Integrated Framework (EIF), should play a key role in strengthening the cotton sector in LDCs." (para. 11) "We urge WTO Members and development partners to continue their efforts and contributions to enhance the production, productivity and competitiveness of the cotton sector in developing country Member producers, especially the LDCs." (para. 12) (emphasis added).


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There will be live webcasting of the conference.

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