Thursday, September 25, 2008

Yasuni-ITT Initiative of Ecuador

Ambassador Francisco Carrion, as Personal Representative of the President of Ecuador to the Yasuni-ITT Initiative visited the South Centre on 10 September 2008 along with Ambassador Mauricio MontalvoPermanent Representative of Ecuador to the United Nations and other International Organizations – Geneva.

Yasuni-ITT Initiative is aimed at strengthening the Ecuadorian efforts to contribute for the mitigation of climate change by avoiding the exploitation of fossil fuels.

US Farm Bill: Agriculture-related policy making in the US

On 23 September, South Centre through its trade for development programme organized jointly with ForumDemocracy, an NGO-Think tank based in Washington DC, a meeting with some agriculture and dispute settlement delegations on agriculture-related policy making in the US.

The 2 experts Robert Stumberg and Peter Riggs made a presentation on two aspects of the Farm Bill:

  1. New provisions in the 2008 U.S. Farm Bill that should be analyzed in the context of WTO compatibility and WTO negotiations
  2. What's already been adjudicated on cotton?
Over 20 delegates participated in the meeting which covered several topics, including among others, key components and sectors protected under the Farm Bill and the link between negotiations on reduction of subsidies and current US support levels.

Ms. Aileen Kwa, Coordinator of the Trade for Development Programme chaired the meeting.

Legal aspects of climate change-related border measures

On 10 September, South Centre hosted an expert meeting on the legal aspects of climate change-related border measures. A small group of almost 15 experts were present for this meeting organized by "Climate Strategies" group.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Integrating human rights in financing for development

Mr. Vice Yu, Coordinator - Global Governance for Development, South Centre presented his views on "Enhancing The Coherence And Consistency Of The International Monetary, Financial And Trading Systems In Support Of Development" at the workshop on Integrating human rights in financing for development.

The workshop was organized by th eOffice of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) in conjunction with the Economic, Social and Cultural Rights Network (ESCR-Net) and the Center of Concern (CoC) in Geneva from 15-17 September 2008.

Working Lunch meeting on WIPO Assemblies

South Centre, through its Innovation and Access to Knowledge Programme (IAKP) organized a working lunch for the Geneva delegates of developing countries in advance of the WIPO General Assembly from 22 to 30 September 2008.

Among other agenda items, areas which South Centre will be tracking as an intergovernmental observor at WIPO include:

  • Report on the sessions of the Committee on Development and Intellectual Property (CDIP)
  • Report on the Work of the Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights (SCCR), including the Protection of Audiovisual Performances and Protection of the Rights of Broadcasting Organizations
  • Report on the Work of the Advisory Committee on Enforcement (ACE), and the Enforcement of Intellectual Property Rights
  • Progress Report on the Intergovernmental Committee on Intellectual Property and Genetic Resources, Traditional Knowledge and Folklore (IGC)
  • Report on the Work of the Standing Committee on the Law of Patents (SCP)

issues, the WIPO General Assembly will be considering the progress of the WIPO Development Agenda when discussing the outcome of the Committee on Development and Intellectual Property (CDIP).

Monday, September 8, 2008

Ending Aid Dependence Book Launched at Accra High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness

South Centre launched its publication "Ending Aid Dependence" at a side event to the Third High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness in Accra, Ghana on 1st September 2008.

The book is authored by Dr. Yash Tandon, Executive Director, South Centre and the foreword is written by H.E Benjamin W. Mkapa, President of Tanzania (1995-2005).

About The Book
Developing countries reliant on aid want to escape from this dependence, and yet they appear unable to do so. This book shows how the developing countries can liberate themselves from the aid that pretends to be developmental but is not. Exiting aid dependence should be at the top of the political agenda of all countries.
For more information, please go to:

EPAs and Competition Policy

Fostering Trade through Public-Private Dialogue

Mr. Darlan F. Marti, Programme Officer, Trade for Development Programme, South Centre made a presentation on EPAs and Competition Policy in the Public Private Dialogue for the East and Southern African countries, focusing on the business implications of negotiations on Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) with the European Union and issues relating to regional integration.

The Dialogue was organized by the International Trade Centre (ITC), in partnership with the Commonwealth Secretariat in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia from 9-10 September 2008. This regional dialogue encompasses the participation of the Eastern and Southern Africa (ESA) Community i.e.Comoros, Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Seychelles, Sudan, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

South Centre on Air @ "Radio Cité", Geneva

Celina Inones, Head of the Translation Unit appeared on air on the Radio Cité FM Station, Geneva. She spoke about South Centre and its various activities in French in their morning programme on current affairs on 29 August 2008.

Pan-African Parliament Session and SADC EPA Services Workshop

Mr. Offah Obale and Mr. Darlan F. Marti, Programme Officer, Trade for Development Programme, South Centre participated in the the SADC EPA services workshop and the Pan-African Parliament session from August 25-28.

The Pan-African Parliament (PAP) requested the South Centre to prepare and present two papers on "The Impact of Free Trade Agreements in National Policy Space and Development Prorities - Case of The Economic Partnership Agreements". The tiltle of the of the papers presented by the South Centre during the session were: What Are the EPAs, What Consequences Might They Have and Where Do They Stand by Darlan Marti, and Liberalisation of African Services Markets in the EPAs by Offah Obale.

International Workshop on India’s Development Cooperation – Opportunities and Challenges

Dr. Yash Tandon, Executive Director of the South Centre was a Commentator for the session on "India’s development cooperation with African countries and its contribution for the future
international development agenda" in the International Workshop on India’s Development Cooperation – Opportunities and Challenges in Bonn, Germany.

The workshop was organized by the German Development Institute on 27th August 2008.