Timeline: 2014 – 2016
Donors: Australia, Germany (GIZ), The Netherlands
Beneficiaries: LIDCs, LDC coordination and the African Group
The project was funded by Australian Aid and Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade of Australia (January to June 2015) and by German Development Cooperation (June 2015 to October 2016).
2015-2016 was a pivotal period for both the WTO and the Doha Round. The December 2015 10th Ministerial Conference (MC10) in Nairobi was a major milestone. It was a “stress test” for the WTO that would validate either the ability of WTO Members to negotiate and deliver or the failure of the Doha Round. Or both…
The project aimed at supporting Least Developed Countries (LDCs) to prepare for MC10 while the current assistance digests the new post-Nairobi situation and focuses on helping LDCs and Low-Income Developing Countries (LIDCs) understand, adapt and make the most out of it. The project’s overall goal is to improve the participation of the LDCs and LIDCs in the WTO work. In the pre-Nairobi phase, the project aimed at helping them in the Doha negotiations and particularly in the preparation of MC10. All activities were designed to encourage LDCs and African countries to take proactive and consensus-oriented negotiating positions on selected concerns and defend their interests in Geneva proactively and constructively in the perspective of the Ministerial Conference.
In the post-Nairobi phase, the project aimed at: (1) raising awareness and building capacities of LIDC/LDC delegations in Geneva on the post-Nairobi context focusing on their concerns, interests and positions; and (2) supporting them in adapting their approach to best defend their interests in any work taking place at the WTO either individually, as groups (LDC or African Group) or as regional sub-groups. This included addressing potential new issues and ways of negotiating, and working out potential post-MC10 scenario.
“The project’s overall goal was to improve the participation of the LDCs and LIDCs in the WTO work.”
IDEAS Centre’s tool box for LDCs and LIDCs includes:
– Tailor-made analyses and strategic advice on negotiation issues, negotiating tactics, systemic questions, etc.;
– Informal dialogues among various partners to strengthen mutual understanding and reinforce confidence between stakeholders and in the system;
– Training and capacity-building on specific issues;
– Information dissemination (newsletters, articles and publications, presentations in workshops and seminar) that is targeted and dedicated to raising the concerns of the LDCs/LIDCs in fora where their specificities and needs are too often left out minimized.
This tool box serves a pro-system approach to the negotiations. IDEAS Centre acts as a pragmatic advisor whose objective is to ensure that lower income countries can benefit from the system, contribute to it, improve it and use it to integrate into the world economy.