Last month the European Commission issued a proposal to the Council and the European Parliament stating that it was intending to withdraw DFQF market access to ACP countries that had not taken the necessary steps toward ratifying or implementing their interim EPA. In this issue of TNI, Lorand Bartels from Cambridge University argues that such a move is, legally speaking, problematic. According to his analysis, it violates both international and EU law.
In the current context of food insecurity, Marc-Olivier Herman, Lies Craeynest and Laetitia Tremel from Oxfam International propose to reform agricultural trade policies, to build new international governance for food security, tackle climate change and invest in small-holder agriculture for a food secure world.
This month TNI features two articles related to the Istanbul programme of Action adopted in May earlier this year. Anna Batyra former coordinator at the OECD summarize the key points of this 10 year plan that aims at helping the world's poorest countries combat poverty during the upcoming decade, highlighting its singularity. In a related article Debapriya Bhattacharya, former ambassador to the WTO, and Syed Saifuddin Hossain state that one of the failing of this Plan is the lack of mechanism for implementation and monitoring. He finds it necessary to put together an independent monitoring mechanism so as to act as a "watchdog" on behalf of the global development community.
Andrew Mold and Anna Prizzon, from the OECD Development Centre, critically look at the challenges of increased South-South trade from the perspective of LDCs. They show that over half of LDCs have not benefited from the new economic environment whilst the other half, despite having taken advantage of the commodity boom, has been unable to move up the value chain, and may not remain competitive in the future.
Tang Xiaoyang and Deborah Bräutigam focus on the political and economic implications of the development of Chinese special economic zones in Africa. These zones show much promise for future business opportunities, and reflect China's unique approach to development and cooperation, which contrasts sharply with policies advocated in the West.
Marzia Fontana, from the University of Sussex, examines the gender effects of EPAs, with particular reference to Mozambique. She shows that current EPAs are unlikely to benefit vulnerable, low-income women and highlights the need for trade-related, technical assistance programs to give priority to the goal of facilitating women's economic mobility.
Manleen Dugal and Hugh Walton, from the Pacific Island Forum Fisheries Agency, come together to discuss the issue of WTO negotiations over fisheries subsidies, and their particular relevance for Pacific Island states. They particularly emphasise the need to set up a more effective management and monitoring system, to ensure the sustainability of fisheries.