Yearbook of the United Nations, 2008. Part 3, Economic and social questions. Chapter 4, International trade, finance and transport
The World Trade Organization (WTO) Doha Round of trade negotiations stood at a critical juncture as negotiations entered the seventh year in 2008, when they were scheduled to conclude. The focus was on establishing full modalities for reducing commitments in agriculture and non-agricultural market access. In July, an informal WTO “mini-ministerial” meeting, convened to establish modalities on agriculture and non-agricultural market access, failed to achieve a breakthrough to set the basis for concluding the Doha Round in 2008. From 20 to 25 April, the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) held its twelfth session (UNCTAD xii) in Accra, Ghana, under the theme “Addressing the opportunities and challenges of globalization for development”. The Conference adopted the Accra Declaration, a political statement in which member States commended UNCTAD for its contribution to advancing the development agenda and supporting developing countries in addressing challenges and maximizing benefits from the globalized world economy. It also adopted the Accra Accord, which built upon the 2004 São Paulo Consensus, and provided updated policy analysis and responses, as well as guidelines for strengthening UNCTAD and enhancing its development role, impact and institutional effectiveness. In April, the Economic and Social Council held a special high-level meeting with the Bretton Woods institutions (the World Bank Group and the International Monetary Fund), WTO and UNCTAD under the theme “Coherence, coordination and cooperation in the context of the implementation of the 2002 Monterrey Consensus, including new challenges and emerging issues”. The meeting identified new initiatives on financing for development, which it viewed as important for achieving the objectives of the Consensus. The Follow-up International Conference on Financing for Development to Review Implementation of the Monterrey Consensus was held in Doha, Qatar, from 29 November to 2 December. The Conference had as its theme “Looking ahead: further cooperative actions in financing for development”. It adopted the Doha Declaration on Financing for Development: outcome document of the Follow-up International Conference on Financing for Development to Review the Implementation of the Monterrey Consensus, in which States reaffirmed the Consensus. It also recognized that mobilizing financial resources for development and the effective use of those resources were central to the global partnership for sustainable development and for achieving the internationally agreed development goals, including the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). On 24 December, the General Assembly endorsed the Doha Declaration. The World Economic Situation and Prospects 2009, jointly issued by UNCTAD and the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs, stated that the global financial crisis, coming on the heels of the food and energy security crises, would most likely set back progress towards poverty reduction and the achievement of the MDGs. Restoring confidence in financial markets in order to normalize credit flows remained of primary importance. In that regard, the General Assembly President convened, in October, an Interactive Panel on the Global Financial Crisis to secure a more stable and sustainable global economic order, and welcomed the establishment of a High-level Task Force of Experts to undertake a comprehensive review of the international financial system. In 2008, developing countries continued to make increasing substantial net outward transfers of financial resources to developed countries, reaching an all-time high of $933 billion. Net transfers from countries with economies in transition increased to $171 billion, owing mainly to the strong increase in the trade surplus of the Russian Federation. In contrast, in Latin America and the Caribbean and East and South Asia, net outward transfers declined as a consequence of the financial turmoil, leading to a reduction in private capital flows from the third quarter of the year onwards. Total contributions to UNCTAD voluntary trust funds amounted to $36.8 million, reflecting in nominal terms a 26.4 per cent increase over the previous year. Developed countries' contributions accounted for 58 per cent of the total, an increase of 30 per cent in nominal terms, while contributions from developing countries and economies in transition declined by 17 per cent and accounted for 21 per cent. Contributions from multilateral donors increased sharply, with the European Commission providing 14.5 per cent of the total, a 127 per cent increase, and the UN system providing 5 per cent. The private and public sectors provided 1.8 per cent. At its fifty-fifth session in September, the UNCTAD Trade and Development Board adopted agreed conclusions on review of progress in the implementation of the Programme of Action for the Least Developed Countries for the Decade 2001–2010; economic development in Africa: trade liberalization and export performance in Africa; and review of UNCTAD technical cooperation activities and their financing.
Yearbook of the United Nations, 2008. v. 62; Vol. 62
This item appears in the following Collection(s)