Friday, April 25, 2008

UNCTAD XII--ACCRA ACCORD is Adopted! -- Some Reflections

at exactly 6.38pm GMT

It must be dark outside by now, and I guess TV3 news will be coming on soon. Blue uniform guards are standing in strategic places around the tent that seats some four thousand people. Trouble is there are NOT four thousand people here today, this evening. This is because a number of people have already left, with some leaving tonite, and others having left already. I know already that the the personable Anne-Laure Constantin of  the Institute of Agriculture and Trade Policy left yesterday; I think the ACCORD bunch in Nairobi did so, too. I saw the OXFAM--at least some of them--here today. I think Emily Jones from Oxfam (featured here: http://apps.twnafrica.org/blog) is still around; she's done some terrific work.

I think the CSO Forum was da bomb, but I witnessed some things I profoundly disliked, such as the francophone contingent taking advantage of the CSO host--ie Third World Network's -- "generosity". As someone who can communicate in French, they were like to me like a magnet; I must confess that at times it was superficial. One colleague has described their 
relationship with France as "colonial", and I think to a large extent, this is true. They praise where need be--to get something. They inflate prices--if need be, capitalising every opportunity they can.

That, in my view, is simply wrong. The francophone CSOs have a LONG way to go if we are to act collectively and cohesively. It really sucks, and it pains me as someone who is a great proponent of regional integration (http://regionswatch.blogspot.com).

As I write this, Supachai Panikpatchdi is reading from a prepared statement, and I am gonna try and capture verbatum some of his statements:

the conference emphasized debt sustainability. In the area of ODA, quantity and quality were emphasized...last but not least the Accra accord has resulted in the strengthening of UNCTAD...to address the new and emerging issues. Member states have also taken measures..increasing the focus and effectiveness....this week has also seen many ssmall and significant..Inter-AGency cluster of ?? This new cluster includes FAO/UNIDO/regional commissions/UNDP,WTO, etc. On Sunday, Creative Econiomy report, which highlkights activities and potential of music and fashion, etc, which we now realise could be a significant asset for development.

On Monday night....EMPRETEC Africa Forum. This is a very practical way...to promote entrepreneurship. There have been many such initiatives. UNCTAD XII has thus been an important step. UNCTAD emerges from this conference as a reinvigorated one...please also allow me to extend gratitude to Ghana for such an excellent host...

You have done it...QATAR to host the next in 2012
...

uneditted @ 7pm.

Will continue this much later:-)
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