The Ministers reiterated the important role that UNCTAD has to play in helping developing countries to forge a positive agenda for present and future negotiations to move the Doha process forward. In this connection, they welcomed the establishment, in collaboration with UNCTAD of the International Institute for Trade and Development (ITD) in Bangkok, Thailand in May 2002 to help developing countries to navigate increasingly complex regional and international economic arrangements resulting from globalisation and liberalisation processes, in particular to enhance the capacity of trade negotiations of developing countries to participate effectively in the ongoing WTO negotiations. The Ministers emphasised that the delivery of technical assistance by the WTO and other trade related organisations should be tailored to the needs of developing and least developed WTO Member Countries, as well as acceding countries.
The Ministers expressed special concern over the negative impact of volatile global commodity prices and of their continuing decline, on the developing countries. In this regard they highlighted the persistence of protectionist practices in developed countries in respect of commodities of export interest to developing countries. They further noted that the excessive recourse to anti-dumping measures and other protectionist measures have intensified the difficulties that many developing countries are facing in the eradication of poverty. They also welcomed the establishment of the UNCTAD Task Force on Commodities to comprehensively address the issue and called upon the international financial institutions to support the strengthening of national institutional capacities; the designing and implementation of a diversification fund; the provision of an effective and quick disbursing and non-pro-cyclical compensatory financing facility, particularly to assist cotton producers in developing countries who have been negatively affected by subsidies in developed countries.
Financial, Investment and Monetary Issues
The Ministers reiterated the Movement’s call for the reform of the Bretton Woods Institutions, in order to guarantee democracy and transparency in the decision-making process in these institutions. The Bretton Woods Institutions should not crowd out the sovereign policy space of developing countries in determining economic policies. They further stressed that the Bretton Woods Institutions should take into account the specific conditions of developing countries and called upon the Bretton Woods Institutions to refrain from any unfair practices against the developing countries and not to link their credit facilities with any conditionalities particularly on security and political consideration. They further called upon the developed countries to increase their financial contributions to the international financial institutions and to enhance their ability to respond to crises in a timely manner.
The Ministers reaffirmed the call made in the Monterrey Consensus to strengthen international tax co-operation and urged the international community through the United Nations to strengthen such co-operation through enhanced dialogue among national tax authorities and co-ordination of the work of the concerned international bodies and relevant regional organizations, giving special attention to the needs of developing countries. In this regard, they called for the conversion of the Ad Hoc Group of Experts on International Tax Co-operation into an inter-governmental subsidiary body of