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Written By PP FMN on Selasa, 19 Februari 2013 | 23.43


Venue: Bali, Indonesia
Date: March 2013
Agenda: Global Partnerships

Importance of the Post-2015 Development Agenda
The international community has set 2015 as the deadline for the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), a common set of development targets that have framed the priorities of many governments, development agencies, donors and other development actors across the world since 2000. While progress has been made in many countries in terms of poverty reduction, improving access to education, reduced child and maternal mortality, and access to basic sanitation, development has been uneven and not without adverse trends such as the climate crisis and protracted global economic crisis that threaten to reverse even these gains. Clearly, a new development agenda is urgently called for, one that responds to new and persistent challenges confronting the world’s peoples, and is truly transformative, just and sustainable.

The United Nations Task Team on post-2015 proposes a roadmap towards developing a new post-2015 UN development agenda with two phases: the first consisting of broad-based consultations and the second focused on intergovernmental consensus-building. It is not clear how the post-2015 UN development framework relates with the formulation of national development frameworks. Almost all of the ongoing outreach efforts are designed to gather inputs that would feed directly into formulating the global post-2015 development framework which would be, presumably, adopted and implemented by all countries. But there is no explicit attempt to ensure or encourage country processes that would lead to country strategies that, in turn, should form the building blocks of the global post-2015 development framework. Therefore there is a grave risk that there will be weak country ownership of this post-2015 development agenda.

High-Level Panel of Eminent Persons on the Post-2015 Development Agenda (HLP)
In July 2012, the UN Secretary-General appointed a 26-member panel who will advise him on the global development agenda beyond 2015. The panelists come from governments, the private sector, academia and civil society, but are members in their personal capacity. The panel is co-chaired by Indonesia president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, Liberia president Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, and United Kingdom prime minister David Cameron.

The output of the HLP will be a report to the Secretary-General that recommends a vision and shape for the post-2015 development agenda. The HLP will consider findings from the various consultations coordinated by the UN System in writing its report. The HLP will be supported by an independent team recruited in direct consultation with the three co-Chairs of the Panel. The team will be headed by a Lead Author and will likely constitute a mix of external recruits and seconded UN staff. Homi Kharas of Pakistan is appointed to be the team’s Lead author. Mr. Kharas is senior fellow and deputy director at the Brookings Institution and previously worked for the World Bank.

The report is due in September 2013 in time for the 68th UN General Assembly.

Information on HLP meetings

The full list of the HLP’s members follows below.

Fulbert Géro Amoussouga (Benin)         Heads Benin's economic analysis unit of the president of the republic of Benin.
Vanessa Petrelli Corrêa (Brazil)             President of the Institute for Applied Economic Research, which conducts research to support the design and implementation of governmental policies and development programs in Brazil.
Yingfan Wang (China)       Member of the secretary general's MDG advocacy group and a career diplomat.
María Ángela Holguín (Colombia)          Foreign minister of Colombia.
Gisela Alonso (Cuba)         President of the Cuban agency of environment.
Jean-Michel Severino (France)   Former director general of the French development agency.
Horst Köhler (Germany)   President of Germany 2004-10.
Naoto Kan (Japan)             Former prime minister of Japan. Now adviser to Japan's technical committee on renewable energy.
Queen Rania of Jordan      An advocate for UNICEF, the UN children's agency.
Betty Maina (Kenya)         Chief executive of the Association of Manufacturers, one of Kenya's leading business organizations.
Abhijit Banerjee (India)   Professor of economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Co-founder of the Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab.
Andris Piebalgs (Latvia)   Commissioner for development, European Commission.
Patricia Espinosa (Mexico)          Secretary of foreign affairs.
Paul Polman (Netherlands)         Chief executive of Unilever.
Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala (Nigeria)   Minister of finance. Former managing director and vice-president at the World Bank.
Elvira Nabiullina (Russia)            Economic adviser to Vladimir Putin, Russia's president.
Graça Machel (South Africa)       A member of the Elders, an independent group of global leaders who work on human rights.
Sung Hwan Kim (South Korea)   Minister of foreign affairs and trade.
Gunilla Carlsson (Sweden)           Minister for international development co-operation.
Emilia Pires (Timor-Leste)           Minister of finance.
Kadir Topbaş (Turkey)     Mayor of Istanbul and expert in urban rehabilitation.
John Podesta (US)  Chair of the Centre for American Progress.
Tawakel Karman (Yemen)          Journalist, human rights activist and politician. Awarded Nobel peace prize for promoting women's rights during the 2011 Yemeni uprising.
Amina Mohammed (ex officio)    Special adviser to the UN secretary general on post-2015 development planning.

The panel is set to submit a first draft of a post-2015 strategy in March of next year, with the final report expected in May. With such a short timeline, meetings of the 26-member group have already begun. One key point identified in the lead-up to the meetings was increased transparency and inclusiveness.

1st meeting held in New York, 2nd in London under the overarching theme of “Household Poverty”. The next two meetings are planned for the first quarter of 2013 in Monrovia and Bali, and will focus, respectively, on the themes of National Development and Global Partnerships.

Global Partnerships
A 4th meeting of the High-Level Panel is to be held in Bali in March 2013. This meeting will focus on the global dimension of development, particularly global partnerships and the means of implementation. Panel members attach great importance to global partnerships because the post-2015 framework can only be achieved through partnership.[1]

International development co-operation: part of the “how” of a post-2015 framework
What might the Global Partnership contribute to thinking on development co-operation within a much broader post-2015 development framework? Where do its potential strengths lie, and how can these be drawn on in ways that are supportive of work within the United Nations on the post-2015 agenda? How can synergies be promoted, while avoiding duplication and fragmentation in international processes? It is important to start a discussion on these issues.

Work on the post-2015 framework will – at least in its early stages – place an emphasis on the “what” of a global development framework.  At the same time, such a framework will need to look at “how” countries address such challenges domestically.[2] Discussion on “global partnership” will be important in addressing the “how” dimension of a post-2015 framework.

Venue: Bali, Indonesia
Date: 1-8 October 2013
Theme: Resilient Asia, Engine of Global Growth
[The 2013 Economic Leaders' Week is scheduled for October 1-8 in Bali, Indonesia. The APEC Economic Leaders' Meeting will be held October 7 - 8 in Nusa Dua, Bali. The APEC CEO Summit 2013 will be held October 5 - 7.]

Indonesia to highlight the need for ‘balanced, sustainable growth with equity’ in 2013 APEC Summit?
In his address to APEC’s senior officials, Indonesian Minister Natalegawa said that the Asia Pacific region should serve as an engine for balanced, sustainable growth with equity. He emphasized the complex and enormous challenges that demand partnership and cooperation: “a world of plenty, yet in which millions go to bed hungry; a world of vast opportunities, yet in which millions are unemployed; a world of amazing connectivity, yet in which distant villages are isolated for lack of infrastructures; a world challenged by the threats of food security, climate change, and energy security,”

Hence the Indonesian Minister stresses the following points that should be taken to mind:
1)     Need to maintain the momentum of free and open trade and investment, to which APEC leaders committed themselves when they endorsed the Bogor Goals[3] in 1994 – importance of enhancing small and medium enterprises; assisting rural populations with means for development; and achieving greater recognition of the role of women in all endeavors, including development efforts.
2)     Economic growth must be inclusive – with an eye to equity and social justice, and sustainable – one that is consistent with our environmental concern. Economies of the region have distant provinces and growth poles that are not yet well connected with one another and to the world market.
3)     Need to accelerate economic growth in the Asia-Pacific by addressing the region’s need for connectivity, emphasizing the importance of investing in the development for infrastructures for connectivity, including infrastructures for connectivity of maritime areas.[4]

The APEC Indonesia 2013 logo depicts a strong bamboo tree, with 21 bamboo shoots, symbolizing the resilience of APEC economies and the firmness of their commitment to serve as a force for sustainable global prosperity with equity.   

Operable agendas for the APEC Summit
President Yudhoyono said that finding operable agendas is important so that they could be adopted for immediate implementation by the leaders after the summit. "I wish when I talk as chairman later about energy and food security cooperation programs could then be made for implementation such as on how to increase production or when we complain about decline in production research could be made more real to deal with it besides policy coordination,” he said.[5] 

Blue economy and sustainable economic growth
Trade between APEC countries has expanded five-fold to $16.8 trillion from $3.1 trillion in 1989, while global trade grew 4.6 times to $21.1 trillion from $4.6 trillion during the same period, an Indonesian minister said in his keynote speech at a forum organized by the University of Indonesia. He added that the International Monetary Fund (IMF) predicts average gross domestic product growth for APEC countries at 4.2 percent this year, while global GDP growth is tipped at 3.5 percent.

As chair of APEC, the Indonesian government said it will promote sustainable economic growth and seek to bridge the developmental gap between member countries. This goal, it says, can be achieved by improving connectivity, increasing investment and economic partnerships among member countries.  

With regard to improving connectivity, the government will highlight the country’s distinctive archipelagic geography and its sea-based industries. It will put forward the notion of a “blue economy” while promoting environmental protection. Further, Indonesia called for Southeast Asian countries to form a united position for next year’s APEC forum.[6] 

Corporate profit over people’s interests
APEC is committed to building a dynamic and harmonious Asia-Pacific community by championing free and open trade and investment, promoting and accelerating regional economic integration, and facilitating a favorable and sustainable business environment. APEC policies and projects have, for the longest time, only furthered the interests of corporations by facilitating a favorable environment for businesses in the region, leaving national economies and public resources open to corporate ownership and control. Civil society groups have long engaged in wide campaigns against APEC’s agenda to promote corporate interests at the expense of local economies, poor people, workers, the environment and indigenous populations. Pushing for “people’s need not corporate greed”, civil society organizations have criticized and exposed the impacts of APEC policies on the vulnerable sectors of the population.

APEC has been the main institutional vehicle used by the United States to regain its formerly uncontested dominant position in Asia. Hence APEC is important for the US because it acts as a vehicle to pursue its economic interests in the region and allow it to remain “in the loop” with regard to the region’s affairs - especially at a time when China’s relations and influence on countries in the region is steadily growing.

Destructive development in the name of APEC
The APEC meeting, attended by more than 20 world leaders, will be headquartered in southern Bali – an area plagued by traffic congestion, water shortages, pollution and sewage disposal shortcomings. Environmentalists claim that the APEC Summit’s declared theme of “Resilient Asia, Engine of Global Growth” will be surrounded by the irony by endeavoring to “showcase an island where environmental and pollution woes have spun out of control.” 

Director of the Bali environmental group Balifokus, Bayu Susilo, says that each year, new development consumes 1400 hectares of rice paddies. The tourism concept that has been implemented is selling Balinese culture rooted with Hinduism – its unique identity and landscape.[7] 

Meanwhile, environmentalist group WALHI calls for boycott of Bali APEC Summit, emphasizing the lack of environmental care being taken in preparing infrastructure projects to support the coming summit. Preparations for APEC have had a negative effect on Bali. Earlier, an effort was made to establish the Bali International Parkmega project that has yet to commence due to widespread public rejection of that project. Similarly, he sees the elevated highway being rushed to completion as just another example of destructive development in the name of APEC.[8]

Regional cooperation targets relevant to business communities, not the people
As for the agenda for 2013, President Yudhoyono in his keynote address at the APEC CEO Summit in Vladivostok revealed that Indonesia would set a target of promoting regional cooperation as one of the foundations for the world`s economic growth. "As the chair of APEC next year, Indonesia will set a target of achievement for regional economic cooperation which is relevant to business communities," President Yudhoyono stated. Indonesia will invite major businessmen from Asia and the Pacific region to the APEC CEO forum to be held in Bali in October 2013.[9]

Venue: Bali, Indonesia
Date: 1st week, December 2013

WTO rules unfairly tilted in favor of developed countries
The developing countries felt at the end of the Uruguay Round[10] (which led to the WTO’s formation) that the WTO rules were unfairly tilted in favor of the developed countries and they wanted to review and reform them to make the WTO more development-friendly as well as to get the developed countries to cut their heavy protection in agriculture.

However the developed countries which had succeeded in bringing non-trade issues like intellectual property and services into the trading system were not interested in the proposed reform. They wanted to push the WTO into taking on even more treaties and rules on new issues such as investment, competition and government procurement, as well as to continue opening the markets in developing countries while protecting their own agricultural sector.

Although the Doha Round was supposed to promote the developing countries’ interests, most development aspects had been eliminated or marginalized in the past decade, while developed countries keep insisting on opening the markets of developing countries especially in industrial products and services, while allowing themselves to continue their protection in agriculture. For instance, in recent years, the United States made increasingly extreme demands that could not be accepted to key developing countries, resulting in the present deadlock.

WTO is said to now be at a crossroads, as to whether it should focus on the unfinished agriculture and development issues, or ignore these and instead create new rules on yet more new issues that would make the system even more imbalanced.

As the host of the 9th Ministerial Conference of WTO in 2013, Indonesia urged the world parliament members to resume the Doha Round negotiations that have been stalled for years. Alongside it is its call for transparency in the trade system. Indonesia has emphasized the need for a transparent and a fair world trade system, since the previous free trade agenda did not have a significant impact on poverty reduction. It stresses further that the system should be non-discriminative, inclusive and concerned about the welfare of developing countries.[11]

Overemphasis on trade, development-related concerns sidelined
The impasse in the Doha talks, launched in 2001, has been due to a fundamental conflict since the birth of the WTO in 1995. The theme of review and reform of the WTO  to make it more development-friendly versus the theme of ‘let’s push ahead into new issues and expand the power of the WTO’ has been part of an underlying conflict of views on the WTO’s role since its formation.

In the view of the Bolivian Ambassador to the WTO, the impasse is due to the lack of a political will to ensure the multilateral trade system is adjusted in favor of the poorest. Trade agreements must not impose conditions that have adverse effects on human rights and the environment, and must not bring an end to the values of our societies.

Trade facilitation aggressively being pushed for by developed countries
Apart from trade facilitation (TF), there is no movement in any area in the Doha round negotiations recently. Trade facilitation is being pushed very aggressively and relentlessly by developed countries. The latter is pushing for new rules in trade facilitation which would result mainly in facilitating more imports into rather than exports for developing countries.[12]

The developed countries were also pushing for other new ways to open up developing countries’ industrial markets through a second Information Technology Agreement (ITA)[13], the aim of which is to lower all taxes and tariffs on information technology products by signatories to zero, and tariff elimination of what environmental goods, the definition of which is broad enough to cover many goods and sectors. Apart from that, more pressures on the part of developed countries to negotiate new issues in the agenda for a new round are expected. While pushing for developing countries’ further market integration, developed countries will not accept cuts in their agricultural subsidies nor in providing greater market access, thus their proposals are only expected to lead to even more unfair balance.

Recently, there is also growing importance attached to Global Value Chains (GVCs)[14] which is being heralded as good instruments for development and growth, which we ought to be on the lookout for. The widening use of the concept serves to revive support for liberalization in light of declining support for the latter. Many proponents of GVCs are arguing that the logic of globalisation and GVCs suggest that the most efficient way to improve your chances of participating, of gaining from globalisation is to reduce barriers and participate in these GVCs. They use this argument to gain support for liberalisation and pushing their issues to be adopted and break the WTO impasse. This is in response to the massive backlash against globalization taking place today in the North, particularly in the US and Europe.

However, Southern think-tank organizations argue that the narrative of GVCs does not really add anything new to the debate as it talks about more of the same trade liberalization, hence cannot be expected to provide an effective policy response to the current crisis we have of globalization, in the WTO, and the impasse at Doha. Moreover, according to the South African ambassador, this advocacy by major developed countries will only marginalize even more many of the developing countries, particularly the smaller countries because the whole idea is based on “starting with a few countries and then imposing the will of the few on the rest."[15]

Many developing countries have stressed that the issue of trade facilitation (being proposed by some members as part of an "early harvest") should not be a stand-alone or self-balancing agreement, and that other development-related issues should be concluded simultaneously to ensure proper balance. There is a need to ensure that issues of importance to developing countries are not left by the wayside.[16]

Possible implications of other bilateral and regional agreements outside WTO
Many WTO member economies are embarking on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), an International Services Agreement (ISA)[17], and a host of other bilateral and regional agreements. In the ISA, self-selected WTO members voluntarily agree to new rules and market access commitments, but the agreement itself is open to all WTO members who are willing to accept its disciplines and commitments.[18] We are talking about a plurilateral agreement of about 20 countries representing about 70% of global trade. If such an agreement gets signed, it will mean a very high level of ambition and that level of ambition will be sought to be then transposed to the WTO, which will force the developing countries and the rest of the membership to accept it.

What can happen is that once this agreement comes through, there’s a likelihood that services negotiations going on in the Doha Round will become irrelevant, because already a high-ambition alternative agreement has been reached amongst the major trading countries.

There has been an agreement amongst the APEC countries very recently, about three weeks ago, on environmental goods. And the main issue there which was discussed initially was about single-use products, about truly environmental products or energy-efficient products and ultimately a list of 54 products was agreed upon. Now that is something which we are looking at with a great deal of interest because this list is sure to be sought to be brought into the WTO and sought to be harvested by the Bali Ministerial. So, the Information Technology Agreement (ITA) discussed earlier and Environmental Goods agreement are likely candidates for the Bali WTO Ministerial. [19]

TPP and other regional economic agreements
Regional trade agreement negotiations, in particular the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), which was given an informal October 2013 target, and newly announced talks for a Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) and trilateral free trade agreement between China, Japan, and Korea, involving a large number of APEC member economies are in the works. These regional trade agreements in the Asia-Pacific are consistent with APEC member economies’ region-wide goal for a free trade area.
This has resulted in growing concern and apprehension on the part of civil society groups that have been closely monitoring the negotiations. For instance, people in New Zealand, Japan, Australia, Malaysia, and Vietnam, among other negotiating countries, have grown wary of and protested against the outcomes of the negotiations of the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA), a multilateral free trade agreement currently being negotiated among the United States and its partner countries in the Asia-Pacific. It is an FTA that aims to open all sectors of Asia-Pacific economies to foreign investment, remove barriers and tariffs restricting trade, and grant foreign investors and corporations the right to sue governments if their investments are threatened by the latter’s policies. Moreover, the lack of transparency and consultations with representatives of affected sectors over the TPPA has been a cause for concern, particularly given the history of lopsided provisions in favor of business and investor interests and the adverse effects similar agreements have had on the interests and welfare of people, especially vulnerable segments of society. Negotiations have often been carried out in secret.

[1] High Level Panel on post-2015 development framework quizzed by UN member states http://twnside.org.sg/title2/finance/2012/finance121104.htm
[2] A post-Busan, post-2015 nexus: what role for the global partnership? http://www.aideffectiveness.org/busanhlf4/images/pdf/DOC1_Discussion_paper_post_Busan_post_2015_nexus.pdf
[3] The Bogor Goals aim for free and open trade and investment in the Asia-Pacific by 2010 for industrialized economies and by 2020 for developing economies.  
[4] “Engine for balanced, sustainable growth with equity”, Natalegawa, http://www.apec.org/Press/News-Releases/2012/1207_isom.aspx
[5] Indonesia to seek operable agendas for 2013 APEC Summit, http://www.embassyofindonesia.org/news/2012/09/news030.htm
[7] The Australian declares Paradise Lost in Bali under Forklifts and Fallacies, http://www.balidiscovery.com/messages/message.asp?id=8647
[8] Bali environmentalists prepare for battle: Environmental group WALHI calls for boycott of Bali APEC Summit, http://www.balidiscovery.com/messages/message.asp?Id=8605
[10] The Uruguay Round was the 8th round of multilateral trade negotiations conducted within the framework of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT). The Round transformed the GATT into the World Trade Organization (WTO).
[11] Indonesia urges WTO to create a transparent trade system, http://www.antaranews.com/en/news/85804/indonesia-urges-wto-to-create-a-transparent-trade-system
[12] According to Indian Ambassador to the WTO, Jayant Dasgupta
[13] The aim of this agreement is to lower all taxes and tariffs on information technology products by signatories to zero.
[14] GVCs refer to the new way of organizing production and trade; it is often referred to as trade in tasks and was identified by the G-20 Trade ministerial conference in April 2012 as an important component of today’s world economy. It refers to a condition whereby goods and services are frequently produced in production networks spreading across various countries.
[15]South Centre, 2012, The WTO impasse and the possible roads ahead – a development perspective, http://www.southcentre.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=1867%3Asb68&catid=144%3Asouth-bulletin-individual-articles&Itemid=287&lang=en
[16] Third World Network, 2012, MC9 to be in Bali, TNC Chair reports meager progress on Doha,  http://twnside.org.sg/title2/wto.info/2012/twninfo120804.htm
[17] Services trade continue to be the most dynamic part of world trade, and service sectors have long been the largest destination of foreign direct investment flows.
[18] Framework for the International Services Agreement, http://www.iie.com/publications/interstitial.cfm?ResearchID=2102
[19] South Centre, Current issues in the WTO negotiations: a development view, 2012, http://www.southcentre.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=1865%3Asb68&catid=144%3Asouth-bulletin-individual-articles&Itemid=287&lang=en
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