Today was the first day of negotiations proper. However, there was very little movement in any of the negotiating areas, including in the green room meetings where most of the time was devoted to process issues. The day saw a PR exercise unfold for the US, EU and Japan with all three touting their loans and bribes in the form of empty ‘aid for trade’ packages. Serious questions were raised as to whether the proposals of the EU ($5 billion to LDCs) and US ($2.7 billion in total to 2010) were able to paid for and what conditions would be attached to them.
The Japanese model was harshly critiqued as being a loan program which would push LDCs further into debt. Last night a new group meet for the first time comprised of the G90, G20 and G33 – with the Zambian Minister coining the term – the ‘G110’. There is some excitement attached to this development with the enlarged group coming together reportedly to agree on key areas of negotiations. There were also consultations between cotton producers and the US, where it is reported that Benin walked out because the US had retracted promises made under the July Framework – that cotton would be treated ‘specifically and expeditiously’. They will want to treat cotton as part of the agriculture negotiations, meaning there will not be a so called ‘early harvest’.
AID FOR TRADE – ANOTHER EMPTY PROMISE
INTERNATIONAL DAY OF PROTEST AGAINST GATS AND PRIVATIZATION
THE G20 CHALLENGE
PROTEST AT OPENING CEREMONY REPORTED ACROSS THE WORLD
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