At the consultations of the President of the Trade and Development Board with the Bureau, coordinators and interested delegations (31 March 2000), UNCTAD member States decided to convene an Expert Meeting on the Impact of the Reform Process in Agriculture on LDCs and Net Food-Importing Developing Countries, and Ways to Address their Concerns in Multilateral Trade Negotiations". The decision was made in accordance with the UNCTAD X "Plan of Action" (TD/386), paragraph 133, which states: "UNCTAD should analyse the impact on all developing countries of the reform process, as foreseen in Article 20 of the WTO Agreement on Agriculture, with attention being paid to the concerns of LDCs and net-food importing developing countries".
The Meeting will be held from 24 to 26 July 2000 at the Palais des Nations, Geneva. The provisional agenda, together with the secretariat’s annotation thereto, is being circulated as document TD/B/COM.1/EM.11/1.
The principal objective of this Meeting is for experts to exchange views on the impact of the agricultural reform process, in particular the implementation of the WTO Agreement on Agriculture, as experienced by individual LDCs and net food-importing developing countries, and to discuss how the concerns of those countries could effectively be addressed in the continuation of the reform process.
To facilitate the experts’ discussions, the UNCTAD secretariat will circulate a background note as document TD/B/COM.1/EM.11/2. Discussion at the Meeting will also be facilitated by additional information provided by other international organizations such as FAO. Experts participating in the Meeting are requested to make a written contribution, with respect particularly to the specific experiences of their country in the field of the subject matter.
Member States of UNCTAD are requested to nominate experts at an early date. Experts, who will participate in the Meeting in their personal capacities, are expected to have proven expertise in the subject, and may be selected from the academic world, the public and private sectors and NGOs. With regard to the financing of the participation of developing country experts in UNCTAD expert meetings in accordance with Trade and Development Board decision 456 (XLV), governments of developing countries are requested to nominate one expert as a possible beneficiary of financing for this expert meeting. Nominations should be received at least four weeks before the meeting, and they should be accompanied by a curriculum vitae of the nominee, his or her address, phone number and fax number, and the name of a contact person in the Geneva Permanent mission. The Secretary-General of UNCTAD will base his decision as to which experts should receive financing on the principle of equitable geographical representation, beneficiary needs and the expertise of the experts concerned. Once the list of experts has been finalized, the Secretary-General will have all travel arrangements made in accordance with United Nations financial rules and regulations, though in order to cover as many experts as possible, use of the least costly travel fare will be authorized.
All communications concerning representation at the Meeting should be sent to the UNCTAD secretariat, Intergovernmental Support Services, Palais des Nations, CH-1211 Geneva 10; tel: +4122 907 5007; fax: +4122 907 0056, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. All other enquiries should be addressed to the coordinator in the substantive division, tel: +4122 907 5556.
Secretary-General of UNCTAD
19 May 2000