The Expert Meeting on Audiovisual Services: Improving Participation of Developing Countries will be held from 13 to 15 November 2002 at the Palais des Nations, Geneva. Documents concerning this Expert Meeting and other UNCTAD meetings can be found on the UNCTAD website (www.unctad.org).
The Expert Meeting will provide an opportunity for experts from the field of audiovisual services and trade negotiators to analyse the different facets of this sector in an open debate at the international level. High-level experts from public and private sectors, as well as academia and international organizations, are expected to contribute to the debate. The major objective of the Meeting is to examine international trade in audiovisual services and its implications for trade and development policy of developing countries, including concerns that have to be addressed in liberalizing this sector. The outcome of the Expert Meeting may be of direct relevance to the ongoing multilateral trade negotiations in services in identifying possible ways of ensuring progressive liberalization of this sector.
The provisional agenda for the Meeting, together with the secretariat´s annotations thereto, is being circulated as document TD/B/COM.1/EM.20/1. The UNCTAD secretariat has prepared a background note aimed at facilitating the discussions, which is being circulated as document TD/B/COM.1/EM.20/2. UNESCO is cooperating closely with UNCTAD in the preparation of this Meeting and is being invited to contribute additional background materials for the Meeting.
Member States of UNCTAD are requested to nominate experts at an early date and not later than 11 October 2002. 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 government, the academic world, public and private sectors and NGOs. In addition, experts from international and regional organizations dealing with issues related to audiovisual services will be invited.
Experts are encouraged to submit written contributions, such as country case studies, concerning one or all of the following issues: (i) key elements of the development dimension, analysing the contribution of film, music and TV/radio industries to the achievement of development objectives, including access to information and diffusion of cultural values and ideas. Successful experiences could be analysed by looking at how cultural and development policies contributed towards creating opportunities for services providers and bringing economic benefits to developing countries; (ii) the trade dimension, focusing on how to increase developing countries´ participation in global trade in audiovisual services, including the role of subsidies and the conditions necessary to promote the entry of new exporters of services into the global market place. The issues of competition, interconnectivity and
imbalance in market power could be considered, including possible approaches for addressing culture and trade; (iii) other aspects related to trade in audiovisual services, including whether technological change would bring about new opportunities and new modalities in trade or marginalize developing countries further.
With regard to financing the participation of experts in UNCTAD expert meetings, Governments of developing countries and countries with economies in transition 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 and fax numbers, and the name of the 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. It should be noted in this connection that the funds available will make it possible to finance the participation of 10 experts. Once the list of experts has been finalized, the Secretary-General of UNCTAD will have all travel arrangements made in accordance with United Nations financial rules and regulations, though, use of the least costly travel fare will be authorized.
Upon arrival, participants are requested, before entering the Palais des Nations, to collect their badge at the UN Security Service, Villa Les Feuillantines, 13 Avenue de la Paix (close to the main entrance to the Palais on the Place des Nations, on the opposite side of the road). The Security Service is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. (non-stop). Due to the existing security measures in force, participants are strongly advised to arrive by 8.30 in order to complete procedures and reach the meeting in good time. Walking from Villa Les Feuillantines to the E-Building of the Palais (Bâtiment E) takes about 10 minutes. Participants are advised to carry a passport or similar identification document with them.
Specialized agencies and intergovernmental bodies wishing to participate in the session, as well as non-governmental organizations in the General Category and those in the Special Category wishing to participate as observers, are requested to inform the UNCTAD secretariat of the names of their representatives by 11 October 2002.
All communications concerning representation at the Expert Meeting should be sent to the UNCTAD secretariat, Intergovernmental Support Service, Palais des Nations, CH-1211 Geneva 10.
(fax: +41(0)22 907 0056, e-mail:firstname.lastname@example.org).
All other enquiries should be addressed to Mr. David Diaz-Benavides, tel.: +41(0)22 907 58 74, fax: +41(0)22 907 00 44, email: email@example.com or Ms. Jolita Butkeviciene, tel.: +41(0)22 907 49 77,
fax: +41(0)22 907 00 44, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Secretary-General of UNCTAD
19 September 2002