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MEDIA REPORTS

TRADE, FINANCE AND INVESTMENT IN SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT

This page was updated on: 01/26/10

 

2003

 

Trade, Finance and Investment Media Reports Archives: 2010; 2009; 2008; 2007; 2006; 2005; 2004; 2002


JUNE 2003

 

LEADING INTERNATIONAL BANKS ADOPT EQUATOR PRINCIPLES ON ENVIRONMENTAL AND SOCIAL STANDARDS FOR DEVELOPMENT FINANCING

Ten banks from seven different countries have recently announced their adoption of the Equator Principles, a set of voluntary guidelines for managing the social and environmental issues related to development financing. Developed in conjunction with the International Finance Corporation, an arm of the World Bank Group, the Equator Principles will be applied to loans in excess of $US 50 million and will serve to promote social responsibility and environmental stewardship. It is expected that application of the Equator Principles will affect over $US 14 billion in loan financing annually and will extend across a range of sectors including mining, natural gas and forestry.

 

Links to further information

Equator Principles press release 4 June, 2003:

http://equatorprinciples.ifc.org/ifcext/equatorprinciples.nsf

Reuters news article, 3 June, 2003

http://www.reuters.com/newsArticle.jhtml?type=topNews&storyID=2871995

 

APRIL 2003

 

WTO AND UNCTAD ENHANCE COOPERATION IN TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE

The World Trade Organization and the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) have recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding, establishing a legal framework for technical assistance cooperation between the two organizations. The specific purpose of the partnership is to help enhance the implementation of the Doha Development Agenda, improve development, and integrate LDCs into the global economy.

 

�WTO and UNCTAD have a long history of close cooperation,� said WTO Director-General Supachai Panitchpakdi. �UNCTAD has always been our best ally in assisting developing countries� efforts to seize opportunities arising from the multilateral trading system. This new legal framework will identify more clearly our fields of cooperation and will facilitate our joint activities.� UNCTAD Secretary-General Rubens Ricupero added �This agreement marks the formalization of a strong and long-standing collaboration between our two organizations � We are confident that that cooperation will only continue to thrive and that it will result in even more effective capacity-building for developing countries in trade-related areas.�

 

Links to further information
UNCTAD/WTO Joint Press Release, 16 April 2003

http://www.unctad.org/Templates/webflyer.asp?docid=3381
&intItemID=1634&lang=1

 

MARCH 2003

 

PACIFIC ISLANDS FORUM SECRETARIAT TO ESTABLISH PERMANENT DELEGATION IN GENEVA FOR WTO REPRESENTATION
The Pacific Islands Forum (PIF) recently announced its plan to establish permanent representation in Geneva. The main objective of the PIF Geneva delegation is to ensure that the interests of its participating members are registered within the WTO Doha Round of trade negotiations. Currently, only three PIF member-states � Fiji, Papua New Guinea, and the Solomon Islands � belong to the WTO.

 

Links to further information
Pacific Islands Forum Press Release, 4 March 2003

http://www.forumsec.org.fj/news/2003/March04.htm  

 

FEBRUARY 2003

 

WTO GRANTS MEAS PROVISIONAL OBSERVER STATUS

WTO member states have agreed to grant the Secretariats of six multilateral environmental agreements (MEAs) provisional observer status at meetings of the WTO Committee on Trade and Environment (CTE). This decision, which was undertaken at the recent special session of the CTE held from 12-13 February, extends to the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), as well as the Basel Convention, the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Flora and Fauna (CITES); the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD); the Montreal Protocol; the International Tropical Timber Organization (ITTO); and the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). During the special session, WTO member states made clear that the observer status would apply only to negotiations carried out within the special session of the CTE. The committee also began negotiations on paragraphs 31(i) concerning the relationship between WTO rules and specific obligations in MEAs and 31(iii) regarding the liberalization of trade in environmental goods and services.

 

Links to further information

ICTSD Bridges Weekly Trade News Digest, 19 February 2003

http://www.ictsd.org/weekly/03-02-19/story4.htm 

 

JANUARY 2003

 

UK EXCHEQUER PROPOSES NEW DEVELOPMENT INVESTMENT PLAN
A new, international plan that pledges to bring much needed investment financing to the world�s poorest countries has been proposed. Unveiled by UK Chancellor of the Exchequer, Gordon Brown, the International Finance Facility (IFF) would seek long-term donor support from wealthy countries, leveraging additional financing from the global capital markets on the basis of this support. Designed to help meet the Millennium Development Goals, the proposed plan would bring the level of development financing to $100 billion per year by 2015 and requires that, in exchange for development financing, countries commit to anti-corruption policies, an open trade regime, and an openness to private investment. Brown likened the plan to the post-World War II Marshall Plan, saying that the integration of poor countries into the global economy will ensure a just and stable world in much that same way that integrating Europe and America produced a global post-war revival. According to Brown, �a world disfigured by poverty can neither be just nor stable.� UN Development Programme Administrator, Mark Malloch Brown, welcomed the announcement of the IFF, saying that Chancellor Brown�s proposal is one of the most important development ideas to emerge in recent years.

 

Links to further information

The International Finance Facility Proposal

UNDP Press Release, 22 January 2003

HM Treasury Press Release, 22 January 2003, Gordon Brown�s Speech to the RIIA/Chatham House Conference on Corporate Social Responsibility

 

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