Millennium Development Goals (MDG) Gap Task Force Report 2009

Strengthening the Global Partnership for Development in a Time of Crisis

image of Millennium Development Goals (MDG) Gap Task Force Report 2009

Further progress has been made towards fulfilling the promises embodied in the Millennium Development Goal 8 (MDG 8). However, the Global Partnership for Development has suffered important setbacks, most of which have arisen from the current state of the world economy which is experiencing its severest downturn since the Great Depression of the 1930s. In the countdown to 2015, urgent responses are needed to bridge the existing implementation gaps to make good on the promises made to achieve the Millennium Development Goals. The 2009 issue of the report by the United Nations Millennium Development Goals Gap Task Force identifies these gaps in detail and provides recommendations to all major stakeholders on how to address these gaps.

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Market access (trade)

In 2008, several attempts were made to build consensus on a comprehensive agreement on the Doha Round of multilateral trade negotiations that had begun in 2001. The Mini-Ministerial of the World Trade Organization (WTO) in July 2008 strove to reach an agreement on modalities in such critical areas as agriculture and industrial goods. Negotiations collapsed, not just because of a failure to agree on the trigger and the level of remedies that would enable a special safeguard mechanism (SSM) to come into effect, but also because several issues of importance to many developing countries received inadequate attention. These issues included the erosion of preferences, the liberalization of manufactured goods and the need for developing countries to preserve policy space. In accordance with the agreed principle of “less than full reciprocity”, developing countries argued in favour of much higher rates in the non-agricultural market access (NAMA) tariff reduction formula, exemption from the anti-concentration clause and the need to preserve the voluntary nature of sectoral initiatives. Developed countries argued for greater tariff reduction commitments for industrial products, the implementation of an anti-concentration clause and the mandatory implementation of sectoral initiatives for some developing countries. In the light of such differences, some seven years of protracted on-and-off negotiations have so far failed to come to a successful conclusion.

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