Remarks of India at the 3rd meeting of the Extended Bureau of the Trade & Development Board, UNCTAD - delivered by Dr. Sadre Alam, First Secretary on 11 June 2018

Remarks of India at the 3rd meeting of the Extended Bureau of the Trade & Development Board, UNCTAD - delivered by Dr. Sadre Alam, First Secretary on 11 June 2018

Thank you Mr. President.

2. On the important issue of the Mid-term Review (MTR) of the implementation of the Nairobi Maafikiano, we wish to state the following and offer few suggestions on both the substantive as well as procedural aspects to fulfill our collective desire of an effective review process of the Nairobi Maafikiano:

(i) We thank the Secretariat for submitting the non-paper. To organize the MTR around the four sub-themes of the Maafikiano may seem most natural and obvious but it would make the process of review very abstract and general. The clustering of the review results along the sub-themes could serve as a starting point. But in the ultimate analysis, the focus must be on the achievement of the broad and shared goals and objectives related to trade and development and the interrelated issues and the alignment of UNCTAD’s activities with it. These goals and objectives are enshrined in the Maafikiano itself which, inter alia, are:

The 2030 agenda and SDGs.

Addis Ababa Action Agenda

Paris Agreement

Vienna Programme of Action for the Landlocked Developing Countries (LLDCs)

Istanbul Programme of Action for the Least Developed Countries (LDCs)

SAMOA Pathway for Small Island Developing States (SIDS)

(ii) In addition, the MTR background document to be prepared by the Secretariat must provide detailed break-down of these achievements made during Phase-I of implementation of the Nairobi Maafikiano along the following lines, wherever possible and relevant:

For Phase-I:

Indicate which broad goals were achieved.

What were the broad region-wise outcomes achieved?

Who were the main beneficiaries?

The main actors responsible for the achievement

Which partnership helped in the achievement of the outcomes?

The UNCTAD pillar through which the outcome was achieved indicating the specific Inter-Governmental Machinery (IGM), wherever relevant.

Resources utilized for the achievement of the outcomes

What were the challenges faced? How were these overcome?

For Phase-II:

What remains to be achieved?

Who would be the actors and which partnerships could help?

What would be the resource requirement?

What would be the challenges and how could these be overcome?

What is the way forward for the achievement of the unrealized outcomes in Phase-II of the Maafikiano?

What course correction may be required?

What are the outcomes whose implementation would be monitored and achievement evaluated in Phase-II of the implementation of the Maafikiano?

For Phase-II, an action plan and roadmap should be prepared and, in addition to the detailed break-down, indicate a timeline, wherever possible.

How could a revitalized IGM help in this process?

It may be worth mentioning that cross-cutting outcomes could be listed separately.

(iii) Further, we would like the non-paper to specify the methodology to be used for the purpose of review and provide for evaluation of the MTR by outside subject-matter experts. We would also request the Secretariat to prepare a broad draft outcome document to be adopted by Member States at the end of the MTR session and share it in advance to guide deliberations. During the MTR session, a drafting committee comprising interested Member States could be constituted and tasked with steering the discussions on the draft outcome document on Day 2 and helping reach consensus on the last day.

(iv) Needless to add that the MTR process of the Maafikiano must be Member-State led and driven and conducted in a transparent and inclusive manner. A revised non-paper may accordingly be kindly prepared by the Secretariat.

3. On the agenda item related to the guiding topics and questions for the 3rd session of the Inter-Governmental Group of Experts (IGE) on E-commerce and the Digital Economy, we wish to suggest that there should be a specific guiding question related to the Working Group on E-Commerce and the Digital Economy to feed into the deliberations of the IGE. In this regard, we propose the following guiding question: 

Which empirical sets of existing and new e-commerce related data could help develop evidence based strategy, policy and practice for maximizing the developmental gains from e-commerce and how? 

4. I wish to raise a minor organization issue. As regards the notification dated 7 June 2018 circulated by the Secretariat providing details about the Bureau and its extension we wish to seek the following additional information from the Secretariat:

The Secretariat has conveyed vides the referred notification that the elections to bureau are nominative. Also while submitting India’s nomination for the post of Vice-President of the Bureau of this current Trade & Development Board (TDB), we were given to understand by the Group Liaison Unit of the Inter-Governmental Support Unit that the nominations were required to be at the Ambassadorial level. But we notice that nominations at below Ambassadorial level have also been made. Further, we wish to understand the basis of nomination of a country under the list of regional coordinators. We request the secretariat to clarify the rule position on these issues and request it to upload information shared vides its referred notification on the UNCTAD website, as appropriate.

5. Lastly, Mr. President, I thank you for your leadership in initiating the process of streamlining the work of this bureau.


11 June 2018

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