Video guest: Josephine Mwangi

May 2018
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Monday, 21 May 2018
United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan today called on the European Union (EU) to go further in its efforts to assist developing countries, as he continued to praise its recent initiatives increasing official development assistance, improving quality of aid, boosting assistance to Africa and relieving debt.

"Development is a continuous process," Mr. Annan told a lunch hosted by the EU, in conjunction with the General Assembly's two-day meeting on Financing for Development which has gathered finance ministers in New York to assess efforts to implement the Monterrey Consensus, the 2002 agreement through which donors would increase aid and the world's poor nations would carry out economic and political reforms to ensure that aid money gets spent effectively.

The Consensus, he said, encompasses broader development issues such as growing inequality, globalization, trade-related matters, coherence between financial, trade, aid and debt policies and other systemic questions.

"It also focuses on the long term," he said, "through its emphasis on human capital, which is any country's most abundant resource."

In that context, he asked the EU to complete its debt cancellation initiative, carried out within the G8 group of industrialized countries, and to ensure that goods from developing countries have wider access to European markets and no longer have to compete against subsidized products.He also noted that the EU is well-placed to increase the participation of developing countries in global economic decision-making, by agreeing to changes at the Bank and the International Monetary Fund.By asking for these steps, the Secretary-General stressed he is not losing sight of the responsibility that developing countries bear in their own progress. On the contrary, he said he aimed to improve both sides of the partnership begun at Monterrey. "That is why we are here," he concluded."To build the strong partnership for development that is itself the eighth Millennium Goal."
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The Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States has today opened a Technical Mission to the WTO in Geneva with the support of the European Union, which will grant €238,000 through the European Development Fund. This mission will strengthen the representation of Eastern Caribbean States in the WTO by assisting their participation in the work of the WTO. It will also contribute to cementing regional economic and trade integration in the Eastern Caribbean region.
The mission of the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) will represent the ACP small islands which are members of the OECS, Antigua & Barbuda, the Commonwealth of Dominica, Grenada, St. Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia and St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
The mission will help the small islands of the OECS participate in the work of the WTO and in particular in the specific work programme on issues relating to trade in small economies and islands. It is co-funded by the OECS and the EU through the European Development Fund.
EU support for the establishment of the OECS Mission in Geneva is part of a 10-million Euro EDF facility for assisting ACP countries in the WTO. The EU has previously supported the setting-up of an office of the Secretariat of the ACP group in Geneva (2002) and the opening of the Pacific ACP countries representation to the WTO. Under the Trade.Com programme, the EU covers the costs of a senior trade adviser supporting the OECS.
The EU has called for the special needs and constraints of small economies to be recognised and reflected in the various negotiating topics under the DDA. This objective is also central to the negotiations on Economic Partnership Agreement between the EU and 15 Caribbean countries.
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Trans-boundary animal diseases have marred developments in the livestock sector in the Southern African region during the 2003/2004, says a SADC annual report released in Gaborone recently. According to the report, four countries reported Contagious Bovine Pleuropneumonia (CBPP) cases in the region in 2003. The worst CBPP or cattle lung disease cases were reported in Tanzania (URT) with 20 outbreaks (314 cases and 125 deaths) and Zambia with 17 outbreaks involving 1 165 cases and 827 deaths.
The disease is also a problem in Angola and Namibia where both morbidity and mortality was reported. The disease threatens more than 30 50 per cent of the 47 million cattle population of SADC. Fresh outbreaks of CBPP continued to invade new areas after losing periods of absence and the reason has always been uncontrolled cattle movements. The CBPP situation in southern Tanzania and Zambia is at very high risk level. SADC is in the process of adopting a regional approach for surveillance and control of CBPP. Foot and mouth disease (FMD) was reported in Botswana, Malawi, Mozambique, South Africa, Tanzania, Zambia, and Mozambique in the 2003.
According to the 2003 livestock, food and agricultural statistics (FAOSAT), the SADC region had 51.9 million head of cattle, 41 million sheep, 34.6 million goats, 5.5 million pigs, 1.6 equines and about 293 million of poultry. The report says SADC member states have significantly improved their national animal disease surveillance systems and are using information available from the surveillance system to define trends of animal diseases occurrence, determinants and economic impact, determinants and economic impact.
Efforts are under way to establish regional animal health database as part of the global livestock information management system to be established in the course of implementing the Promotional Regional Integration (PRINT) in Livestock project funded by the European Union (EU)." On other issues, the report states an estimated total of eight million metric tonnes of high value food products of animal origin, including beef, mutton, goat meat, pork, milk, and eggs was produced in the region during the year for human consumption.
These had an estimated value of over US$8 billion on the assumption that one metric tonne is worth on average US$1000.
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South Africa and the European Commission (EC) have signed an additional protocol on trade cooperation to continue the existing relations between the two.
The additional protocol to the Trade, Development and Co-operation Agreement (TDCA) provides for customs unions and free trade areas; extending the agreement to ten more European Union (EU) member states to bring the total to 25.
The signing by Trade and Industry Minister Mandisi Mpahlwa and his counterparts from the Netherlands and EC took place at a meeting President Thabo Mbeki held with EC President Jose Manuel Barroso here yesterday.
Presidents Mbeki and Barroso engaged in discussions "on critical matters" such as the outcome of the forthcoming G-8 Summit in Gleneagles in Scotland next month, the situation in Zimbabwe and peace and security in Africa.
Mr Mbeki said he indicated to Mr Barroso what the African community expected from the G-8 summit. "We are counting much on the support of the European Commission and the European Union," said Mr Mbeki.
He added that Africa relied much on the EU's experience in addressing issues of poverty and development. He mentioned that bilateral relations were working very well between South Africa and the EU, adding that they were looking at ways of expanding them.
Commenting on the recent "domestic tribal squabbles" regarding the EU's budget and French and Dutch rejection of the body's constitution, Mr Mbeki said he did not think the problems would impact on Africa. "President Barroso is committed to progress and development of Africa regardless of issues of trade, I have maintained a regular contact with heads of states who are part of the EU, so whatever might be happening within EU, I do not think it will have an impact on Africa," said Mr. Mbeki.
President Barroso said the union was re-affirming its commitment to Africa adding that they would continue supporting Africa. "South Africa is a very essential partner of the EU, we will closely support South Africa in its efforts to fight poverty," said Mr Barroso.
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Tuesday, 28 June 2005
European Commissioner for Development Louis Michel and European Commissioner for Trade Peter Mandelson will be in New York on June 27 and 28 2005 to participate in the UN High Level Dialogue on Financing for Development. This event is an important step in the preparation of the UN Summit in September, which will assess the progress towards the Millennium Development Goals. Both Commissioners call on all to ensure that the UN Summit is followed by concrete efforts to do more, faster and better in the fight against poverty.

Commissioner Michel will stress the strong political commitment of the European Union to accelerate progress towards the Millenium Development Goals, in particular through an increased level of Official Development Aid, as confirmed by the last European Council. Speaking in New York, Commissioner Michel said: “By setting ambitious targets, the EU has consolidated its position as world’s biggest aid donor. The undertaking to increase Overseas Development Assistance to 0.56% by 2010 and 0.7% by 2015 also sets the example for the rest of the donors, looking ahead to a UN Summit which must deliver a dramatic improvement in the lives of millions of people. Business as usual is not an option”.

Commissioners Michel and Mandelson will participate in the Ministerial meeting on June 28. Both Commissioner Michel and Commissioner Mandelson with meet UN Secretary General Kofi Annan. Commissioner Michel will hold meetings with, among other leaders, the President of the General Assembly, Jean Ping. He will present the Commission’s view of the sustainable development, linking it with broader issues including security, environment, health, gender and globalization. On June 28 Commissioner Mandelson will address a Council of Foreign Relations breakfast on the subject of ‘The Progressive Case for Open Markets’.
Agreed at a UN Summit in 2000 by 191 countries, the Millennium Development Goals set out to achieve 8 key poverty-reduction objectives by 2015. These include cutting by a half the number of people living in extreme poverty (less than $1/day), cutting by two thirds children mortality and providing access to primary school for all children.
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