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[CTA - Brussels Office Newsletter N° 223]
Subject: [CTA - Brussels Office Newsletter N° 223]
Send date: 2010-05-07 14:33:24
Issue #: 39
Content:
Bulletin CTA
 
1

This weblog shares information on key ACP-EU programmes and events
from Brussels relevant to agriculture and rural development in ACP countries.


Date : [DATE]
CTA Brussels Newsletter

Main events in the week
  1. 18th Brussels Briefing on Humanitarian Assistance and Rural Development
  2. Main ACP-EU events for the week of 10th to 14th May 2010
  3. Our video guest: Mr. Grodent, SOS Faim
  4. Delivering 21st Century Aid through the EEAS
  5. The 93rd edidtion of Défis Sud about Biodiversity
  6. EU Development Commissioner visits the African Union
  7. EU softens on EPA
  8. Fair Trade Farmers’ Exports Hit by Volcanic Ash
  9. Mozambique to export non-traditional products to European market
  10. Rebounding Africa to keep up economic reform
  11. EU vows to tackle overfishing with policy overhaul
  12. Agribusiness is the pathway out of rural poverty
  13. Commissioner Cioloș welcomes new CAP transparency figures
  14. The 2010 Environmental Performance Index
  15. ACP’s New Leadership Team
  16. States blocking trade in the region to face punishment
  17. UN Millennium Campaign calls for urgent Reform of EU Agricultural Policy
  18. Climate refugees set to raise legal issues
  19. Volcano ash crisis highlights impact of trade disruption for ACP countries
  20. 21st Century Aid: Recognizing success and tackling failure
  21. Transgenic corn variety is acceptable, says French biotech council


  1. 18th Brussels Briefing on Humanitarian Assistance and Rural Development
    2010-05-07
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Aid effectiveness

    The 18th Brussels Development Briefing will be on natural disasters, humanitarian assistance and rural development and will take place on 12th May 2010 (8h30-13h00) at the Borschette Center, Room 1A. This Briefing will discuss Humanitarian needs and responses looking first at recent trends and challenges and innovative and responsive approaches to future challenges.  The earthquake in Haiti as many other recent natural disasters have highlighted the fragility of some States and the need for strong institutions able to strengthen risk reduction mechanisms and disaster preparedness and increase the effectiveness of response to disasters. The need for coordination and effectiveness in interventions by donors and actors is also key issue. We would like to share lessons learnt from recent experiences as to minimize the scale of future negative impact and long-term recovery. We would like to look at the impact on rural development and also the role of agriculture and rural development in rebuilding and rehabilitation efforts. Panellists will come from various organizations such as the World Food Programme, the FAO and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies. We will also receive insights from DG ECHO and DG Development officials. You will be able to follow live the discussions online by webstreaming (audio and video).

    For more information contact boto@cta.int or pruna@cta.int and read material online at http://brusselsbriefings.net


    Link Read more
    Link Video material
    Link Past Briefings


  2. Main ACP-EU events for the week of 10th to 14th May 2010
    2010-05-07

    European Parliament (Brussels):
    - 10th May: Workshop with Spanish Minister of Agriculture at the agriculture committee
    - 10th May: Meeting of the Committee on Development
    EU Presidency:
    - 10th (Brussels): Council of General Affairs, Council of Foreign Affairs and Development
    - 16th May (Spain): Ministerial Conference on Development Cooperation  
    ACP Secretariat (Brussels):
    - 11th May: Bureau of the Committee of Ambassadors


    For more information please consult the calendar on our webpage http://brussels.cta.int/


    Link European Parliament
    Link Spanish Presidency
    Link ACP Secretariat


  3. Our video guest: Mr. Grodent, SOS Faim
    2010-05-07
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Aid effectiveness, Rural development

    Our video guest this week is Mr. Grodent. He is head of information at SOS Faim (SOS Hunger), a Belgian NGO based in Brussels. In this interview, Mr. Grodent explains the work of SOS Hunger here in Brussels as well as in ACP countries. Mr. Grodent gives three urgent measures that need to be taken by the EU in order to fight hunger in ACP countries. He underlines the necessity of coherence in EU development and trade policies. Finally, Mr. Grodent talks about the recent success stories in the promotion of small scale farmers in ACP countries.
    Link Watch the video
    Link SOS Faim


  4. Delivering 21st Century Aid through the EEAS
    2010-05-07
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Aid effectiveness

    On the 6th of May CTA attended the conference “Delivering 21st Century Aid through the European External Action Service?“ organized by Oxfam Solidarity with the support of The Centre in Brussels. The event offered the opportunity to discuss a new report called “21st Century Aid” issued by Oxfam International in April 2010 outlining what good aid is - especially the argument that aid should be granted with the sole objective of tackling poverty. It brought together Mrs. Penny Lawrence, Director of Oxfam Great Britain International, HE Brave Ndisale, Ambassador of Malawi to the European Union and Mr. Christian Leffler, Deputy Director General, DG Development, European Commission and several representatives of policy making entities and NGOs in Brussels. Different perspectives on the future of EU development aid were debated in the context of EU Member States’ negotiation for a common position at the UN Millennium Development Goals summit in September.


    Link More on the Centre
    Link Millennium Development Goals Summit


  5. The 93rd edidtion of Défis Sud about Biodiversity
    2010-05-07
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Environment, Rural development

    While humanity is just beginning to try to resolve the damage caused by global warming, loss of biodiversity caused by human activities is even more destructive to the planet! In this international year dedicated to biodiversity, it is necessary to adopt multiple approaches. For the rural South, the preservation of biodiversity is vital because it allows a perpetuation of their activities. The farmers of the south are at the one hand relying on biodiversity, but at the other hand they are also on the vanguard to maintain it.

    Source: SOS Faim


    Link Read more
    Link SOS Faim
    Link Briefing on Biodiversity


  6. EU Development Commissioner visits the African Union
    2010-05-07
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Environment, ACP-EU Trade

    Andris Piebalgs, EU Commissioner for Development, is on his first official visit to Ethiopia on 6 to 8 May 2010. He will visit the headquarters of the African Union where he will be welcomed by Mr Jean Ping, Chairperson of the African Union Commission and other Commissioners of the African Union. He will meet Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi and other government Ministers, as well as representatives of Ethiopian civil society. At the EU-Africa Summit in Lisbon in December 2007, the two continents forged a new partnership aimed at facing common challenges together. The Joint EU-Africa Strategy enables the two continents to work together on global issues ranging from climate change and energy, to migration, peace and security, trade and regional integration. Beyond Institutions, the strategy involves civil society and stresses the important people-to-people links. The next EU-Africa Summit is scheduled to take place on 29-30 November 2010. Preparations include a meeting between two Commissions in early June. The Summit should agree a new Action Plan for the years 2011 and beyond, building on the successes of the 8 Partnerships. Commissioner Piebalgs said: "Europe's relationship with Africa is genuinely geo-strategic. The continent-to-continent partnership goes beyond aid and beyond development – it is a framework for Europe and Africa to address together global challenges".

    Source: European Commission


    Link Read more
    Link The Africa-EU strategic partnership
    Link African Union


  7. EU softens on EPA
    2010-05-06
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade

    The Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) currently being negotiated between the European Union (EU) and the East Africa Community (EAC) has gained momentum following the former’s agreement to include the development cooperation in the deal, a trade expert said.The deal, which is meant to bring lesser stringent trade terms between the two economic blocs, had stalled owing to the EU’s refusal to increase its regional funding over and above what is being provided through the European Development Fund (EDF).The negotiations were supposed to end by December 2007 but were not concluded as planned because EAC sought to include the development matrix alongside the trade matrix before it could be signed.However, the development dimension which is of key interest for the EAC member States has been sluggish in terms of agreement and the EU was yet to make tangible commitments in terms of availing addition resources.“The EAC has identified broad criteria targets within the development matrix such as energy, infrastructural and agricultural enhancement which the EU will be funding when the EPA is signed,” the source said. An interim agreement was initialled so that there would be no disruption of trade and to allow more time for the negotiators to finalise on the comprehensive EPA.“What is remaining now is that the development matrix be included in the full comprehensive EPA and this will be done when EAC and EU meet to sign the agreement in December this year,” he added.

    Source: The New Times


    Link Read more
    Link EAC-EU EPA
    Link EAC


  8. Fair Trade Farmers’ Exports Hit by Volcanic Ash
    2010-05-06
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade, Rural development

    African farmers are assessing the financial impact of the Icelandic volcanic ash clouds that led to a lockdown of Europe’s airspace, forcing fair trade flower growers from Africa to throw away 20 million roses that were meant for the European market. On April 15 massive ash clouds spewed out by the erupting Eyjafjoell volcano situated under a glacier in southern Iceland reached mainland Europe. Volcanic ash reduces visibility while the glass particles it contains are detrimental to airplanes’ jet engines, leading one European country after another to close its airports. "Kenyan fair trade rose growers alone lost approximately one million flowers a day," according to Benjamin Gatland, regional coordinator of the Southern African Fairtrade Network (SAFN). SAFN is a network of fair trade certified farms in southern Africa which assists producers in obtaining with market information and information with regards to fair trade standards. The fair trade movement aims to enhance trading conditions for small-scale businesses and to improve labour conditions through ethical and sustainable trade. "Although the damage of the events has to be assessed, it is clear that the financial implications for Kenya are considerable. Some fair trade farms have lost entire harvests of flowers," Gatland told IPS at a fair trade network meeting. Overall, the Kenyan horticulture industry reportedly lost about 15 million dollars. Fruit and vegetable farmers in Kenya were hit too. "Luckily most of the produce could be sold locally. With flowers it is a different story. They have to be transported when they are in bloom, otherwise they are worthless to the buyers," Gatland said.

    Source: Inter Press News Service Agency


    Link Read more
    Link Fair Trade
    Link Kenya Flower Council


  9. Mozambique to export non-traditional products to European market
    2010-05-06
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade, Rural development

    Mozambique’s Institute for Export Promotion (Ipex) has launched seven pilot projects to test the export potential of non-traditional products to the European market, Radio Moçambique reported.Funding of the project estimated at 1.2 million euros will be 63 percent covered by the Dutch Embassy in Mozambique, and the remaining 33 percent will be the responsibility of IPEX. According to the director of IPEX, Cecília Candrinho, Mozambique plans to introduce products into its export range including mango, peanuts, pineapple, handicrafts, chillies and beans, as well as securing the indirect entry into the European market of cashew nuts.

    Source: MacauHub


    Link Read more
    Link ACP-EU Trade
    Link EU Delegation in Mozambique


  10. Rebounding Africa to keep up economic reform
    2010-05-06

    Sub-Saharan Africa will grow by up to 4.2 percent in 2010 after expansion of 1.7 percent last year, helped by booming telecoms and commodity sectors, a senior World Bank official said on Tuesday. Earlier World Bank forecasts projected growth of 3.8 percent this year before reaching 4.6 percent in 2011. "The continent is now focused on the rebound for growth and should be posting between 3.8 to 4.2 percent in 2010," Obiageli Ezekwesili, the bank's vice president for Africa, told Reuters. But she cautioned the reform of key economic sectors would be pivotal to increasing global competitiveness and sustaining higher growth rates. "Essentially, policy reform related improvements will be the sine qua non for sustaining the growth, so every country needs to reform all important sectors of the economy," Ezekwesili said in an interview in the Ugandan capital Kampala. She said many of the region's economies would benefit from boosting private sector involvement in key sectors. "Reform your agriculture sector, reform your energy sector, reform your financial services, reform your transportation sector, deregulate certain aspects of the economy where there's lack of private sector activity and then you would really raise opportunities for growth."

    Source: Africa The Good News


    Link Read more
    Link World Bank Africa
    Link African Economic Outlook


  11. EU vows to tackle overfishing with policy overhaul
    2010-05-06
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Regional Fisheries

    European Union ministers on Wednesday vowed to overhaul their 840 million euro-a-year fishing subsidies policy by next year to avoid overfishing and make the industry more sustainable. In British waters alone, scientists estimate fish stocks have declined by 94% in the past 118 years and commercial fishing has profoundly changed seabed ecosystems, leading to a collapse in numbers of many species.
    Environmental groups say the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP), due to be reformed from 2012, has depleted fish stocks by swelling Europe's fishing fleet, the world's third largest.
    Greenpeace has called on the EU to cut its fleet and set aside 40% of EU waters as protected marine reserves."We need a turnaround in our policy," EU Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Commissioner Maria Damanaki told journalists after a meeting of the bloc's fisheries ministers in Vigo, the hub of Spain's fishing industry."We have great problems of overfishing and overcapacity all over Europe and we have to face these problems."

    Source: Euractiv


    Link Read more
    Link ACP Fish II
    Link DG Fisheries


  12. Agribusiness is the pathway out of rural poverty
    2010-05-06
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Rural development

    African governments, donors and the private sector need to act now to turn the world’s 500 million small farms into profitable businesses, said Kanayo F. Nwanze, President of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD). Prior to leaving for Dar es Salaam to attend the regional World Economic Forum (WEF) on Africa, hosted by the United Republic of Tanzania, Nwanze said, “What we need to be rethinking is how to turn political will into profits for Africa’s agriculture sector, 95 per cent of which is smallholder farming.” He added that this could be accomplished if African governments step up their investment in agriculture and build partnerships with the private sector in an open and accountable way. “Working to double the income of a subsistence farmer is simply poverty management. But helping that farmer to launch an agribusiness; that is poverty eradication,” emphasized Nwanze. The theme of this year’s WEF meeting on Africa is “Rethinking Africa's Growth Strategy”. Nwanze is slated to speak at key Forum sessions. “African governments must create the right policy environment to allow agribusinesses and agro-industries to develop and flourish, which can provide much-needed employment for Africa’s youths,” he said. “At the same time, investments by the international community and developing country governments need to be smart to focus on the research and development of new technologies to enhance productivity and intensify production.”

    Source: IFAD


    Link Read more
    Link World Economic Forum
    Link Watch the video


  13. Commissioner Cioloș welcomes new CAP transparency figures
    2010-05-06
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Rural development

    Under EU rules on transparency, EU Member State Ministries of Agriculture have to publish detailed figures on recipients of Common Agriculture Policy funding in 2009, by midnight tonight (April 30)."While the Common Agriculture Policy provides many benefits to society such as safe and sufficient food supplies and support for the environment and rural employment, it is important for taxpayers to know how their money is being spent within the CAP," EU Agriculture and Rural Development Commissioner Dacian Cioloș stated. "I welcome the transparency initiative, and hope that our work with Member State Ministries of Agriculture in the last 12 months will ensure that the quality of data available is even better than it was last year – the first time that these figures were published."Commissioner Cioloș underlined the difficult year that farmers faced last year, and the particularly important role that CAP direct payments and other support measures played in supporting farm incomes in 2009. Commissioner Cioloș also recalled the public debate on the future of the CAP that he launched this month, and encouraged EU citizens from all walks of life to participate.

    Source: European Commission


    Link Read more
    Link Join the debate


  14. The 2010 Environmental Performance Index
    2010-05-05
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Environment

    Researchers ranked countries based on 25 indicators, including water and air quality, greenhouse gas emissions and the impact of the environment on the health of the population. A score of 100 is excellent. Sierra Leone ranks at the bottom of the list with a score of 32. Iceland took top honors with a score of 93.5 thanks to ample clean water, lots of protected nature areas, good national health care and a plenitude of usually clean geothermal power.

    Source: Forbes


    Link Read more
    Link EPI Indicators
    Link Countries scores


  15. ACP’s New Leadership Team
    2010-05-04

    The Secretary-General of the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) Group, Dr. Mohamed Ibn Chambas, has announced the appointments of his new Assistant Secretaries-General of the organisation. The appointments came at the end of a competitive, regional search process that involved many candidates from four of the six regions of the ACP Group.The new appointees are: Mrs Nthisana Matlhogonolo Philips of Botswana (Southern Africa) as Assistant Secretary-General, Head of the Department of Administration, Finance and Human Resources; Mr Achille Bassilekin III from Cameroon (Central Africa) as Assistant Secretary-General, Head of the Department of Sustainable Economic Development and Trade; Ms Michele Dominique Raymond of Haiti (Caribbean) as  Assistant Secretary-General, Head of the Department of Political Affairs and Human Development and; Mr Paulo S. Kautoke from Tonga (Pacific) as Assistant Secretary-General, Head of the Department of Macro-Economics, Development Finance and Intra-ACP Programming. In announcing the appointments, the Secretary-General of the Group pointed to the qualities of his new management, such as its competence, professional backgrounds, age and gender diversity. For the first time in the history of the ACP that two women have been appointed as Assistant Secretaries-General. Dr Chambas who hails from Ghana and was the President of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) for eight years took over as the head of the ACP Group on 1 March 2010 from Papua New Guinean Sir John Kaputin who had been Secretary-General for the past five years.

    Source: ACP Secretariat


    Link Read more
    Link Intra ACP Cooperation
    Link ACP EU Trade


  16. States blocking trade in the region to face punishment
    2010-05-04
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade

    The East African Community Council of Ministers has agreed on the principle of invoking sanctions against member states that are not doing enough to eliminate non-tariff barriers. Regular assessments of partner states will be conducted and sanctions will be slapped on those that fail or refuse to downsize NTBs soon after the Summit gives its greenlight to the proposal. Last week, at the 3rd EAC Investment Conference in Kampala, there was intensive lobbying by the East African Business Council and senior officials from Uganda, Tanzania and Burundi to have the proposal endorsed.“We shall create something like a matrix under which each country’s NTBs will be identified and registered. And after we have carried out other assessments and those NTBs have not been eliminated, action must be taken,” said Aston Kajara, Uganda’s Investment Minister.

    Source The East African


    Link Read more
    Link EAC
    Link East African Business Council


  17. UN Millennium Campaign calls for urgent Reform of EU Agricultural Policy
    2010-05-04
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Rural development, ACP-EU Trade, Aid effectiveness

    At a conference on the impact of the European Union’s (EU) Common Agriculture Policy (CAP) on development, the United Nations Millennium Campaign today called on the EU to urgently reform its agriculture policy, which harms the poor and thwarts global efforts to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). “An unreformed European agriculture policy will continue to hamper the EU’s and other donors’ efforts to eradicate poverty and will perpetuate human suffering,” said Eveline Herfkens, Founder of the UN Millennium Campaign. “It is now time for the EU to deliver on its development promises, reiterated in last week’s MDG Action Plan, and ensure that agricultural policies and subsidies benefit European rural development and the environment in such a way that does not hurt developing countries.”

    Source: endpoverty2015.org


    Link Read more
    Link CAP after 2013
    Link Join the debate about the CAP reform


  18. Climate refugees set to raise legal issues
    2010-05-04
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Environment, Archive

    Intensifying climate change is going to lead to more people being displaced in the poorest areas of the world, requiring new responses to immigration, a group of researchers has warned. A transatlantic study team set up by the German Marshall Fund of the United States (GMF) published the first results of its research into climate-induced migration in Brussels last week (30 April), stressing that climate change is going to create a growing new group of immigrants.The worst impacts will be felt in the poorest parts of the world where people are already vulnerable, they warned. Separating the impact of climate change from other factors driving immigration is difficult, the researchers said. They identified drought and desertification, rising sea levels, competition for natural resources and intensifying acute natural disasters such as cyclones as main climate scenarios likely to affect immigration in future. "Our projection is that the most migration […] is likely to be internal movements, not international [ones]," said Susan Martin, director of the Institute for the Study of International Migration at Georgetown University and a leader of the GMF team. But she stressed that although most movement will be south to south, this does not mean the Western world can ignore the problem as the increased flow of people will create conflict and require humanitarian aid. While drought and sea-level change are likely to lead to gradual migration, it will look much like economic migration except that the affected population will have no home to return to. Rich countries are not equipped to deal with the new wave of immigration, the researchers said, pointing to major gaps in both international and national law covering international immigration."We tend to process people in boxes," Martin argued, stressing that climate migrants resist conventional definitions. She added that the temporary solutions and statuses often offered to such migrants are not enough to deal with protracted situations.The study team called for more attention by industrialised nations to be given to indentifying likely patterns of migration. They argued that migration could form part of adaptation strategies. Where possible, people should be given assistance to stay at home and in other cases, they should be helped to move in a "safe and dignified way". The large diaspora communities in many Western cities should be tapped into for technical advice in designing and funding adaptation strategies, they added.

    Source: Euractiv


    Link Read more
    Link German Marshall Fund
    Link Briefing on Population Growth


  19. Volcano ash crisis highlights impact of trade disruption for ACP countries
    2010-05-03
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade

    Over the last week, the Icelandic volcano ash cloud crisis caused major disruption in air traffic, not only for passenger transport but also for freight carriers. 19% of EU imports are carried by air. In a globalised economy that relies heavily on 'just-in-time' deliveries, trade disruptions can hamper developing countries' economies and perishable goods are the most affected. In fact, topping the list of the most heavily affected import sectors is cut flowers from ACP (African, Caribbean and Pacific) countries such as Kenya and Ethiopia, and fresh agro-food products from South Africa, all benefiting from preferential access in the EU. The disruption indirectly highlighted the degree of interdependence of markets, for which the EU is committed to negotiating and concluding EPAs that enhance such preferential regimes to promote development.

    Source: European Commission


    Link Read more
    Link 10 millions of roses ruined


  20. 21st Century Aid: Recognizing success and tackling failure
    2010-05-03
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Aid effectiveness

    Aid plays a role in saving millions of lives, and yet despite its achievements poverty continues to cast a shadow over the lives of some 1.4 billion people worldwide. This has opened up questions over the effectiveness of aid and lately, unleashed a barrage of criticism, with critics using individual examples of failed aid to argue that all aid is bad and should be reduced or phased out altogether. This is both incorrect and irresponsible. Aid that does not work to alleviate poverty and inequality – aid that is driven by geopolitical interests, which is too often squandered on expensive consultants or which spawns parallel government structures accountable to donors and not citizens – is unlikely to succeed. This report examines the evidence, and finds that while there is much room for improvement, good quality 21st century aid not only saves lives, but is indispensable in unlocking poor countries’ and people’s ability to work their own way out of poverty. Aid alone – even 21st century aid – is not enough to ensure that all people living in poverty can lead full and decent lives. But together with the right systemic reforms, aid can and will extricate millions of people from poverty and deprivation.

    Source: Oxfam


    Link Read more
    Link The Oxfam report
    Link EuropeAid


  21. Transgenic corn variety is acceptable, says French biotech council
    2010-05-03
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Food Security

    The French government’s biotech advisory council, Haut Conseil des Biotechnologies (HCB), published a report last Friday on the Bt11 variety of transgenic corn marketed by Swiss producer, Syngenta. HCB’s scientific advisory committee considered that “cultivation of Bt11 corn was acceptable”. The report addresses only the cultivation of this cereal variety, which is already authorized for animal feed. The committee noted, however, that cultivation should be accompanied by specific measures such as setting up refuge areas or regulating the coexistence of genetically modified (GM) and non-GM corn.

    Source: Euractiv


    Link Read more
    Link The Report
    Link The Proposition of the EC



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Isolina BOTO
CTA
39 rue Montoyer
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Tel 02 513 74 36
Fax 02 511 38 68
http://www.cta.int/
http://bruxelles.cta.int/

NOTE
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Copyright © 2009 Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation ACP-EU. Email:cta@cta.int
The opinions expressed in the comments and analysis are those of the authors, and do not necessarily reflect the views of CTA.

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