Video guest: Josephine Mwangi

November 2017
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EDITO
Tuesday, 21 November 2017
The report and the Reader prepared for the Briefing on “Upgrading to compete in a globalised world: What opportunities and challenges for SMEs in agriculture in ACP countries?” held on 23rd September 2009 give a summary of the subject as well as resources and references available online. All the relevant documents from the speakers, the audio and video material (in English and French) on this subject are online at: http://brusselsbriefings.net.
Friday, 06 November 2009
The African, Caribbean and Pacific Group (ACP) Committee of Ambassadors have expressed concerns to the European Union on the threats of climate change to the ACP countries, and urged the Europeans to help them combat the threats. The ACP Committee of Ambassadors was given the opportunity to raise their concerns to Swedish Ambassador, H.E Mr. Christian Danielsson, and the Director General for Development of the European Commission, Mr. Stefano Manservisi, in a meeting at the ACP House. Sweden holds the presidency of the EU at present. Besides, climate change, both parties also exchanged views on the recently ratified Lisbon Treaty and its effects on the ACP-EU relations and the global financial and economic crisis.
Thursday, 05 November 2009
The video recordings of the 14th Brussels Briefing session "ACP rural development: why media matters?" are now available online.
World leaders could fail to reach a new climate deal at a UN summit in Copenhagen if rich countries refuse to financially help developing nations tackle climate change, government and NGO officials said at a development conference that wrapped up Saturday. With less than 50 days to go before it starts, the Copenhagen summit was a central topic of debate and discussion at the annual EU development conference, held in Stockholm. "We don't think they'll be a deal without the right funding package," said Jeremy Hobbs, executive director of Oxfam International,
Wednesday, 04 November 2009

As the new minister for Africa, Glenys Kinnock faces security and development issues at the heart of UK foreign policy. The announcement by Downing Street that Glenys Kinnock has switched her post as Europe minister to take responsibility within the Foreign Office for Africa means that ministerial overstretch in the FCO will continue. This is extremely worrying at a time when the UK faces severe strategic challenges in its foreign policy. Lady Kinnock will replace Lord Malloch-Brown, former minister for Africa, the UN and Asia (including Afghanistan). A few hours before he left government in late July, he indicated that he expected to be replaced imminently. In fact it has taken almost three months for these changes to occur, and they amount to nothing more than stretching the existing team even more thinly. If it is simply a matter of "housekeeping", why has it taken so long?

Tuesday, 03 November 2009
The U.S. and European Union are likely to eventually meet African cotton producers’ demands to scale back farmer subsidies, World Trade Organization Director General Pascal Lamy said. The U.S. and EU have committed in the Doha round of global trade negotiations to reducing levels of subsidies by 70 percent to 80 percent and to making deeper and faster cuts in programs for cotton, Lamy said. The only missing item is a precise figure, he said. Representatives of poor countries attending a meeting in Dar es Salaam on strategy for the Doha talks called on WTO member nations to allow duty-free and quota-free access for cotton and its byproducts. About 15 million farmers grow cotton in the sub-Sahara region of Africa, the world’s poorest continent, Lamy said. “There will be no conclusion of this round without the U.S. and EU reducing cotton trade-distorting subsidies more ambitiously and more specifically” than their pledges on other products, Lamy said. “That’s already decided. What is not decided is exactly how much.”
Launched in 2008 at the initiative of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Development Co-operation of Belgium, in collaboration with several development co-operations agencies, the SWAC secretariat is co-ordinating collaborative work on “child labour in the West African cocoa sector”. Bringing together key stakeholders (West African governments, interested OECD countries, private sector representatives, West African producer associations, NGOs, etc.) and regional institutions, this imitative aims to build upon existing experiences and best practices and promote a complementary regional approach on combating the worst forms of child labour. 38%, Ghana 21%, Cameroon 5% and Nigeria 5%). Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana are the world’s two largest producers, representing 80% of total West African production. Cocoa is also produced in Togo, Sierra Leone and Liberia albeit in much smaller quantities.
Monday, 02 November 2009
Dr Paul Engel, Director of ECDPM, is our guest. ECDPM is a Center established in 1986 as an independent foundation to promote ACP-EU cooperation, ECDPM facilitates improved international cooperation between the EU and its Southern partners in Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific, based in Maastricht (The Netherlands). On the occasion of his participation in the Brussels Development Briefing on opportunities for SMEs in agriculture in ACP countries, Mr. Engel tells of ECDPM, particularly the role played by the Center on a series of arguments all very current: trade, regional integration, governance and research. Mr. Engel also expressed his views on a very important issue in the current policy agenda: the Policy Coherence for Development.
Friday, 30 October 2009
A draft review of the European Union's budget has shocked contributors such as France as spending priorities are shifted from farm policy to the EU's economic renewal, climate change and energy as well as foreign relations. The European Commission's draft budget review is raising eyebrows in EU circles. The proposal seeks a "root and branch reform" of the 130 billion euro annual budget, which currently devotes 45% of spending to agricultural policies. It proposes redirecting funds to policies which address key challenges such as globalisation and suggests more flexibility in allocating funds, with the current system considered to be too "rigid" and seen as leading to "inertia".
Just a week before the UN Conference on Climate Change in Copenhagen, the 2nd European Organic Congress organized by the IFOAM EU Group will take place in Brussels on December 1 2009. The main topic will be "Organic Food and Farming in times of Climate Change, Biodiversity Loss and Global Food Crisis". According to the "Millennium Ecosystems Assessment", initiated by UN organizations, the World Bank, many civil society organizations and private and public donors,  "a substantial and largely irreversible loss in the diversity of life on Earth" can be observed as a consequence of the "growing demands for food, fresh water, timber, fibre and fuel": a development which will "substantially diminish the benefits that future generations obtain from ecosystems."