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Past Program

Apr 30 - May 05, 2006

Completing the Doha Round: Bridging the Agricultural Divide

Session 431

Abstract

As the multilateral trade negotiations continue under the WTO's Doha Round, it is clear that among the number of highly sensitive issues inhibiting progress, agriculture is chief among them. This is a politically charged issue for most countries, developed and developing alike. However, for developing countries (DCs), and the net food importing and least developed countries in particular, concerns about food security and poverty reduction ensure agricultural trade policy reform is of critical importance to them.

 

Agriculture reform deserves explicit attention because it is a key to food security for most DCs, both directly and as a tool for economic development, and because this sector is still subject to enormous distortions in both rich and poor countries. Current World Bank estimates indicate that the gains to be had by DCs through liberalization of agricultural trade policy are much more significant than gains from trade reform in other sectors. However, there are very real and serious risks associated with such reform. Food insecure populations in some countries dependent on imported food, and the poorest households dependant on agriculture for their livelihoods in other countries, may be effected negatively and put at even greater risk following trade reform in their own country or abroad.

 

The session will be an opportunity for trade negotiators, policy makers, government officials, intergovernmental representatives, academics, economists, journalists, advocates and activists to more completely understand the issues and diverse interests of the multiple stakeholders that make progress on agricultural trade negotiations so complicated and an opportunity for cross-sectoral collaboration to help achieve greater progress.

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The fee for this session is 3,000 EURO. The fee covers the cost of the program, accommodations, and meals.

Limited financial aid is available and is awarded based on need. Applicants who believe they qualify for assistance should explain their circumstances in a letter, which should be submitted with their application.