Call-down support to the ACP Group in Geneva for WTO negotiations and links to EU-ACP EPA negotiations

The project was funded by the Trade Advocacy Fund (TAF) with the overall objective of enabling the effective participation of the ACP (African, Caribbean and Pacific) Group and Least Developed Country (LDC)/ Low Income Country (LIC) ACP-member delegations in WTO trade negotiations and ensuring that ACP Group trade negotiation positions are well defined, coordinated and represented across World Trade Organisations and European Union-African Caribbean Pacific, Economic Partnership Agreements (EPA) negotiations.

Over the three years of implementation of the project (2013-2016), Enabling Environments Experts made extensive and in-depth research on Agriculture, Aid for Trade, DDA and non- DDA, Environmental, Fisheries, NAMA, NTBs, Services, Trade Facilitation, TRIPS, Trade in services, market access, TBTs and E-commerce and other topics so as to provide accurate analysis, advice, reviews, updates on of the actual situation of areas under negotiation for the ACP Group of countries at the WTO. The project provided technical support and guidance to the ACP Group when the latter played a pivotal role in building the convergence that allowed the Trade Facilitation (TF) package to go forward for adoption in Bali.  In 2014, the team provided support for the TF legal review and in the design and presentation of the WTO Trade Facilitation Facility idea for establishment by the WTO Director General. The project resulted in enhanced analytical and negotiation skills coupled with an improved understanding of the relevance of issues under negotiation for each member state of the ACP Group for their negotiations at the WTO; improved dialogue between member states pertaining to the Group and clearer common positions on pertinent issues under negotiation; and better synchronisation of commitments under WTO negotiations with those under other trade negotiations. These developments were in line with preserving the development prospects of ACP Group countries and in the enhancement of collaboration between ACP missions in Geneva and Brussels, as well as ACP missions in Geneva and relevant ministries in capitals.

The project included the preparation, organisation of and participation in 2 Retreats for the ACP Group, an international workshop for Geneva and capital-based delegations and 6 brainstorming meetings, including preparatory research, drafting of working documents, technical exposés, translation, logistics and minutes, and organising interpreters. We produced over 250 technical notes, briefing notes, presentation/research papers, etc.

The project was deemed a success and TAF was extremely satisfied with our performance.