1. Give an oral summary of the information on WTO:
World Trade Organization (WTO)
The WTOs overriding objective is to help trade flow smoothly, freely, fairly and predictably. It does this by:
·Administering trade agreements
·Acting as a forum for trade negotiations
·Settling trade disputes
·Reviewing national trade policies
·Assisting developing countries in trade policy issues, through technical assistance and training programmes
·Cooperating with other international organizations
The WTO has more than 130 members, accounting for over 90% of world trade. Over 30 others are negotiating membership.
Decisions are made by the entire membership. This is typically by consensus. A majority vote is also possible but it has never been used in the WTO, and was extremely rare under the WTOs predecessor, GATT. The WTOs agreements have been ratified in all members parliaments.
The WTOs top level decision-making body is the Ministerial Conference which meets at least once every two years.
Below this is the General Council (normally
ambassadors and heads of delegation in
At the next level, the Goods Council, Services Council and Intellectual Property (TRIPS) Council report to the General Council.
Numerous specialized committees, working groups and working parties deal with the individual agreements and other areas such as the environment, development, membership applications and regional trade agreements.
The first Ministerial Conference in
At the second Ministerial Conference in
How can you ensure that trade is as fair as possible, and as free as is practical? By negotiating rules and abiding by them. The WTOs rules the agreements are the result of negotiations between the members. The current set were the outcome of the 198694 Uruguay Round negotiations which included a major revision of the original General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT).
GATT is now the WTOs principal rule-book for trade in goods. The Uruguay Round also created new rules for dealing with trade in services, relevant aspects of intellectual property, dispute settlement, and trade policy reviews. The complete set runs to some 30,000 pages consisting of about 60 agreements and separate commitments (called schedules), made by individual members in specific areas such as lower customs duty rates and services market-opening.
Through these agreements, WTO members operate a non-discriminatory trading system that spells out their rights and their obligations. Each country receives guarantees that its exports will be treated fairly and consistently in other countries markets. Each promises to do the same for imports into its own market. The system also gives developing countries some flexibility in implementing their commitments.
The WTOs intellectual property agreement amounts to rules for trade and investment in ideas and creativity.
The rules state how copyrights, trademarks, geographical names used to identify products, industrial designs, integrated circuit layout-designs and undisclosed information such as trade secrets "intellectual property" should be protected when trade is involved.
The WTOs procedure for resolving trade quarrels under the Dispute Settlement Understanding is vital for enforcing the rules and therefore for ensuring that trade flows smoothly. Countries bring disputes to the WTO if they think their rights under the agreements are being infringed. Judgements by specially-appointed independent experts are based on interpretations of the agreements and individual countries commitments.
The system encourages countries to settle their differences through consultation. Failing that, they can follow a carefully mapped out, stage-by-stage procedure that includes the possibility of a ruling by a panel of experts, and the chance to appeal the ruling on legal grounds.
The Food and Agriculture Organization was founded in October 1945 with a mandate to raise levels of nutrition and standards of living, to improve agricultural productivity, and to better the condition of rural populations.
Today, FAO is the largest autonomous agency within the United Nations system with 180 Member Nations plus the EC (Member Organization) and more than 4 300 staff members around the world.
Following recent efforts to decentralize, FAO's staff includes almost 2 300 people at Headquarters and more than 2 000 working at decentralized offices and field projects. The Organization's 1998-1999 biennial budget is set at $650 million and FAO-assisted projects attract more than $300 million per year from donor agencies and governments for investment in agricultural and rural development projects.
Since its inception, FAO has worked to alleviate poverty and hunger by promoting agricultural development, improved nutrition and the pursuit of food security - the access of all people at all times to the food they need for an active and healthy life. The Organization offers direct development assistance, collects, analyses and disseminates information, provides policy and planning advice to governments and acts as an international forum for debate on food and agriculture issues.
FAO is active in land and water development, plant and animal production, forestry, fisheries, economic and social policy, investment, nutrition, food standards and commodities and trade. It also plays a major role in dealing with food and agri cultural emergencies.
A specific priority of the Organization is encouraging sustainable agriculture and rural development, a long-term strategy for the conservation and manage-ment of natural resources. It aims to meet the needs of both present and future generations through programmes that do not degrade the environment and are technically appropriate, economically viable and socially acceptable.
FAO is governed by the Conference of Member Nations, which meets every two years to review the work carried out by the organization and approve a Programme of Work and Budget for the next biennium.
The Conference elects a Council of 49 Member Nations to act as an interim governing body. Members serve three-year, rotating terms. The Conference also elects a Director-General to head the agency. The current Director-General, Jacques Diouf, began a six-year term in January 1994.
In a restructuring proposal approved at a special session of the Council in June, 1994, FAO was divided into eight departments: Administration and Finance, General Affairs and Information, Economic and Social Policy, Technical Cooperation, Agriculture, Fisheries, Forestry and Sustainable Development.
The Organization's work falls into two categories. The Regular Programme covers internal operations, including the maintenance of the highly qualified staff who provide support for field work, advise governments on policy and planning and servi ce a wide range of development needs. It is financed by Member Nations, who contribute according to levels set by the Conference.
The Field Programme implements FAO's development strategies and provides assistance to governments and rural communities. Projects are usually undertaken in cooperation with national governments and other agencies. More than 60 percent of Field Programme finances come from national trust funds and 22 percent is provided by the United Nations Development Programme. FAO contributes about 16 percent - drawn from the Regular Programme budget - through its Technical Cooperation Programme (TCP).
2. Precis the following press release:
FAO Stresses Potential of Biotechnology but Calls for Caution
Biotechnology provides powerful tools for the sustainable development of agriculture, fisheries and forestry and can be of significant help in meeting the food needs of a growing and increasingly urbanized population, the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) said in its first statement on biotechnology, published today. In the case of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs), however, FAO called for "a cautious case-by-case approach to determine the benefits and risks of each individual GMO" and to address the "legitimate concerns for the biosaftey of each product and process prior to its release."
The statement was published on the occasion of the 'Codex Alimentarius Ad Hoc Intergovernmental Task Force on Foods Derived from Biotechnology', meeting in Chiba/Japan (14-17 March). The objectives of the Task Force are to develop standards, guidelines or recommendations, as appropriate, for foods derived from biotechnologies or traits introduced into foods by biotechnological methods.
Together with the World Health Organization, FAO provides the secretariat to the Codex Alimentarius Commission, which is an intergovernmental body with 165 member countries. It protects the health of consumers, ensures fair practices in food trade and promotes the coordination of food standards.
FAO recognized that genetic engineering has the potential to help increase production and productivity in agriculture, forestry and fisheries. It could lead to higher yields on marginal lands in countries that today cannot grow enough food to feed their people, the agency said.
FAO also pointed out that "there are already examples where genetic engineering is helping to reduce the transmission of human and animal diseases through new vaccines. Rice has been genetically engineered to contain pro-vitamin A (beta carotene) and iron, which could improve the health of many low-income communities."
Other biotechnological methods have led to organisms that improve food quality and consistency, or that clean up oil spills and heavy metals in fragile ecosystems.
Tissue culture has produced plants that are increasing crop yields by providing farmers with healthier planting material. Marker-assisted selection and DNA fingerprinting allow a faster and much more targeted development of improved genotypes for all living species. They also provide new research methods which can assist in the conservation and characterization of biodiversity.
However, FAO said, it is aware of the concern about the potential risks posed by certain aspects of biotechnology that could have effects on human and animal health and the environment. "Caution must be exercised in order to reduce the risks of transferring toxins from one life form to another, of creating new toxins or of transferring allergenic compounds from one species to another, which could result in unexpected allergic reactions. Risks to the environment include the possibility of outcrossing, which could lead, for example, to the development of more aggressive weeds or wild relatives with increased resistance to diseases or environmental stresses, upsetting the ecosystem balance. Biodiversity may also be lost, as a result of the displacement of traditional cultivars by a small number of genetically modified cultivars, for example."
FAO called for a science-based evaluation that would objectively determine the benefits and risks of each individual GMO. "The possible effects on biodiversity, the environment and food safety need to be evaluated, and the extent to which the benefits of the product or process outweigh its risks assessed. The evaluation process should also take into consideration experience gained by national regulatory authorities in clearing such products. Careful monitoring of the post-release effects of these products and processes is also essential to ensure their continued safety to human beings, animals and the environment."
Investment in biotechnological research tends to be concentrated in the private sector and oriented towards agriculture in higher-income countries where there is purchasing power for its products, FAO said. "In view of the potential contribution of biotechnologies for increasing food supply and overcoming food insecurity and vulnerability, efforts should be made to ensure that developing countries, in general, and resource-poor farmers, in particular, benefit more from biotechnological research, while continuing to have access to a diversity of sources of genetic material. FAO proposes that this need be addressed through increased public funding and dialogue between the public and private sectors."
FAO assists its member countries, particularly developing countries, to reap the benefits derived from the application of biotechnologies through, for example, the network on plant biotechnology for Latin America and the Caribbean (REDBIO), which involves 33 countries. The Organization also assists developing countries to participate more effectively and equitably in international commodities and food trade. FAO provides technical information and assistance, as well as socio-economic and environmental analyses, on major global issues related to new technological developments.
The FAO Commission on Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture, a permanent intergovernmental forum, is developing a Code of Conduct on Biotechnology aimed at maximizing the benefits of modern biotechnologies and minimizing the risks. The Code will be based on scientific considerations and will take into account the environmental, socio-economic and ethical implications of biotechnology. FAO is also working towards the establishment of an international expert committee on ethics in food and agriculture.
FAO emphasized, however, that the responsibility for formulating policies towards biotechnologies rests with the member governments themselves.
1) What does The World Bank Group consist of?
Founded in 1944, the World Bank today consists of five closely associated institutions:
IBRD The International Bank for Reconstruction & Development The IBRD provides loans and development assistance to middle-income countries and creditworthy poorer countries. Voting power is linked to members' capital subscriptions, which in turn are based on each country's relative economic strength. The IBRD obtains most of its funds through the sale of bonds in international capital markets.
IDA The International Development Association IDA plays a key role in supporting the Bank's poverty reduction mission. IDA assistance is focused on the poorest countries, to which it provides interest-free loans and other services. IDA depends on contributions from its wealthier member countriesincluding some developing countriesfor most of its financial resources.
IFC The International Finance Corporation IFC promotes growth in the developing world by financing private sector investments and providing technical assistance and advice to governments and businesses. In partnership with private investors, IFC provides both loan and equity finance for business ventures in developing countries.
MIGA The Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency MIGA helps encourage foreign investment in developing countries by providing guarantees to foreign investors against loss caused by non-commercial risks. MIGA also provides technical assistance to help countries disseminate information on investment opportunities.
ICSID The International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes
ICSID provides facilities for the settlement by conciliation or arbitration of investment disputes between foreign investors and their host countries.
The World Bank is a development institution whose goal is to reduce poverty by promoting sustainable economic growth in its client countries. Development is a long-term process which ultimately involves the transformation of whole societies. It is about getting economic and financial policies right. But it is also about empowering the people, building the roads, writing the laws, recognizing the women, educating the girls, eliminating the corruption, protecting the environment, inoculating the children - and much, much more. Development is about putting all the component parts in place - balanced economic and social programs.
The challenge is immense, and this means that everyone involved in the development process - governments, institutions such as the Bank, civil society, and the private sector - must work in close partnership to define the needs and implement the programs.
The global fight against poverty is aimed at ensuring that people everywhere in this world have a chance for a better life for themselves and for their children. Over the past generation, more progress has been made in reducing poverty and raising living standards than during any other period in history. In developing countries:
·Life expectancy has increased from 55 to 65years
·Incomes per person have doubled
·The proportion of children attending school has risen from less than half to more than three quarters
·Infant mortality has been reduced by 50 percent
Despite these successes, massive development challenges remain. Of the 4.7 billion people who live in the 100 countries that are World Bank clients:
3 billion live on less than $2 a day and 1.3 billion on less than $1 a day
40,000 die of preventable diseases every day
130 million never have an opportunity to go to school
1.3 billion do not have clean water to drink
All countries have a stake in meeting these challenges. Raising living standards and promoting growth and development in the world's poorer countries also expands trade, jobs, and incomes in the wealthier countries. Equally, an increase in poverty in developing countries can adversely affect wealthier nations as markets and investment opportunities shrink, the environment is damaged, and people migrate in search of work and income. We live in one world - a world linked by communications and trade, by global finance and a shared environment, and most of all by common aspirations for a better life. The fight against global poverty is - without question - a global responsibility.
The World Bank is the world's largest source of development assistance, providing nearly $30 billion in loans annually to its client countries. The Bank uses its financial resources, its highly trained staff, and its extensive knowledge base to individually help each developing country onto a path of stable, sustainable, and equitable growth. The main focus is on helping the poorest people and the poorest countries, but for all its clients the Bank emphasizes the need for:
Investing in people, particularly through basic health and education
Protecting the environment
Supporting and encouraging private business development
Strengthening the ability of the governments to deliver quality services, efficiently and transparently
Promoting reforms to create a stable macroeconomic environment, conducive to investment and long-term planning
Focusing on social development, inclusion, governance, and institution-building as key elements of poverty reduction
The Bank is also helping countries to strengthen and sustain the fundamental conditions they need to attract and retain private investment. With Bank support - both lending and advice - governments are reforming their overall economies and strengthening banking systems. They are investing in human resources, infrastructure, and environmental protection which enhances the attractiveness and productivity of private investment. Through World Bank guarantees, MIGA's political risk insurance, and in partnership with IFC's equity investments, investors are minimizing their risks and finding the comfort to invest in developing countries and countries undergoing transition to market-based economies.
The World Bank raises money for its development programs by tapping the world's capital markets, and, in the case of the IDA, through contributions from wealthier member governments.
International Bank for Reconstruction and Development, which accounts for about three-fourths of the Bank's annual lending, raises almost all its money in financial markets. One of the world's most prudent and conservatively managed financial institutions, the IBRD sells AAA-rated bonds and other debt securities to pension funds, insurance companies, corporations, other banks, and individuals around the globe. IBRD charges interest to its borrowers at rates which reflect its cost of borrowing. Loans must be repaid in 15 to 20 years; there is a three to five-year grace period before repayment of principal begins.
Less than 5 percent of the IBRD's funds are paid in by countries when they join the Bank. Member governments purchase shares, the number of which is based on their relative economic strength, but pay in only a small portion of the value of those shares. The unpaid balance is "on-call" should the Bank suffer losses so grave that it can no longer pay its creditors - something that has never happened. This guarantee capital can only be used to pay bond holders, not to cover administrative costs or to make loans. The IBRD's rules require that loans outstanding and disbursed may not exceed the combined total of capital and reserves. There has never been a default on a World Bank loan.
International Development Association was established in 1960 to provide concessional assistance to countries that are too poor to borrow at commercial rates. IDA helps to promote growth and reduce poverty in the same ways as does the IBRD but using interest-free loans (which are known as IDA "credits"), technical assistance, and policy advice. IDA credits account for about one-fourth of all Bank lending. Borrowers pay a fee of less than 1 percent of the loan to cover administrative costs. Repayment is required in 35 or 40 years with a 10-year grace period.
Nearly 40 countries contribute to IDA's funding, which is replenished every three years. Donor nations include not only industrial member countries such as France, Germany, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States, but also developing countries such as Argentina, Botswana, Brazil, Hungary, Korea, Russia, and Turkey, some of which were once IDA-borrowers themselves.
IDA's funding is managed in the same prudent, conservative, and cautious way as is the IBRD's. Like the IBRD, there has never been a default on an IDA credit.
2. Speak on World Bank programmes using the followig plan:
·Investing in People;
·Stimulating Private Sector Growth;
·Promoting Economic Reform;
·Assisting Countries Affected by Conflict;
Through its loans, policy advice and technical assistance, the World Bank supports a broad range of programs aimed at reducing poverty and improving living standards in the developing world. Effective poverty reduction strategies and poverty-focused lending are central to achieving these objectives. Bank programs give high priority to sustainable, social and human development and strengthened economic management, with a growing emphasis on inclusion, governance and institution-building.
No country will grow economically and reduce poverty while its people cannot read or write, or while its people struggle with malnourishment and sickness. As we enter the new millennium, hundreds of millions of people lack the minimally acceptable levels of education, health, and nutrition that so many in the industrialized world take for granted. This is not just a moral issue, it is a global economic travesty and a major impediment to the reduction of poverty.
Accordingly, the Bank targets much of its assistance where the impact is greatest - on basic social services such as reproductive and maternal health care, nutrition, early childhood development programs, primary education, and programs that target the rural poor and women. As the single largest investor in social sectors, the Bank has provided loans totaling over $40 billion for more than 500 projects for human development in 100 countries.
The Bank also helps client governments restructure social security and pension systems and establish social safety nets to protect those most at risk from being hurt by the effects of economic restructuring. In addition to lending money, the Bank provides technical assistance and policy advice through services such as in-depth country assessments of poverty, country assistance strategies, and public expenditure reviews, so governments can set sound, long-term strategies for pursuing economic growth.
Poverty reduction is intrinsically linked to environmental and social sustainability. Sustainability means a number of things, but first and foremost it means that resources, including human resources, are enhanced or protected rather than damaged or depleted as part of the development process. Developing countries are, in most instances, much more vulnerable to environmental degradation than industrial countries. Problems such as air and water pollution, climate change, loss of biological diversity, desertification, and deforestation are threatening their ability to meet the basic human needs of their people: adequate food, clean water, safe shelter, and a healthy environment.
The Bank goes to great lengths to ensure that its projects do not harm the natural environment. All projects are screened to determine whether they pose environmental risks. Environmental assessments are undertaken on projects that may be harmful and the Bank includes special measures in such projects to avoid environmental damage. Environmental concerns have been mainstreamed into all Bank activities, because experience has shown that it is more cost effective to prevent environmental damage than to clean it up later.
To enhance these efforts, the Bank works in partnership with other development agencies, NGOs, and community groups to gain the benefit of their knowledge and experience. The Bank works with IUCN, the Nature Conservancy, the World Wildlife Fund, the Worldwide Fund for Nature, and many other organizations to help facilitate programs to protect rivers, forests, and coastal areas. The Bank is also one of the implementing agencies of the Global Environment Facility, the organization which is playing a key role in addressing global environmental priorities such as: biodiversity, climate change, ozone depletion, and pollution of international waters.
The private sector is the engine of long-term growth. A stable and open business climate with access to credit and sound financial systems is essential for private entrepreneurs to emerge, for business to flourish, and for local people and investors from abroad to find the confidence to invest, and create wealth, income, and jobs. The World Bank is helping client governments throughout the developing world create the necessary conditions for the revival and expansion of private sector investment. These include:
·Putting in place the basic laws, regulations, and local institutions that private investors need to ensure clear enforcement of contractural obligations
·Building the physical infrastructure (such as transportation, water, energy, telecommunications, etc.) and developing the critical technological and information base necessary for countries to compete in the global marketplace
·Developing local capital markets and banking systems.
In addition to its loans and technical assistance, the World Bank also offers guarantees to encourage private investment; these guarantees are designed to mitigate investment risks, especially for long-term debt financing. They are particularly important for encouraging private financing of infrastructure - where more than $250 billion a year in investment is needed to meet World Bank client country needs for the next decade. These guarantees are intended to supplement reform programs and complement the risk mitigation benefits offered to the private sector by IFC and MIGA.
Since its inception, the Bank's private sector affiliate, the International Finance Corporation (IFC), has supported some 2,000 companies in 129 countries through more than $21 billion in financing from its own account and $15 billion arranged through syndications and underwriting. The IFC also helps countries establish capital markets and provides advisory services for privatization of state-owned enterprises.
MIGA's political risk guarantees also support private sector growth by giving investors confidence to invest in endeavors that might otherwise look too risky . The agency has insured investments worth almost $5 billion a year in more than 24 client countries. MIGA also serves investors and client countries by providing information about investment opportunities in those countries.
As economic distortions exacerbate poverty, the Bank helps its client governments improve their economic and social policies so as to increase efficiency and transparency, promote stability, and bring about equitable economic growth. The Bank provides funding, policy advice and technical assistance in support of reform efforts to cut budget deficits, reduce inflation, liberalize trade and investment, privatize state-owned enterprises, establish sound financial systems, strengthen judicial systems, and ensure property rights. These reforms help attract foreign private capital, generate domestic savings and investment, and enable governments to provide effective social services. However, because reform measures can lead to unemployment as unproductive enterprises are closed, and to increased prices when inefficient government subsidies are cut, reforms can adversely affect poor and vulnerable people in the short term. To address these concerns, Bank support for reform often includes funding for safety net programs to help protect the poor or to keep vulnerable people from slipping into poverty.
High levels of debt - owed mostly to governments in developed countries - have been increasingly recognized as a severe constraint on the ability of poor countries to undertake fundamental reforms. To help ensure that economic reform efforts are not put at risk by high debt and debt service burdens, in 1996 the Bank and the International Monetary Fund launched the Highly Indebted Poor Countries Initiative (HIPC). The initiative represents a commitment by the international community, including all creditors, to act together in a coordinated and concerted fashion to reduce the debt of very poor countries to sustainable levels. To qualify for HIPC debt relief a country must be eligible for IDA credits, face an unsustainable debt burden, and demonstrate a commitment to economic reform. Debt relief granted under the initiative is based on a country's ability to service its debt in a context of economic growth and poverty reduction. Thus far some ten countries have qualified for debt relief of approximately $8.5 billion.
For governments to be effective, they must have the trust and confidence of the people they serve. Corruption has a devastating economic and social impact. It undermines trust in government and diminishes the effectiveness of public policy. It impedes investor confidence and has a negative impact on foreign investment. Corruption also reduces the effectiveness of aid and threatens both political and grassroots support for donor assistance.
While citizens and governments must themselves lead the fight against corruption, the Bank has been assisting a number of countries with their anti-corruption efforts. The Bank has conducted surveys to diagnose the extent and character of corruption in a given country. It has also organized workshops, courses and training for government officials and members of civil society. But most far-reaching, perhaps, are the efforts the Bank is making to help countries identify and implement the policy and institutional reforms which can minimize opportunities for corruption; these reforms include better financial regulation, supervision and disclosure; greater transparency in public sector decision-making; and greater accountability in the private sector through the confirmation of shareholder and creditor rights.
Conflict and violence are among the world's most pressing development problems, affecting many of the world's poorest countries. The Bank's comparative advantage in this area lies in facilitating the transition from dependence on relief to sustainable economic growth, and improving the coordination of post-conflict reconstruction and recovery assistance. The Bank's post-conflict assistance has focused not only on rebuilding infrastructure, but also on programs to promote economic adjustment and recovery, address social sector needs, and build institutional capacity. Projects are also being designed to assist in demining, demobilization and reintegration of ex-soldiers, and reintegration of displaced populations. The Bank is working around the globe - in places as diverse as the Balkans, Burundi, Cambodia, Sierra Leone, and Haiti - and with a wide range of partners to held rebuild economies and bring stability and a better future to the people whose lives have been affected by conflict.
The World Bank's unique partnership with its client governments, and its role in helping them shape their plans and priorities, equip it to play a strong coordinating role in leveraging funds fordevelopment.
IBRD and IDA loans and credits typically cover less than half of the total investment costs of a project. The remainder is provided by client governments themselves or by cofinanciers. In this fashion, the resources that the Bank raises from bondholders and shareholders are multiplied in both scope and effectiveness.
Cofinancing arrangements with other donors are an extremely effective means not only of mobilizing additional resources, but also of facilitating coordination among development agencies. Cofinanciers include other development banks, the European Union, national aid programs, and export credit agencies. Cofinanciers provide an additional $7 to $8 billion, or another one-third beyond the Bank's own funding, for development each year. The Bank chairs consultative group meetings for many of its client countries, at which officials from donor countries meet with chief policymakers from the borrowing country to discuss overall economic priorities and strategies and to pledge support.
3. Learn the following abbreviations. Give their Ukrainian equivalents.
IBA - Investment Bankers Association;
IBEC - International Bank for Economic Cooperation;
IBRD - International Bank for Reconstruction and Development;
IDF - International Development Foundation;
IIB - International Investment Bank;
WB - World Bank for Reconstruction and Development.