Survival of developing countries depends on market access - UN envoy

Survival of developing countries depends on market access - UN envoy

The United Nations envoy for the world's poorest countries capped a three-day visit to Senegal with an address today to commerce ministers, urging them to send the international community a "clear and strong" message that the very survival of developing countries depends on their access to world markets.

Speaking at the opening of the Third Least Developed Countries (LDC) Trade Ministers Conference in Dakar, Anwarul K. Chowdhury said the specific geographic and economic concerns of poor countries must to be taken into account when setting up global trade rules. At the same time, he stressed, developing countries needed to improve on their good governance records, particularly in the area of economic management.

Mr. Chowdhury, the UN's High Representative for the Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States, hailed Senegal's commitment to national as well as sub-regional development. He also underscored the importance the outcome of the Conference would be to restarting negotiations following the collapse last September in Cancun, Mexico, of the World Trade Organization's (WTO) latest round of talks.

The meeting is set to approve the "Dakar Declaration," which Mr. Chowdhury hoped would lay out a joint strategy to revive post-Cancun negotiations on market access and cotton subsidies, especially for least developed and African countries.

Ahead of the ministerial meeting today, Mr. Chowdhury met with Senegalese President Abdoulaye Wade, as well as with Prime Minster Macky Sall. Along with discussion on the post-Cancun negotiations process, their talks focused on the New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD), agricultural subsidies in developing countries and capacities to absorb public development aid.