HC Deb 15 May 2002 vol 385 cc689-90W
20. Mr. Luff

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what assistance her Department is giving to help developing nations negotiate effectively in international organisations; and if she will make a statement. [54757]

Clare Short

In our second White Paper on international development, Eliminating World Poverty: Making Globalisation Work for the Poor (2000), we made a commitment to work towards a stronger and more effective voice for developing countries in the policy and regulatory mechanisms of the international financial system. To this end we are providing capacity-building support in diverse ways, bilaterally and in collaboration with other donors, to small states and least developed countries in order to strengthen their negotiating capacity.

In addition to many capacity building projects in-country, we are collaborating with other donors to provide support at key institutions. Examples of this include support to:

the multi-donor Debt Capacity Building Programme, which assists countries negotiate HIPC relief with the International Financial Institutions and the Paris Club;the Agency for International Trade Information and Co-operation, which helps countries with little or no representation at the WTO in Geneva;the independent, Geneva-based, Advisory Centre on WTO Law which helps countries take a case through dispute settlement at the WTO;a Trade Related Intellectual Property Rights and Development Capacity Building Project with the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) and ICTSD (International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development), which aims to improve the ability of country partners to participate effectively in negotiations on intellectual property rights; andthe Caribbean Community's (CARICOM) Regional Negotiating Machinery (RNM) to strengthen the region's capacity in trade negotiations with the European Union on the Cotonou Agreement, the World Trade Organisation (WTO), and the Free Trade Area of the Americas.