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Reality of Aid
Aid Off Target: The Reality of Trade-Related Capacity Building

News Advisory

Friday September 12, 2003: Report Launch

Aid Off Target: The Reality of Trade-Related Capacity Building

Trade-Related Capacity Building (TRCB) is off-target if it is to truly make a significant contribution towards reducing poverty in developing countries according to the Reality of Aid Network’s "Reality Check" report to be released in Cancun, Mexico on Friday September 12.

The goal of most donor-sponsored TRCB is aimed at compliance with WTO rules and commitments. Instead, TRCB should strengthen the ability of developing countries to identify and pursue their own trade objectives in the context of broader development plans.

The WTO and donor countries must urgently address the weaknesses of TRCB and re-focus their efforts in order to ensure poverty reduction is placed at the centre of capacity building programs.

"One secret behind the WTO is that aid programs and conditionality, led by the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, have pressured countries to accede to WTO rules and trade liberalization in general," says Antonio Tujan of IBON Foundation Philippines and the chairperson of the management committee of Reality of Aid.

"The global trading system must be judged ultimately by its contribution to the elimination of poverty and the promotion of human rights and sustainable development worldwide," says Gerry Barr, President-CEO of the Canadian Council for International Co-operation (CCIC). "International trade is a means for countries to achieve broader public and social ends, not an end in itself."

The "Reality Check" report will be launched Friday September 12 in the Sierra Hotel (NGO Centre) Room 10c at 2:00 p.m.

Reality of Aid is the only global network of North and South development NGOs monitoring and conducting advocacy on aid issues.

Panelists at the launch are:

  • Antonio Tujan, IBON, Philippines (63-917-814-0633)
  • Michael Bassett, CCIC, Canada (998-116-0262)
  • Chair: Gerry Barr, CCIC, Canada (998-116-0573)

For more information contact:

Katia Gianneschi,
CCIC,
in Cancun (998-116-0506)

Kristen Ostling,
CCIC, in Ottawa
(613-241-7007 extension 301),
kostling@ccic.ca

 

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