The LDC Group and the Africa Group have succeeded to block the entry into force process of the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) which was agreed in Bali in December 2013 at the 9th WTO Ministerial Conference! This is a first good step forward and we need to keep the momentum going as negotiations proceed further.

The TFA undoubtedly is in favour of the developed countries and it was one of their major victories in Bali as a binding agreement. Now, they are hurriedly working towards its entry into force. And, we still want to control the damage of the TFA by linking the entry into force of the TFA to the conclusion of the Doha Round “single undertaking” (nothing is agreed until everything is agreed) mandate in order to ensure the “development” agenda of the Doha Round such as the issues of agriculture, implementation, special & differential treatment and our own LDC package which have been side-lined until now by the developed countries. If we allow the TFA to be enforced then this will set a precedent for other agenda of the developed countries which as you know will be against our interests like the TFA.

We as LDC Watch in alliance with network partner, Our World Is Not For Sale, mobilised ourselves in strategic countries - Uganda (current chair of LDC Group), Nepal (outgoing chair of LDC Group), Lesotho (current chair of Africa Group as well as member of LDC Group) - ahead of the recent Preparatory Committee on TFA meeting which took place on 26-28 May in Geneva. The meeting's key agenda was the issue of 'single undertaking' with participation of senior officials from the capitals.

We lobbied our governments both at home in the capitals as well as in Geneva with official correspondence and meetings. Please read the attachments (at the end of this news) to see the letter sent to the Ugandan minister by our member SEATINI; the letter sent to the concerned official in Lesotho by our member PARIL, the letters to the minister and concerned official in Nepal and news coverage on the state of play by the Inside U.S. Trade.