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  • Author: Alex Renton, Robin Palmer
  • Publication Date: 12-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: On 26 December 2004, an earthquake off the Indonesian island of Sumatra triggered a tsunami that hit the coasts of Indonesia, Sri Lanka, India, Thailand, the Maldives, Malaysia, Burma, the Seychelles, and Somalia.
  • Topic: Disaster Relief, Humanitarian Aid, International Cooperation
  • Political Geography: Malaysia, India, Asia, Sri Lanka, Burma, Thailand, Somalia
  • Author: Phoenix Leung Pui Fung
  • Publication Date: 12-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: Cotton is an important crop for some of the poorest areas of China, and millions of cotton farmers depend on it for their livelihoods. Cotton's high economic returns have helped, and continue to help, bring many farmers in the poor western provinces of Gansu and Xinjiang out of poverty. Cotton production is not only essential to the development of China's textile industry; it is also a labour-intensive crop that demands a large workforce in rural areas. It has thus contributed to easing the pressures of rural underdevelopment in China, at a time when the country is faced with seriously high levels of surplus labour and lack of development potential in rural areas.
  • Topic: Globalization, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: United States, China, Asia
  • Author: Duncan Green
  • Publication Date: 12-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: Four years on, the Doha Round looks increasingly unlikely to deliver on its promises to the world's poor. Rich countries have sidelined developmjent concerns and insisted on, among other conditions, the "blood on the floor" rule, i.e. obtaining economically painful concessions from all countries, including poor ones. In agriculture, trade rules look set to remain stacked against developing countries and poor farmers. Talks on industrial tariffs could jeopardise the industries of poor countries. If the rich countries fail to significantly improve their offer at the WTO ministerial meeting in Hong Kong in December 2005, developing countries should not be expected to sign on to a bad deal.
  • Topic: Development, Globalization, International Trade and Finance, World Trade Organization
  • Political Geography: Hong Kong
  • Author: Mary Kirkbride
  • Publication Date: 12-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: Viet Nam is entering its final stages of accession negotiations. Although it is unlikely that it will achieve the goal of joining the World Trade Organisation (WTO) by the time of the Hong Kong Ministerial Conference in December, negotiators want a swift end to the process. Analysis of progress madebetween the two Working Party meetings of April and September 2005 reveals that Working Party members are continuing to demand further concessions from the Vietnamese negotiators. If agreed to, these concessions could have potentially damaging consequences for Viet Nam's ability to safeguard the livelihoods of its poorest people.
  • Topic: Globalization, International Trade and Finance, World Trade Organization
  • Political Geography: Asia, Vietnam
  • Author: Nishant Pandey, Yara Abdul-Hamid
  • Publication Date: 11-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: When the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership (Euro-Med) was announced in Barcelona with a great fanfare in 1995, it was hoped that it would herald a new age in relations between the European Union (EU) and its ten southern Mediterranean partner countries, bringing unprecedented opportunities in the social, economic, and political fields.
  • Topic: International Relations, Health, Human Welfare
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Ha-Joon Chang
  • Publication Date: 11-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: The NAMA negotiations are heading towards a development disaster. If the developed countries have their way and force the developing countries to massively cut (or even altogether eliminate) industrial tariffs on a line-by-line basis in an irreversible manner, the future prospect of industrial development, and therefore economic development, in today's developing countries is truly bleak.
  • Topic: Development, Globalization, International Trade and Finance, World Trade Organization
  • Author: Ben Phillips
  • Publication Date: 11-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: The 8 October 2005 earthquake–Pakistan's biggest ever natural disaster–generated sympathy and support from people around the world. The Government of Pakistan reacted swiftly and with remarkable energy. However, major and immediate challenges remain. Six weeks after the earthquake, the response is not yet being organised in a manner that ensures that peoples' rights and needs are being met, according to international humanitarian principles.Donor countries need to provide their fair share of the resources and help required.The international response needs to be co-ordinated and led through a properly resourced, empowered, and staffed UN presence.The continuing relief and reconstruction effort requires civil authority management and civil society participation, and an early handover, where practical, by the military.All those involved in the response have an obligation to ensure not merely the restoration of bearable poverty, but 'reconstruction plus'– to build back better than before. The accountable management of funds and adherence to proper building standards are key to the reconstruction effort.The international community needs to fulfil its obligations not only in the relief phase but in longer-term reconstruction too, through a package of measures on aid and debt.
  • Topic: Disaster Relief, Humanitarian Aid, International Cooperation
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, Asia
  • Author: Duncan Green, Marita Hutjes
  • Publication Date: 11-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: The WTO's current NAMA (non-agricultural market access) negotiations will not lead to a pro-development outcome. Developed countries are demanding excessive opening to imports which, if agreed, could destroy local businesses and jobs in developing countries without bringing compensating economic gains. Poor-country governments will face balance of payments problems, loss of tax revenue, and downward pressure on workers conditions and rights, and their future industrial development prospects will be undermined.
  • Topic: Development, Globalization, International Trade and Finance, World Trade Organization
  • Author: Liz Stuart
  • Publication Date: 11-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: Green Box subsidies, by definition of the World Trade Organisation (WTO), are not allowed to distort trade. This is why, under the terms of the Agreement on Agriculture (AoA), countries may provide as many Green Box subsidies as they like. ActionAid, CIDSE, and Oxfam believe, as this briefing note will show, that the EU and the USA are using this provision to continue to give support that is manifestly trade-distorting, thereby causing serious damage to farmers in developing countries. At least $40bn of Green Box payments annually are likely to be trade-distorting and therefore break WTO rules.
  • Topic: Development, Globalization, International Trade and Finance, World Trade Organization
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Jennifer Brant
  • Publication Date: 11-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: As the poorest continent on earth, Africa needs debt relief, aid, and trade to help it to alleviate poverty and achieve sustainable development. Unfortunately, unfair trade rules and supply constraints impede Africa's capacity to trade. As a result, it captures a mere one per cent of world trade.
  • Topic: Development, International Trade and Finance, World Trade Organization
  • Political Geography: Africa