The Enhanced IF
The Enhanced IF
At the IF management bodies' meetings at the WTO, in Geneva, on 5 July, IF Agencies and WTO Members adopted the "recommendations" for an enhanced Integrated Framework. Ministers at the Hong Kong Ministerial Conference had welcomed the agreement to improve the implementation of the IF in three specific areas:
- Increased, additional, predictable financial resources to implement Action Matrices;
- Strengthened in-country capacities to manage, implement and monitor the IF process; and
- Enhanced IF governance.
They had also welcomed the establishment of a Task Force on an enhanced IF and instructed it to provide "recommendations" to the IF management bodies on these areas in order to put in place the enhanced IF no later than 31 December, 2006.
While adopting the "recommendations" (Document WT/IFSC/W/15 and Corr. 1), many LDC beneficiaries said that the principle expectation which they hold in relation to the enhanced IF is that it will assist them in building capacity to trade. Increased predictable funding, ownership by the LDCs of the process and efficient implementation on the ground should be guiding principles of the enhanced IF.
IF Agencies and WTO Members also launched the next phase of work and decided on arrangements to quickly put in place a Transition Team and identify a Programme Manager to provide day-to-day support to this Team.
The "recommendations" have been drawn up by the Task Force on an enhanced IF, established last year under the chairmanship of Ambassador Don Stephenson of Canada. They are the fruit of an intensive collaboration between all IF stakeholders: LDCs, donors and the six IF Agencies.
The Integrated Framework is an international initiative through which the IMF, ITC, UNCTAD, UNDP, the World Bank and WTO combine their efforts with those of least-developed countries and donors to respond to the trade development needs of LDCs. The IF was launched in October 1997 at the High -Level Meeting on LDCs, organized by WTO and later revamped to its current structure in 2001. It currently covers more than 40 of the 50 LDCs and is still expanding. The two management bodies of the IF are the IF Working Group and the IF Steering Committee, which both meet at the WTO. The IF Secretariat is housed in the WTO. However, according to the newly adopted recommendations, an independent Executive Secretariat shall be created instead, administratively housed in the WTO, but with its staff reporting to the IF bodies.