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NEPAD and AU Last update: 2020-11-27  

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These remarks should provide ample proof of the importance of CAP reform, which is recognised within the EU as a priority in terms of its Agenda 2000 initiative1. However, sustainable agriculture should also be an intrinsic part of the GD’s positioning around reform of trade. As regards NEPAD, the importance of agriculture for Africa is a central feature of the document. It has to be emphasised, though, that the importance of agriculture in Africa has more to do with achieving food security than the ability to export agricultural commodities. Should sound basic production be combined with value-added activities, increased benefits in terms of job creation and export-led growth could be attained via backward and forward economic linkages.

Global trade in agricultural commodities is not as significant as trade in other sectors; however, improvements in trade of even 1--2% would be significant. It is rather at the value-added end -- the production of high-value exports -- that greater returns can be generated under more equitable terms of trade. However, focusing on international trade and market access is obscuring the need for domestic agricultural development and reform, and this is something the GD should encapsulate.

Given the structural distortions CAP has helped to shape over the past 40 years or so, CAP reform and its ramifications should not only be discussed by Europeans but by the international community as a whole. Thus the GD needs to incorporate the issue of CAP reform, but do so more broadly; it could be dealt with under issues of trade, and specifically the issue of subsidies, which is being highlighted in discussions of the agreement on agriculture (AoA) under the WTO. During the Uruguay Round it was generally agreed that AoA reform should specifically examine the issues of market access, domestic support, and export subsidies so as to make policies for global trade in the sector more market-oriented.

Thus the GD is a good start, but can be enriched if it can widen the scope of these discussions beyond Europe. Proponents of the GD are advised to study the NEPAD process, and the discussions ensuing from it. NEPAD has already been presented to the last G-8 meeting in Genoa, as well as the World Economic Forum and others. European leaders are interested in NEPAD, and the WSSD provides role players with a good opportunity to link the GD with NEPAD. As they stand, however, both these documents and processes are incomplete, and need to be intensively discussed and debated by different groupings in our society.

  1. Agenda 2000 is the policy designed to guide the EU through the enlargement process and the beginning of the new Union at the start of the 21st century. It is also meant to advance CAP reform started in 1992.

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