New FAO pages on the Uruguay Round "a toolkit for governments"

Not all web pages are just for information or entertainment. FAO has put together a highly functional set of web pages on Agricultural Trade designed to serve two specific purposes:

  • to help governments get to grips with the challenges and opportunities presented by Uruguay Round Agreements affecting agricultural trade; and
  • to prepare countries for the next round of multilateral agricultural trade negotiations, scheduled to begin in 1999.

Bound for international markets: loading cotton onto a truck in Mexico
(
FAO 18602 )

Many developing countries were insufficiently prepared to participate fully during the Uruguay Round negotiations, which resulted in several Agreements related to agricultural trade. Since the Uruguay Round concluded in 1994, FAO has been part of a concerted effort to help countries better understand the implications of these Agreements and take advantage of the opportunities they offer.

Recently, the drive to help them prepare for the next so-called "millenium round" of negotiations has picked up momentum (go to Press Release 98/53).

"These new web pages are a toolkit for governments," said Jim Greenfield, Director of FAO's Commodities and Trade Division (ESC). "Our number one target audience is policy-makers and ministry of agriculture officials."The pages are also aimed at leading opinion-makers - academics and specialized journalists - who can play a vital part in promoting understanding and mobilizing action on the existing body of international agricultural trade law.'

The web pages bring together information and resources from the various FAO departments working on issues related to agricultural trade. They also offer a pilot question and answer service in 12 different areas, aimed at policy-makers.

One section is devoted to FAO's Impact Studies, which assess the effects of the Uruguay Round on agricultural, forest and fishery products and the implications for developing countries. The studies are listed by year and by topic.

A page on FAO Technical Assistance in relation to the Uruguay Round gives information about the range of technical assistance and support services the Organization is providing on issues related to the Uruguay Round and the World Trade Organization (WTO). Upcoming events related to the Uruguay Round are listed and a page on training events is being prepared.

13 October 1998

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