WASHINGTON DC (IDN-INPS | Center of Concern) - Due to UNCTAD's decidedly pro-South and uncompromising development-focused mission, its quadrennial conferences have traditionally been North-South showdowns.
Coming a few months after the adoption of the ambitious and universal 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its 17 associated goals, the theme of the XIV Quadrennial Conference of UNCTAD (the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development) was “From Decisions to Actions”.
GENEVA (IDN | SOUTHVIEWS) - “Free trade” seems to be in deep trouble in the United States, with serious implications for the rest of the world. Opposition to free trade or trade agreements emerged as a big theme among the leading American presidential candidates.
Donald Trump attacked cheap imports especially from China and threatened to raise tariffs. Hillary Clinton criticised the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) which she once championed, and Bernie Sanders’ opposition to free trade agreements (FTAs) helped him win in many states before the New York primary.
That trade became such a hot topic in the campaigns reflects a strong anti-free trade sentiment on the ground. Almost six million jobs were lost in the U.S. manufacturing sector from 1999 to 2011.
Wages have remained stagnant while the incomes of the top one per cent of Americans have shot up. Rightly or wrongly, many Americans blame these problems on U.S. trade policy and FTAs.
KABUL - In a brief press conference on January 18, 2016, the Independent Election Commission (IEC) announced the date for Afghanistan’s next vote: October 15, 2016. But the preparations for the elections – for the lower house of parliament and, for the first time, district councils – are complicated by ongoing controversies over the legitimacy of the current IEC, the nature of the electoral reforms that need to precede the elections as well as who will be organising them and under which amended laws.