Report of the 2nd Meeting/Conference Call of the Roundtable Pre-Working Group
9 January 2008
9 January 2008
Opening of meeting
1. The Executive Director welcomed participants to the conference call of the Round Table Pre-Working Group. He informed them that the aim of the call was to touch base with members of the Pre Working Group before the ICCO Council meeting next week and to update members on developments since the first Pre Working Group meeting.
2. He also informed participants that the subjects for discussion in the Conference Call as communicated through his earlier electronic mail were:
• the report of the first meeting of the pre-working group held on 14 November 2007,
• the report of the Outcome of and Follow-up to the first Round Table meeting (document ICC/SPEC/31/4)
• contacts with Trinidad (enquiries)
• budget and financing for the next Round Table meeting; and
• composition of the Working Group
Report of the first meeting of the Pre-Working Group 14 November 2007
3. While acknowledging that the report was good, members suggested that it should be suitably introduced to the ICCO Council as a follow-up to the Accra Round Table meeting. It was important to stress that the follow-up should be open to enable wider stakeholders' participation in the process.
4. On the indicative list for inviting members to the Working Group, it was suggested that these members could be formally contacted and informed accordingly. This was necessary in addition to the initial contacts with Non-Governmental Organisations and private sector invitees which have already been made, to facilitate preparations for the next meeting.
Enquiries with Trinidad and Tobago for the Second Round Table Meeting
5. The Executive Director reported that his contacts with Ms. Jacqueline Rawlins, Chairman of the Coffee and Cocoa Board cum Chief Executive of the Agricultural Development Bank of Trinidad and Tobago had been very positive. Ms. Rawlins would liaise further with the Ministry of Agriculture and she has in the meantime arranged for a Coffee and Cocoa Board member to attend the coming ICCO Council meeting in London. Also expected to attend was the Director of Cocoa Research Unit of the Board. Both will be available for further discussions on logistics for the proposed meeting. In addition, the Deputy High Commissioner of Trinidad and Tobago in London will also be available next week for discussions.
6. With regard to flight connections to Trinidad and Tobago, there are direct flights to Port of Spain from London three times a week by British Airways. Delta Airlines flies from New York and Caribbean Airlines flies from Miami to Port of Spain. Virgin Atlantic flies from London to Tobago and Martin Air from Amsterdam to Tobago. The most recent information is that Condor flies from Frankfurt to Trinidad (three times per week). Hence flights are adequate to serve participants.
7. With regard to the issue of financing farmers' representatives to attend the meeting in Trinidad and to ensure wider participation of Non-Governmental Organisations particularly from West Africa, it was suggested that a preparatory process be considered and put in place. This point was duly noted.
Budget for the Second Round Table Meeting
8. The Executive Director mentioned briefly the categories contained in the preliminary budget for the Second Round Table meeting, which he had shared with Mr. Marcel Vernooij and Mr. Tony Lass. Amongst others these included sponsoring the participation of representatives from farmers, Non-Government and civil society, documentation, finance and reports by the Secretariat, translation facilities and manpower support for the preparatory process. After consultations and a mandate from the ICCO Council meeting next week, the draft budget will be presented to the Pre Working Group for feedback. Financing will be sought from three countries, the Netherlands, Germany and Switzerland. Others, including the private sector and Non-Governmental Organisations will also be considered. The host country will also be approached for some commitments in cash and kind along the line of the first Round Table meeting.
Composition of the Round Table Working Group
9. It was noted that the suggested size and composition of the Working Group reflected the diversity in the representation needed for an open and participatory process. It was suggested that a Chairman and a Co-Chairman from the North and South be considered for balance.
10. On the need for contributions in terms of technical inputs required for the process, it was felt that the first meeting of the Working Group would discuss this and allow the group dynamics to decide on its own with regard to the issues of composition, the chairman and the process. The question of forming task forces to discuss specific issues, the next steps with regard to guiding principles and background preparatory documents could then be discussed in the coming first meeting. It is expected that the outcome of the Accra Agenda would be the guiding main document for this process.
11. The Executive Director indicated that in the ICCO Council meeting next week he will seek the Council's agreement to the need and importance to have an independent group to conduct the preparatory process for the next Round Table, with Secretarial support from the ICCO. Once this had been agreed upon, he would communicate to the Pre Working Group, adding the draft budget for the next Round Table meeting. Possible dates for the first meeting of the Working Group are between the 4th to the 10th of February 2008. The envisaged members of the Working Group would be approached immediately after the ICCO Council had agreed to the proposed arrangements
Any Other Business and Conclusion of Conference Call
15. As there was no other business, the Executive Director thanked all participants for their contributions to the conference and adjourned the conference call at 11.00 a.m.