Demand for immediate execution of Livingstone Declaration on LDCs | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, February 24, 2008 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, February 24, 2008

Demand for immediate execution of Livingstone Declaration on LDCs

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A demand for Bangladeshi RMG products' duty-free access to the US market and immediate execution of the Livingstone Declaration on LDCs (least developed countries) was raised yesterday.
At a press conference in Dhaka, the Make Trade Fair Alliance, an advocacy network that works for the cause of garment workers, also suggested a unity among LDCs for gaining preferential treatment for their products.
The Alliance organised the meeting on the eve of the LDC trade ministers' meet in Lesotho to place the civil society's recommendations before journalists.
“Bangladesh needs to take strong initiatives to get a duty-free facility for its RMG products to US market and raise a collective voice from LDCs in the Lesotho meet,” said AKM Masud Ali, a member of the Make Trade Fair Alliance.
“LDCs should raise a common voice for impartial tariff structure in the US to encourage exports from poor countries,” he added.
In his keynote paper Masud observed that the recommendations of Livingstone Declaration, which asked for a zero tariff facility for LDCs' products and flexibility in intellectual property rights, are yet to be implemented.
The provisions of flexible intellectual property rights that were incorporated in the Livingstone Declaration are very necessary for protecting the interest of the Bangladesh pharmaceutical industry, Masud pointed out.
Livingstone Declaration was adopted at the Fourth LDC Trade Ministers' Meeting at Livingstone, Zambia in June 2005.
The Alliance also raised the issue of New Partnership for Development Act 2007 (NPDA) that was tabled in US Congress in October last year. The NPDA will allow duty-free exports from LDCs to the US.
Abdullah Al Mamun, director of Karmojeebi Naree, an NGO working for protecting labour rights, said the least developed countries should unite against the WTO pressure to withdraw subsidy on agriculture sector.
Bayezid Doulla, director of Proshika, a local NGO, and Khalid Hossain, director of Oxfam, an international NGO, were also present.
Make Trade Fair Alliance allies with Oxfam, CPD, Action Aid, Brac, Labour Security Forum, Karmojibi Nari, INCIDIN Bangladesh, BELA, Proshika, Fulki, SST, Garments Oikyo Parishad and Telecine Subtext and forms a secondary level linkage with BGMEA. Shandha Pradeep in Rajshahi, Rupantar in Khulna and BITA (Bangladesh Institute of Theatre Association) in Chittagong.

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