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WTO Workshop ESTABLISHMENT OF AN EFFECTIVE TRADE FACILITATION TASK FORCE Terms of Reference and Objective Setting World Trade Organisation (Geneva) Stephen Fevrier Permanent Delegation of the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States to the UNGO
Terms of Reference – Defined Terms of Reference defines the purpose and structure of the National Trade Facilitation Task Force/Working Group/Committee Documents how the scope (of activities) will be defined, developed, and verified Provides a documented basis for making future decisions and for confirming or developing a common understanding of the scope among stakeholders It qualifies success factors/risks and articulates clear and discernable objectives 29 April 2009 2
Terms of Reference – WHY? Creating detailed terms of reference is critical to the success of the Working Group as it identifies and defines; Vision, objectives, scope and deliverables (i.e. what is to be achieved); Stakeholders, roles and responsibilities (i.e. who will take part in it) Resource, financial and quality plans (i.e. how it will be achieved) Work apportionment and schedule (i.e. when it will be achieved) Procedural and institutional arrangements (i.e. quorum and meeting schedules) 29 April 20093
4 Terms of Reference – WHY? The terms of reference set out a road map; Provides a clear path for progression; Identifies key objectives to be accomplished when and by whom; Identifies a suite of deliverables which conform to the requirements, scope and constraints identified; It is the constitution of the National Working Group.
29 April 20095 Terms of Reference - Specimen Purpose and Objectives Two Types – longer term objectives (mission statement and operational/specific objectives) The purpose of the Trade Facilitation Working Group is to provide policy guidance on Trade Facilitation reform and supports the implementation of operational solutions in line with the national development strategy [ies] and international obligations. (very broad or narrow scope depending on the needs – OECS)
29 April 20096 Terms of Reference - Specimen Specific objectives of the Working Group may include the following: to make recommendations on strategic trade facilitation goals and operational solutions (practical benefits beyond V, VIII and X); to strengthen policy coherence between national development priorities and international obligations, and between trade facilitation reform initiatives and technical assistance projects (should link S&DT and TACB to national conditions;
Terms of Reference - Specimen to provide technical backstopping to your national and Geneva based officials in the context of the WTO negotiations (and other negotiations) on trade facilitation; to provide a forum for stakeholder consultation on trade facilitation related policies and implementation (private sector dialogue); to increase public awareness of trade facilitation measures, practices and standards. 29 April 20097
Terms of Reference - Specimen Composition and Authority The working group shall be established by a decision of the Cabinet or operate under ministerial authority or decree; The national working group shall consist of authorized representatives of parties (public and private) concerned with cross border trade; Procedural and institutional arrangements I) The election of the members of the Working Group shall be designated by the working group for a time period, for example one year. 29 April 20098
Terms of Reference - Specimen ii) Coordination of the working group shall function on a rotational basis, with the incoming, outgoing and current lead agency functioning as a troika. The national working group shall function as a coordinating and consultative body; It will have authority to prepare recommendations and advise on domestic, regional and multilateral policy matters related to transport and trade facilitation; Its recommendations shall be made in the form of proposals to the institutions concerned and to Cabinet. (This includes recommendations on the trade facilitation negotiations, implementation of obligations, bi-lateral negotiations on technical assistance.) 29 April 20099
Terms of Reference - Specimen The Chairperson shall have the authority to request contribution and substantial reports from the participating agencies through their authorized representative; The Chairperson, upon the request of the Working Group, shall submit proposals to the appropriate authorities; The Chairperson will prepare [once a year/ twice yearly] a progress report to be submitted to the Cabinet. 29 April 200910
Terms of Reference - Specimen Operating procedures The working group shall meet at regular intervals or at the request of this Chairperson or by any member through a request made to the Chairperson; A technical secretariat shall be set up to provide secretarial functions and assist the Chairperson (This can be formal/informal and can function through a regional secretariat/national agency); A quorum shall be established when [X] members are present. Informal subcommittees can meet on an ad hoc basis without the need to follow the procedural requirements in 3 above. 29 April 200911
Terms of Reference - Specimen Decisions of the working group shall be taken by a simple majority of members present. A work programme will be prepared and implemented by the working group. 29 April 200912
Terms of Reference - Specimen Sub-Regional Coordination From each of the national working groups two members (current and out-going coordinator) will constitute the sub-regional trade facilitation working group which will meet at regular intervals; The basic terms of reference of this sub-regional trade facilitation sub-committee are: To monitor regional progress; To coordinate regional public awareness campaigns; To identify common challenges/constrains; To identify common solutions/regional actions identified to solve existing problems; 29 April 200913
Terms of Reference - Specimen To adapt region-wide trade facilitation standards; To prepare coherent country positions for external trade negotiations. 29 April 200914
Keys to Success Visibility – use the media; Get Political support; Pick low hanging fruit; Appropriate leadership; Resources (depending on scope;) Regular meetings; Establish a data base of national, regional and international contacts (EC – Birgit, Sheri, Jan, Mena etc) Set up and maintain a working communications model to ensure strong linkages with relevant national, regional and international partners, Provide political masters and key partners/sponsors with regular updates 29 April 200915
Keys to Success Be proactive (a champion should lead); Keep a log of actions and outcomes (document and institutionalize with paper); Members of the task forces should be updated on the status of the Negotiations; Good house-keeping of the Working Group (maintain timelines; keep minutes of meetings, consistent reporting etc.) Report upward to political and resource sponsors on activities 29 April, 200916
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