The starting point for the Aid-for-Trade initiative was the recognition that the reduction of trade barriers alone was not sufficient to place developing countries on the path to sustainable growth. The purpose of the initiative was to increase resources for trade capacity-building in developing countries, in order to help them benefit from trade expansion. The World Trade Organization had a mandate to monitor and evaluate Aid for Trade. The involvement of the system was now required for the implementation phase. The question was how CEB could help developing countries identify priorities, mainstream trade in their national strategies and work with colleagues to develop regional approaches, which were key factors in ensuring success.
There was a wide expression of support for the process, as there was for creating a CEB cluster dealing with trade and productive capacity to help CEB make a useful and coherent contribution to the process. The Secretary-General indicated that the proposed creation of such a cluster would receive priority attention in the context of the review of CEB.
Broad support was expressed for the establishment, under CEB, of thematic clusters of interested organizations, as a means to ensure that country-level actions of the system were guided by coherent policy frameworks, and that the comparative advantages of the agencies directly engaged in the relevant thematic areas were fully tapped.
Suggestions were made for the establishment of clusters on climate change and disaster prevention. It was agreed that these proposals would be further pursued by CEB in the context of CEB discussions on the functioning of the Board.