GENEVA — As diplomatic efforts to salvage the derailed Doha round of global trade talks began here this week, poor African cotton-exporting countries, spearheaded by Benin, put the elimination of agricultural subsidies center...
GENEVA — As diplomatic efforts to salvage the derailed Doha round of global trade talks began here this week, poor African cotton-exporting countries, spearheaded by Benin, put the elimination of agricultural subsidies center stage.
“A quick solution is needed urgently,”?Benin’s envoy, Samuel Amehou,?told an informal meeting here of?World Trade Organization ambassadors, trade officials familiar with the meeting said.
Major differences between the U.S. and poor African nations Benin, Burkina Faso, Chad and Mali over cotton was one of the contributing causes to the collapse of the WTO summit in Cancún, Mexico, on Sept. 14.
The talks, which began in Doha, Qatar, in November 2001, face a Jan. 1, 2005 deadline. It is a coincidence that day is the same day WTO nations will drop quotas on textiles and apparel, a move that was agreed to in the earlier Uruguay round of talks.
But top trade envoys indicated Tuesday the future of the Doha round is still precarious.
WTO chief Supachai Panitchpakdi told?envoys he would like the talks to resume by December but conceded, “No one is under any illusion that this will be easy.”
Carlo Trojan, the European Union’s WTO ambassador, told reporters, “We’re still in a period of reflection.”
Last week, David Shark, deputy chief of the U.S. mission to the WTO, told a U.N. Conference on Trade and Development forum here: “We’re prepared to work with others to put things back on track. But this is a shared responsibility of the whole membership of the WTO and it will not work unless we all accept this responsibility.”
Benin and its three African allies?have revived calls for the complete elimination of all cotton export subsidies over a period of three years and the elimination of production-related domestic support over a four-year period starting Jan. 1, 2005.
They?also are asking for compensation for poor cotton farmers until the subsidies are scrapped.
The demands were not included in the final draft Cancún ministerial text.
Meanwhile, Terry Townsend, executive director of the Washington-based International Cotton Advisory Committee told the UNCTAD forum Monday that direct income and price support to the cotton industry in the 2003 crop year ended in July was $3.8 billion, down from $5.8 billion in 2002.The ICAC executive said without this government support, market prices would have been about 70 percent higher in the 2002 crop year and 15 percent higher in 2003.
For sub-Saharan African cotton producers, the losses in income linked to subsidies are estimated at $920 million in the 2002 crop year and $230 million in 2003, Townsend said.
“Azzedine has been one of the biggest influences in my life. He has always been such a strong, loving, fatherly figure to me. I call him Papa. His designs are indescribably unique, they are pieces of art. He knew how to make the female form look its loveliest. I have so many memories of him; my favorite might be during my first show with him in Paris. He liked me and he wanted to help me get more work. He called all his friends at Kenzo and Comme des Garcons, and asked them to book me. They said, ‘But she can’t walk!’ And he said, ‘but she has such a great ass!' His friendship and support has been the great privilege of my career. I can't imagine life without him. Repose en paix mon Papa.” - @stephanieseymour tells @wwd. #wwdfashion (📷: @steveeichner) #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa, flanked by two of his closest friends, models Stephanie Seymour and Naomi Campbell.
He designed Seymour’s dress for her 1995 wedding to Peter Brant, and treated Campbell (who famously called him Papa), like a daughter. For more on the legendary designer, tap the link in bio. #wwdfashion #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa's “I-did-it-my-way” ethos stood out starkly at a time when brands are experimenting with consumer-facing fashion shows, coed formats and trans-seasonal collections – anything to perk up lackluster sales of ready-to-wear in an age of Insta-everything. “It’s not creation anymore. This becomes a purely industrial approach,” the late designer told WWD in an interview last year. “But anyway, the rhythm of collections is so stupid. It’s unsustainable. There are too many collections.” Read more about the iconic designer’s life and work on wwd.com, link in bio. #wwdfashion #azzedinealaia (📷: @WWD Archive, 1986) #alaia
Sneaker reselling app @goat’s latest exhibit, "The Greatest: New York," tells the story of New York's sneaker culture. To celebrate the exhibit, an intimate crowd gathered on Thursday night at the pop-up gallery space, located at Platform in Culver City, to hear guest speaker and illustrator @esymai talk about her own rise in streetwear and women in the business. "For me I'm just someone who is creative. I like to create things," said Chang. #wwdfashion
Azzedine Alaïa, one of the most iconic couturiers of the modern era whose body-con designs defined Eighties fashion, has died in Paris. The diminutive Tunisian-born designer, known for his structured knitted dresses with fitted waists and impeccably cut, figure-hugging second skin silhouettes was deeply admired by his peers, and counted supermodel Naomi Campbell - his adoptive daughter - among his inner circle, one of a gang of glamazons including Farida Khelfa, Carla Bruni and Stephanie Seymour who became ambassadors of his style. (📷: Alexandre Guirkinger) #wwdblast