Doha and Development

Courtesy Reuters


The attacks of September 11, 2001, refocused international attention on the problem of global poverty. In the United States, the Bush administration pledged a 50 percent increase in development assistance and launched the Millennium Challenge Account. Internationally, debt relief for heavily indebted poor countries was extended to include money owed to multilateral agencies such as the International Monetary Fund (IMF), and at the 2005 summit of the G-8 group of industrialized nations in Gleneagles, Scotland, members pledged to increase official development assistance by $50 billion per year by 2010.

The Doha Round of trade talks, launched shortly after September 11, was christened the "development round" in part because of the perception that the need for development was more urgent than ever. This urgency has persisted: multilateral trade negotiations should no longer be viewed as business as usual, but as a high-stakes process with important implications for global development.

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