The ACP MTS Programme began operations in March 2009 and ceased in March 2014. It was a successor to the all-ACP capacity-building programme for the WTO that ran from 2002 to 2006. Unlike its predecessor, the ACP MTS Programme had two components: the Multilateral Trading System component and the Enhanced Integrated Framework component. The MTS component focused on the following five broad areas:
- Effective participation by the ACP Group of States in the multilateral trade negotiations
- Support for the implementation of multilateral trade agreements
- Support for the accession of ACP candidate countries to join the WTO
- Use of the WTO legal framework
- Development of a pool of experts in the ACP regions
The EU contribution to the Enhanced Integrated Framework (EIF) also emanated from the Programme. The EIF activities were primed to support LDCs in the following areas:
- Mainstreaming of trade into LDCs national development plans
- Coordination of TRTA delivery in response to the needs identified by the LDCs
- Development of the LDCs capacity to trade mainly through capacity building and addressing supply side constraints.
Although the two components stemmed from the same Financing Agreement, the Enhanced Integrated Framework (EIF) Executive Secretariat, based at the WTO Secretariat, managed the EIF component. Hence, the ACP MTS Programme exercised neither direct control on, nor inputs into, EIF-managed programmes aimed at assisting ACP LDCs.
The Programme’s work was executed by a four-man staff complement, headed by a Programme Director. During the first three years of the Programme’s operations, the Programme Director duties were discharged Amb. Nelson Ndirangu (Kenya). He was succeeded in June 2013 by Junior Lodge (Jamaica). Other Programme staff members were Catherine Deladrière - Financial and Administrative Expert; Antoine Oger - Junior Expert; and Pierre-Julien Bosser-Lamy - Project Assistant.
During its near five-year duration, the ACP MTS Programme provided assistance at the national, regional and all-ACP levels in a manner consistent with the mandate enumerated in the Programme’s Terms of Reference. It supported 90 activities that spread across the ACP regions, with the majority designed for, and implemented at, the all-ACP and regional levels.
In terms of the validation process, requests were made by a variety of ACP stakeholders – Member Sates, regional organisations, ACP Secretariat and NSAs. All requests were processed by the PMU specifically by transforming them into two validating documents – terms of reference and a budget. These two documents were considered by the ACP Secretariat and EC and only approved when both partners agreed. For services in excess of €20,000, the EDF tender procedures were applied and for sums in below that threshold, direct agreements were used. In its five-year operations, the PMU administered 94 service contracts, of which 37 were tenders and 57 direct agreements.
The Programme was financed under the 9th EDF and benefitted from an initial allocation of EUR 16,000,000.00. Of this sum, EUR 6,000,000.00was earmarked as a contribution to the EIF. The MTS component was allocated the remaining EUR 10,000,000.00, which was initially allocated as follows:
- Negotiations 3.500.000 €
- Compliance 2.300.000 €
- Dispute Settlement (Legal Framework) 1.000.000 €
- Accession 1.200.000 €
To see the sectoral and geographical distribution of the projects implemented as well as the Financial and Management Activities of the ACP MTS by Programme Estimates, please refer to the pdf document below.