Intergovernmental cooperation between producers and consumers of raw materials takes the form of international commodity agreements (ICIs) and international study groups (ISGs). The current mandate and objective of UNCTAD`s work in this area is to cooperate with CICS, FAO and CFCs by supporting them at their request and also benefiting from their specific expertise in individual raw materials, both in terms of the provision of information on goods and analysis work. Since most ICAs and ISGs were created as a result of the UN raw materials conferences organized and maintained by UNCTAD, an important part of the work in this area is to convene and organize UN conferences and meetings as part of negotiations, renegotiations or the operation of new agreements. UNCTAD has observer status for all CBIs. The possibilities offered by the goods agreements are rather limited, as the technical and economic characteristics of many products and the nature of trade with them exclude the useful application of international agreements on goods. HARRY G. JOHNSON International Commodity Bodies (ICBs) are independent and autonomous legal entities, with their mandates, procedures and boards of directors as their supreme authority. The provisions of IICA and ISGs are managed by the relevant international commodity organisations. The USTR cites U.S. participation in two trade agreements on raw materials: the International Tropical Woods Agreement and the International Coffee Agreement (ICA).
These two agreements form intergovernmental organizations with boards of directors. An international commodity agreement is a commitment by a group of countries to stabilize trade, deliveries and product prices for participating countries. An agreement usually involves consensus on the quantities traded, prices and inventory management. A number of international commodity agreements serve exclusively as forums for information exchange, analysis and political debate. The International Tropical Woods Agreement (ITTA) is often referred to as a “hybrid agreement” because it combines a traditional trade agreement on raw materials with sustainable tropical forest management objectives. ITTA has established the International Tropical Timber Organization (ITTO), a 59-member intergovernmental organization, which together represents about 80 percent of the world`s tropical forests and 90% of the annual tropical timber trade. ITTO promotes market transparency through the collection, analysis and dissemination of data on the production and trade of tropical timber; supports the development, funding and implementation of projects and other measures to strengthen the sustainable management and exploitation capacity of tropical forests; and facilitates intergovernmental consultation and international cooperation on trade and exploitation of tropical timber and sustainable management of its resource base. The United States has led recent efforts to renegotiate the ICA and the text of the Seventh International Coffee Agreement (ICA 2007) was adopted by the International Coffee Council on 28 September 2007.