The first Advanced Trade Policy Course of 2024 was launched on 29 January in Geneva for English-speaking government officials from developing economies. Participants from 27 WTO members and observer governments, including five least-developed countries (LDCs), are taking part in the eight-week course, which is designed to improve their ability to carry out WTO-related work.
The course aims to develop participants’ capacity to explore the links between WTO rules and the trade policies and interests of WTO members and observer governments. The course also covers trade policy formulation, monitoring and implementation of WTO agreements, WTO negotiations and dispute settlement.
Case studies, interactive modules and trade simulations, as well as visits to other Geneva-based international organizations, will form part of the course. Participants will also have the opportunity to attend meetings of WTO bodies and to network with experts, including from WTO member governments based in Geneva.
Speaking at the opening ceremony, Ireland’s Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the United Nations and other international organizations in Geneva, Noel White, encouraged participants to make the most of their experience in Geneva to gain a better understanding of the complexities of multilateral trade.
“I urge you, while learning about the WTO, its inner workings and mechanisms, to step back and reflect on the bigger picture which is represented through ‘Multilateral Geneva’ with the interconnection between agencies, the themes that run through it, the geopolitical implications and the importance of an effective multilateral system. Take these ideas home with you,” he said.
Stefania Bernabe from the WTO’s Institute for Training and Technical Cooperation highlighted that this course is taking place at a crucial time, with the upcoming 13th WTO Ministerial Conference scheduled to take place from 26 to 29 February in Abu Dhabi.
This “level 3” training course represents the highest level of generalist training provided to government officials under the WTO’s Technical Assistance Progressive Learning Strategy.