WTO: 2010 NEWS ITEMS

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The Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between WTO and UNECA, on cooperation regarding implementation of trade-related technical assistance (TRTA) activities in Africa, was signed at the Headquarters of the UNECA, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, on Tuesday, 9 March. Mr. Abdoulie Janneh, Under Secretary-General and Executive Secretary of the UNECA signed on behalf of UNECA, while Mrs Valentine Rugwabiza, Deputy Director-General (DDG), signed on behalf of the Director-General of the WTO.

Speaking at a brief signing ceremony, Mr. Janneh reiterated that this MOU did not signal the mere start of a relationship between WTO and UNECA, but rather the cementing of a long existing collaborative relationship. He stated that the MOU would put relations between the two on a more defined footing. He emphasized UNECA's commitment to the successful implementation of the MOU.

Speaking in turn, DDG Rugwabiza agreed that this MOU would add more impetus to an already existing relationship between the two organizations. She indicted that as the TRTA field has become enormous, it was necessary to take advantage of the different competences of the two organizations for the benefit of Africa. DDG Rugwabiza also acknowledged UNECA's leadership role on the Aid for Trade initiative in Africa, which has added visibility to TRTA.

DDG Rugwabiza agreed with Mr. Janneh that the challenge for the two organizations is now to implement the MOU for the benefit of African countries. She also indicated WTO's commitment to the implementation of the MOU.

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