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6 December 2002

21st and 22nd WTO regular Trade Policy Courses come to an end

Bringing to a close the 21st and 22nd WTO Regular Trade Policy Courses, a joint Diploma Ceremony chaired by Deputy Director-General Rufus Yerxa was held at the WTO premises in Geneva, on 6 December 2002.

These courses cover all the WTO Agreements and trade-related topics, and also include modules on economic theory and WTO basic legal principles, simulations of multilateral trade negotiations and dispute settlement proceedings, attendance to official WTO meetings and visits to other Geneva-based international organizations.

For the first time, two regular courses of twelve weeks where held in parallel, following the June 2001 objectives provided to the WTO Training Institute of doubling it's training capacity.

On behalf of the Director-General of the WTO Mr. Yerxa commended the participants for their efforts leading to the satisfactory conclusion of the courses. "Knowledge is power, but knowledge is also responsibility" he added, reminding participants of the increased responsibility they now have to take an active role upon returning to their respective countries. On behalf of both courses, the participant from Brazil expressed their recognition to the efforts displayed by the Training Institute and the WTO Secretariat to hold two parallel courses and for providing a coherent, informative programme.

A total of 58 trade officials which took part in the courses were divided in two groups of 29 participants each. representing developing countries, least-developed countries and countries with economies in transition. Participants from all geographical regions benefitted from the programme as follows: 7 from the Caribbean, 1 from Latin America, 9 from economies in transition, 1 from Western Europe, 12 from Africa, 8 from the Middle-East and 20 from Asia and the Pacific.