Launched in 2016, the WTO Young Professionals Programme is part of the Secretariat's efforts to increase diversity and broaden the representation of the membership. The Programme puts a special focus on WTO members that are not currently represented at the professional level in the WTO Secretariat.

The group includes this year professionals from: Albania, Bahrain, Cuba, Dominica, Fiji, Guyana, Israel, Lesotho, Mali, Mozambique, North Macedonia and Singapore. The 12 participants were selected from more than 1,200 candidates from developing and least-developed countries following a competitive selection process

“This is an important year for the WTO. We are celebrating our 25th birthday. Over this past quarter century, the WTO has helped transform international economic relations,” DG Azevêdo told the young professionals. “Despite considerable achievements however, and as you well know, the WTO is facing many challenges. Reforms are under discussion. Negotiations are underway on issues ranging from fisheries subsidies to, for example, e-commerce, MSMEs and investment facilitation.”

Speaking on behalf of the Young Professionals, Kérshia Cavele of Mozambique said: “We come from all walks of life, professional and academic backgrounds that we hope make us a valuable addition to the functioning of the multilateral trade system which the WTO nurtures. Considering ourselves as full advocates of multilateral cooperation under the spirit of inclusive and sustainable development, we hope to enthusiastically support the WTO Secretariat for the duration of the programme.”

In their own words — what they expect in the coming year

ypp photo“Through the Young Professionals Programme, I expect to gain valuable insights and engage into substantial WTO work that would contribute to my future professional career. We open our mind in order to connect our world; knowledge knows no boundaries when our common interest transcends diversity.” — Panagiotis Barkas (Albania)

ypp photo“The opportunity of working at such a coveted institution as the WTO has been no less than a great dream of mine due to my longstanding interest in international trade and development. Through the programme, I aspire to enhance both my knowledge and skills in the field of international trade — with a particular focus on technical barriers to trade.” — Maryam Aldoseri (Bahrain)

ypp photo“Working at the Institute for Training and Technical Cooperation (ITTC), I hope to strengthen my knowledge of the multilateral trading system and contribute to enhancing the human and institutional capacities of officials in developing and least-developed countries so they can benefit from their active participation in the WTO.” — Armando Peláez (Cuba)

ypp photo“Properly applied, I believe that international trade can positively impact the lives of millions of people across developing and least-developed countries. I hope to spend my time at the WTO increasing my knowledge on trade, development, e-commerce and global value chains in order to contribute to poverty alleviation and economic growth across the developing world.” — Roberta Allport (Dominica)

ypp photo“There hasn't been a more exhilarating time to be part of the WTO. In its 25th year, the WTO is undertaking reforms to expand its dynamism and I get to witness it first-hand. I am absolutely grateful for the opportunity and hope to learn as much as possible from the people I work with to advance not only as a professional, but also achieve personal growth.” — Khushbu Rai (Fiji)

ypp photo“I believe this opportunity will place me in an advantageous position for the future as a diplomat and strategic decision-maker. Additionally, the intense interaction with the WTO’s databases, particularly the environment database, will expand my perspective and enhance my skills for future growth and development.” — Romain Williams (Guyana)

ypp photo“This is an extraordinary opportunity to learn from top-notch professionals, be at the heart of the modern global intellectual property system, and work on areas that interact with it such as trade and public health.” — Bassam Peter Khazin (Israel)

ypp photo“I hope to gain greater awareness of the work of the WTO and how least-developed countries can take advantage of the service offered to enhance economic development. I expect to build strong professional capacities working alongside experienced staff members.” — Thabo Joshua Moea (Lesotho)

ypp photo“As a young professional, it is an amazing opportunity to be at the WTO headquarters in international Geneva. I have every intention of taking advantage of my time here to gain more in-depth knowledge of the different areas of work of the WTO and to strengthen my communication skills through social and traditional media.” — Nana Mariam Maiga (Mali)

ypp photo“I am eager to obtain a profound understanding of the functioning of the WTO's secretariat. I expect to get broad and deep exposure to the WTO's work in order to become an active contributor to the multilateral system that the organization nurtures.” — Kérshia Cavele (Mozambique)

ypp photo“My primary objective is to upgrade my knowledge in the field of international dispute settlement and to become a better lawyer and a better professional in every sense of the word. Additionally, I am hoping to use this unique platform in order to learn from true experts in the field of international trade, widen my horizons and make the most out of the experience.” — Aleksandra Gjorgieska (North Macedonia)

ypp photo“Especially coming from a country where trade is our lifeblood, I look forward to gaining a deeper understanding of the frameworks that underpin global trade, and immersion in discussions on trade and trade policy.” — Mun How Mong (Singapore)




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