16 April 2003

WTO and UNCTAD step up strategic partnership

WTO Director-General Supachai Panitchpakdi and UNCTAD Secretary-General Rubens Ricupero today stepped up the strategic partnership between the two organizations with the establishment of a legal framework for technical assistance cooperation. WTO and UNCTAD assistance activities aim to ensure that trade serves development goals and to help the integration of developing and least developed countries into the global economy.

Today at the WTO Mr. Ricupero and Dr. Supachai signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) institutionalizing and enhancing the current relationship between UNCTAD and WTO.

“WTO and UNCTAD have a long history of close cooperation,” said Dr. Supachai. “UNCTAD has always been our best ally in assisting developing countries’ efforts to seize opportunities arising from the multilateral trading system. This new legal framework will identify more clearly our fields of cooperation and will facilitate our joint activities.”

“This agreement marks the formalization of a strong and long-standing collaboration between our two organizations”, said Rubens Ricupero, UNCTAD Secretary-General. “We are confident that that cooperation will only continue to thrive and that it will result in even more effective capacity-building for developing countries in trade-related areas.”

Increased WTO/UNCTAD cooperation will optimize the organizations’ technical assistance resources. WTO and UNCTAD will continue to be partners in the Integrated Framework — an assistance programme specifically designed for least developed countries — and JITAP, the Joint Integrated Technical Assistance Programme for least developed and other African countries.

This press release is being issued simultaneously by UNCTAD.
> Copy of the MOU (Word format, 4 pages, 72 KB)


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