WTO news: what’s been happening in the WTO


19 June 1998

The Netherlands launch new “hands-on WTO work” training programme

The Netherlands announced today 19 June the creation of a new WTO programme for trainees from developing countries, which is due to start in September 1998. The objective is to give the trainees the opportunity to learn, while working for the WTO, about trade and development related matters and to develop their knowledge of trade policy. After a maximum of two years, the trainees will go back to their ministries and contribute to the strengthening of their countries' institutional capacity.

“Effective integration of developing countries in the international trading system is crucial, not only for their development, but also for the credibility of the WTO as a world trade organization. This requires institutional capacity in these countries to deal with WTO matters. Through this initiative, we hope to make a modest contribution to this effect,” said Ambassador Eveline Herfkens, Permanent Representative of the Kingdom of the Netherlands.

Initially, there will be up to three trainees per year, whose selection and recruitment shall be done by the WTO Secretariat. Trainees will be considered as WTO staff members during their assignment and will receive normal salary, but will not take up regular staff posts. The content and duration of the assignment will depend on the circumstances and qualifications of each candidate.

The Netherlands will take care of all costs involved with the trainees. In the coming weeks, the WTO Secretariat will establish the implementation modalities, in particular concerning selection and recruitment, development of tailormade programmes and supervision of trainees.

Such programmes have already been put into place by the Dutch government in other international organizations. In the WTO context, this new technical assistance programme is one of the several initiatives the Netherlands have launched over the past few years.