> Roberto Azevêdo’s speeches
Good afternoon everybody.
I know this is your third day here, so I hope it has been a productive session.
We are proud to be the home of the EIF — and to be supporting this EIF Global Platform event.
I have been getting updates from my team and I understand that you have had a very successful meeting so far.
I am delighted to see that the room is still full after three days of very intense, constructive and inclusive discussions.
It is good to see all EIF partners represented here: LDCs, donors and partner agencies.
It’s great to see such a strong turnout of donor representatives — from capitals, from Geneva, and I know that many of you have come from assignments in LDCs, where you play the critical role of EIF donor facilitator.
This level and quality of commitment and participation is very, very encouraging. I think that it reflects the high expectations of all partners for this meeting, and more importantly, for the next phase of the EIF.
I see from the banners here that you have gathered in Geneva to “shape the future together”.
I know that this is precisely what has happened over the past three days.
Through the exchanges you’ve had here, the different partners have had the opportunity first to understand each other’s issues and priorities, and then to plan, together, the basis for the EIF’s second phase.
This kind of partnership has been central since the creation of the EIF, and will certainly underpin the next phase which we are shaping here.
On that note, I am particularly pleased that this Global Platform event has provided an opportunity to so many countries to showcase and share how the EIF has helped them to prioritise trade in their national development agenda.
And, indeed, among all the reports that we’ve seen and comments we’ve listened to, it is imperative that the voices of the LDCs themselves are always heard first and foremost.
That’s what we tried to achieve here.
So I want to acknowledge the hard work and careful preparation that the Executive Secretariat Team has put into making this event a success.
And I have no doubt that this has been a joint effort. I think that everybody here today can take pride in the fact that the EIF is becoming more flexible, more efficient, more effective and more adaptable to the specific needs of the LDCs.
So I am confident that the EIF Global Platform has laid a clear path for a recommitment to this partnership. From the reports I have heard, I think that everyone knows the importance of their own respective roles and their contribution to the objectives of the EIF.
This applies to the WTO just as much as it does to everyone else. So I want to take this opportunity to underscore the WTO’s commitment to contributing to the EIF in whatever way it can. We want to make sure that the second phase of the EIF is more efficient and effective in delivering results on the ground.
The final evaluation of the first phase of the EIF has confirmed that it is yielding sustainable results.
It is important now that the donor community supports the EIF so that we can continue this work in assisting the integration of the LDCs into the global trading system. This applies to phase 2 itself, but also in ensuring that the transition towards phase 2 is as smooth as possible.
I know that there will be occasions during the course of the year to bring this support forward, and so I encourage donors to be ready.
Finally, I would like to invite you all to participate in the 5th Global Review of Aid for Trade which will be held here at the WTO from 30 June to 2 July.
The EIF is Aid for Trade in action for the LDCs, and so it will be an important part of that event.
So once again, congratulations on an excellent event. Let’s continue working together like this to ensure that the second phase of the EIF is the major success story that we all want to see.
Thank you for listening.