Magazine article International Trade Forum

Statement of Mr. Carlos Fortin, Officer-in-Charge of UNCTAD

Magazine article International Trade Forum

Statement of Mr. Carlos Fortin, Officer-in-Charge of UNCTAD

Article excerpt

"It is my privilege and my pleasure, on behalf of the United Nations and of UNCTAD, to address this gathering on the occasion of the Thirtieth Anniversary of the International Trade Centre.

The International Trade Centre has a unique position in the United Nations system, as a joint subsidiary organ of both the United Nations, acting through UNCTAD, and of GATT. GATT and UNCTAD are commonly known as the "parent bodies" of ITC. However, I believe that a more apt characterization from UNCTAD's viewpoint is that of a sister organization--a partner with which we cooperate.

In any event, ITC, having reached the age. of thirty, is now a mature organization with dynamics and an accumulated fund of knowledge and experience of its own. While the credit for the many achievements of the ITC over the past thirty years must, of course, go to the work of the management and staff of the ITC itself, to the support it has received from a large number of donors, and also to recipients who have been able to put to good use the assistance provided by the organization, we at UNCTAD are also proud to have been associated with ITC's record.

Countries which have participated in the work of ITC, and in particular the beneficiaries, are unanimous in their assessment of the quality of the work carried out by the organization; and the many statements of support and appreciation that they have made at the meeting of the Joint Advisory Group and in other for a speak for themselves.

Let me draw attention to two specific features of ITC, as it has developed over the past thirty years, and which strike me as being particularly remarkable.

--The first one is the eminently practical and action-oriented approach of its work, which helps countries and economic operators to identify, and effectively benefit from, trading opportunities in the rapidly changing international trading system.

The record of ITC in this respect is truly impressive. It has produced a steady flow of market surveys and studies on trade channels for specific products in specific markets, as well as training materials; it has helped to organize trade fairs and exhibitions; it has provided advice on packaging, on product adaptation and on quality control; it has supported chambers of commerce, including in developing a range of income-generating activities. …

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