Launching ITC's 40th Anniversary: During Its Annual Meeting, ITC Launched Its 40th Anniversary Celebrations. Many Congratulated ITC on Its Achievements and Encouraged It to Continue along the Path It Has Set Itself

By Rienstra, Dianna; de Sousa, Prema | International Trade Forum, April-June 2004 | Go to article overview

Launching ITC's 40th Anniversary: During Its Annual Meeting, ITC Launched Its 40th Anniversary Celebrations. Many Congratulated ITC on Its Achievements and Encouraged It to Continue along the Path It Has Set Itself


Rienstra, Dianna, de Sousa, Prema, International Trade Forum


ITC's partners, donors and clients congratulated ITC on becoming a central player in trade-related technical assistance. They emphasized its closeness to the business sector, focus on least developed countries (LDCs), efforts to engage in broad partnerships and proactive approach to changes in the trading environment. A selection of their statements and messages follows.

Putting trade to work for development

by Kofi Annan, United Nations Secretary-General

Notwithstanding the remarkable growth in international trade over the past half century, too few countries in the developing world have shared in the benefits. These countries do not lack potential to participate competitively and constructively in the international marketplace. Rather, the challenge facing the global community is to ensure that these countries have an unfettered opportunity to realize this potential, thereby enabling them to make real progress towards achieving the Millennium Development Goals.

It is against this backdrop that I am pleased to acknowledge the work of the International Trade Centre. ITC is unique. It is the only technical cooperation agency funded on a joint venture basis by the United Nations and a non-UN organization, the World Trade Organization. Its contributions in putting trade to work for development are widely recognized within the UN system, within the donor community and, most importantly, within developing countries themselves.

The "business" of trade-related technical assistance is not an easy one, but ITC has managed to balance the commercially inspired demands of its clients in the business sector with the wider imperatives of sustainable development and poverty reduction. It has wisely focused its resources on the key to successful development assistance: building national capacities. It has forged partnerships that complement its own programmes and ensures wider impact for them. It has also been able to anticipate, and act on, the need for change, both in how it operates and what it delivers.

I congratulate ITC's management and staff, past and present, on 40 years of service in support of the export efforts of the developing world. Please accept my best wishes for a bright and successful future.

The above draws from Mr. Annan's message to ITC's Joint Advisory Group, which Sergei Ordzhonikidze, Director-General of the UN Office at Geneva, delivered on his behalf.

ITC increases trading opportunities

by Douglas M. Griffiths, United States of America

As the organization that works most closely with business people and government officials at the grass roots, ITC plays an indispensable role in increasing the productive and trade capacities of developing countries. In many ways, it falls to ITC to transform the fruits of Geneva conference halls into tangible income-producing opportunities for citizens in developing countries across the globe.

ITC represents the most entrepreneurial element of the inter national community's response to increasing trade opportunities--both in the way it approaches its work and in the partners it selects in developing countries.

The United States Government's cooperation with ITC has intensified over the past year, including contributions to the Business for Development programme and the Interactive TradeMap programmes.

There is increasing recognition that the development of institutional, technical and productive capacities provide stepping stones for developing countries' effective participation in the world trading system. ITC plays a key role in this process. We congratulate ITC's successes in increasing the trading opportunities of developing countries, and look forward to working with it in the next 40 years.

Mr. Griffiths is First Secretary at the Permanent Mission of the United States of America to the United Nations and other International Organizations in Geneva. …

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