2017 WCP Annual Conference held in Buenos Aires, Argentina
Thursday, December 7, 2017
The 2017 WCP Annual Conference was held in Buenos Aires, Argentina on 6-7 December, prior to the WTO's 11th Ministerial Conference (MC11). It reviewed work of the programme, identified best practices, lessons learned and ways to ensure the sustainability of the programme.
WTO Chairs presented their research on a number of trade-related topics — trade and poverty, promoting connectivity and trade behind the headlines, which was the theme of the WTO Public Forum. A selected set of the papers will be collected for a publication which is expected to come out in late 2018.
The conference saw the launch of a dedicated WCP website, the WCP e-Platform, to facilitate the sharing of information, encourage discussion and promote internet-based networking among associated institutions and individuals.
The Conference concluded with an address by the MC11 Chair, Argentine Minister Susana Malcorra. In her address, Minister Malcorra welcomed the WTO Chairs and highlighted the important contribution that academics can make to trade policymaking. She emphasized the value of international cooperation, noting in particular Argentina's leadership in this area, serving as both host of the WTO's ministerial conference and holding the Presidency of the G20 in 2018. She then outlined what she hoped would be achieved by WTO members in Buenos Aires.
The annual conference was followed by a meeting of the WCP Advisory Board, an external body composed of experienced scholars. They recommended that WTO Secretariat seek an extension of the WCP to phase III after an evaluation of the programme, which is scheduled after the second four-year phase (phase II) concludes at the end of 2018. The Board also made recommendations on improving performance evaluation of the WCP, enhancing work undertaken by its academic institutions and deepening relations with the chairs from phases I and II. Particular attention was given to the role that Board members could play in support of the chairs’ activities.