WTO to establish chairs at 14 developing country universities
Tuesday, January 26, 2010
The WTO Secretariat launched today a new programme of support for teaching, research and outreach activities at 14 universities in the developing world. The WTO Chairs Programme (WCP) will assist national academic institutions in providing students with a deeper understanding of trade policy issues. Through analytical input into the formulation and implementation of trade policy, the WCP will help strengthen the participation of the beneficiary countries in international trade.
“Through this programme the WTO and its university partners are reaching out to the leaders of tomorrow, helping them to better understand the complex mechanism that is the global trading system. By enhancing the trade policy skills of these young people, the WCP will help foster the capacity of developing countries to participate fully in the trading environment of the 21st century,” said WTO Director-General Pascal Lamy.
The WCP streamlines academic cooperation activities of the WTO by providing dedicated support to beneficiary institutions in their specific priority areas in the field of trade policy, international trade, international relations and international economic law. The WCP will provide up to CHF 50,000 per annum per school for a period of up to four years. At the end of this period it is intended that programmes of activity be consolidated and continued as appropriate, possibly with financial support from other resources. The WCP will remain engaged in such programmes to the extent feasible and desired by the institutions concerned. The programme will be extended to other institutions over time and will promote an ongoing network among universities and individuals associated with the programme in both developed and developing countries.
From a total of 70 proposals received, 14 projects were chosen through a competitive selection process involving the WCP Advisory Board. The board is comprised of 21 scholars and experts from around the world who will contribute to all substantive decisions in respect of the programme.
In making their selections, the WCP Advisory Board took into account a number of criteria, including: networking; new versus established programmes; development of young scholars; capacity-building and sustainability; joint implementation with other institutions; and utilization of resources. Particular consideration was given to quality proposals from institutions with which the WTO has already partnered in the past for the delivery of the Regional Trade Policy Courses (RTPCs).