Press Releases

    SG/SM/9274
                                                                                                                            ECO/58
                                                                                                                            27 April 2004

    Secretary-General Congratulates International Trade Centre on 40 Years of Service to Developing World’s Export Efforts

    NEW YORK, 26 April (UN Headquarters) -- Following is Secretary-General Kofi Annan’s message to the Joint Advisory Group of the International Trade Centre, delivered by Sergei Ordzhonikidze, Director-General, United Nations Office at Geneva, in Geneva, 26 April:

    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.  And 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. You have wisely focused your resources on the key to successful development assistance: building national capacities. You have forged partnerships that complement your own programmes and ensure wider impact for those programmes.  And you have been able to anticipate, and act on, the need for change, both in how you operate and what you deliver.

    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.

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