Ireland donates Eur 820,000 to three WTO development programmes

31 October 2007

The Irish Government has confirmed it will provide, in 2007, a total of EUR820,000 (about CHF1.4 million) to the Doha Development Agenda Global Trust Fund (DDAGTF), the Internship Programme for the Mission of Selected WTO Members in Geneva and the Standards and Trade Development Facility (STDF).

This assistance is intended to build the capacity of least developed countries to negotiate effectively within the WTO and help implement WTO agreements and international standards. These are areas that are key to protecting the trade interests and development needs of the world’s poorest countries.

Ireland has supported both the DDAGTF and the Internship Programme since 2002 with funding respectively amounting to EUR1.1 million and EUR390,000 until the end of 2006.

A first donation of EUR500,000 will be offered to the Doha Development Agenda Global Trust Fund. This contribution will be used to finance WTO technical assistance activities targeted especially at the needs of least-developed countries, other developing countries and economies in transition.

A second donation of EUR120,000 will be given to the Internship Programme for the Mission of Selected WTO Members in Geneva. This Programme helps Missions from developing countries enhance their understanding of the multilateral trading system and trade policy in general.

A third donation of EUR200,000 will be provided to the Standards and Trade Development Facility. This contribution will assist developing countries in improving their expertise and their capacity to analyze and implement international sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) standards thus enhancing their human, animal and plant health situation and ability to gain and maintain market access.

WTO Director General Pascal Lamy declared “I welcome Ireland’s donations to the WTO trust funds. These contributions will allow developing countries to expand their markets mainly through our technical assistance programmes. Complying with international standards is also a major step in securing market access.”

“Ireland has for several years been a strong supporter of WTO trade-related technical assistance to developing, and in particular least-developed countries” said Irish Ambassador, Dáithí O’Ceallaigh. “This assistance helps build capacity for developing countries to participate in the multilateral trading system, advance their interests, conclude agreements and implement them. This package of assistance reflects Ireland’s continued commitment to the efforts of the WTO in the area of trade-related technical assistance.”