Opening Statement by Ambassador of the Arab Republic of Egypt and Chair of the 45th JAG session
Speech by H.E. Mr. Hisham M. Badr, Ambassador, Permanent Mission of the Arab Republic of Egypt.
Delivered on Day One of the 46th Session of the ITC JAG, 21-22 May 2012.
Monday, 21 May 2012, 10:00-10:10.
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Excellencies, Distinguished participants, Ladies and Gentlemen.
It is my pleasure to address you in my capacity as chairman of the 45th Session of the Joint Advisory Group meeting, which was held from 30 June to 1 July 2011 at the WTO.
May I start by recognizing the presence of Mr. Pascal Lamy, the Director General of the World Trade Organisation, Dr. Supachai Panitchpakdi, the Secretary General of UNCTAD and Ms. Patricia Francis, Executive Director of ITC, who are partners in this Joint Advisory Group.
May I also take this opportunity to recognize our cooperating partners who have continued to provide invaluable financial support to ITC.
Excellencies, Distinguished participants. I am pleased to note that since the last JAG meeting ITC has continued to execute its responsibility based on the priorities set out in the 2010 -2013 Strategic Plan, the accompanying Consolidated Programme Document and the Operational Plans for 2011 and 2012. There is no doubt that ITC’s priority focus on the needs of Least Developed Countries, Small Island States, Landlocked Developing countries and Sub Saharan Africa has contributed significantly to develop private sector competitiveness and institutional capacity for those who need it the most. ITC has created renewed impetus for enhanced product and market diversification, which has enabled beneficiary countries to improve the service delivery of their Trade Promotion Organisations and better access global value chains as a result of improved competitiveness of their enterprises.
Excellencies, Distinguished participants. I am confident that the strong focus of ITC on results based management and further efforts to develop new tools to measure long-term socio-economic impact - and we all know this is a real challenge - will enable the organization to better meet the needs of beneficiary countries by setting realistic goals in partnership with those for whom the organization was established. I trust that continued open dialogue, inclusive of all players, as is the case in this joint advisory group forum, is a useful platform to review progress and highlight areas requiring improvement or adjustments to ensure that ITC functions effectively and is provided with the means the organization needs to carry out its mandate.
Excellencies, Distinguished participants. I wish to thank you all for entrusting me with the task of chairing the 45th JAG meeting that was convened at an historical moment for the Arab World which offered both opportunities and challenges for the people in the region. Please forgive me I speak now in my capacity as Ambassador of Egypt. I want to take this opportunity to thank ITC for being so quick on the uptake in the answer provided to the urgent need voiced by various Arab States for a fast and tailored response mechanism to address high unemployment rates through trade-related technical assistance in the context of the “Arab Spring.” This challenge was taken up as early as January 2011 with the launch of the Sustainable Employment through Export Development Programme, best known as SEED. This project was funded by the ITC Window 1 Trust Fund, and I want to take this opportunity to thank all the donors who have contributed to this fund and have entrusted ITC with a flexible mechanism, which enables the organization to develop quick responses in times of crisis.
Ladies and Gentlemen, it was indeed a rare opportunity to chair the JAG in these unique circumstances.
On this more personal note, may I now call upon the in-coming Chairperson, His Excellency Mr. Francisco Pirez Gordillo, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of the Republic of Uruguay to take up his position as Chair of the 46th Joint Advisory Group.
I thank you for your kind attention.