Forty-three representatives from UNCTAD, the Irish Government, and the Irish port partners - Dublin Port Company, Port of Cork and Belfast Harbour Commissioners - as well as from port communities in Bangladesh, Ghana, Indonesia, Nigeria, the Philippines and the United Republic of Tanzania, attended the 2013 International Coordination Meeting for the English-speaking network of the TrainForTrade Port Training Programme on 3 and 4 July in Belfast.
Participants assessed the results of the second cycle (2011-2013), and evaluated the scope for strengthening and expanding the programme. The review session was staged in cooperation with Belfast Harbour Commissioners.
Supachai Panitchpakdi, UNCTAD Secretary-General addressing the opening ceremony
Addressing the opening ceremony were Joe Costello, Minister of State at the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade of Ireland, and UNCTAD Secretary-General Supachai Panitchpakdi.
Mr. Costello said that the Port Training Programme played a major role in Ireland's strategy for promoting trade and development. Mr. Supachai stressed the critical role of ports in connecting developing countries to global value chains. He cited the programme as an example of UNCTAD's ability to turn research into results.
During the meeting, a representative of each member port community presented the results of the second cycle of the Port Training Programme at the port concerned, identifying lessons learned and best practices.
A consultant from Irish Aid then presented the conclusions of Irish Aid's evaluation of the programme. The evaluation focused on effectiveness, relevance, efficiency, sustainability and impact. The review team said that the programme was highly valued and had been endorsed by numerous senior managers of ports and graduates, that improvements had been made during the second cycle, and that there were significant wider benefits to port communities resulting from the port training.
Those attending the meeting then reaffirmed their commitment to the programme, and agreed to implement a third cycle (2013-2015).
The programme is financed by Irish Aid and member port communities. It also receives support from the Dublin Port Company, Port of Cork, and Belfast Harbour Commissioners.
The TrainForTrade Port Training Programme, which is administered by UNCTAD's Division on Technology and Logistics, helps ports in developing countries to operate more efficiently by providing extensive training both in practice and in theory to mid-level managers. In order to increase trade flows and foster economic development, the programme also creates port networks, which bring together public, private and international organizations. The aim is to share knowledge and expertise between port operators, and to strengthen talent management and human resources development in port communities.
Versions of the programme are also provided to French-, Spanish- and Portuguese-speaking port communities.
Participants at the 2013 International Coordination Meeting for the English-speaking network of the TrainForTrade Port Training Programme