A new Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed by UNCTAD and the Grand Port Maritime de Marseille (GPMM) at the Palais des Nations in Geneva on 13 December 2013.
It signifies a renewed cooperation period of five years between the Grand Port Maritime de Marseille and UNCTAD/TrainForTrade Port Training Programme for port communities in developing countries.
From left: H.E. Mr. Nicolas Niemtchinow, Dr. Mukhisa Kituyi
and Mr. Jean-Claude Terrier
Dr. Mukhisa Kituyi, UNCTAD's Secretary-General, and Mr. Jean-Claude Terrier, CEO of GPMM, signed the MoU in the presence of His Excellency Mr. Nicolas Niemtchinow, Ambassador, Permanent Representative of France to the United Nations Office in Geneva.
The Ambassadors of the Republic of the Congo, Haiti, Togo, Benin, Senegal and delegates from Cameroon, Côte d'Ivoire, Djibouti, Gabon, Guinea, Haiti, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Madagascar, representing the current and potential beneficiaries of UNCTAD's TrainForTrade Port Training Programme, also participated in the ceremony.
UNCTAD's Secretary-General, Dr. Kituyi, highlighted in his speech that "Port communities around the world have a vital role to play in facilitating trade and contributing to the development of their national economies".
He emphasized the central role of TrainForTrade's training programme in this area: "With more than 1000 mid-level executives trained, the Port Training Programme has had a major impact on human resource development in member ports. Many graduates have also become local instructors, nurturing a talent pool of local experts and allowing the TrainForTrade Port Training Programme to become truly sustainable."
Currently the francophone network is composed of eight countries, namely Benin, Cameroon, Côte d'Ivoire, Djibouti, Gabon, Guinea, Senegal and Togo, and they might soon be joined by the Republic of the Congo and Haiti.
As stated by Ms. Anne Miroux, Director of the Technology and Logistics Division, UNCTAD, the Programme's success is largely due to the longstanding cooperation between UNCTAD and GPMM: "All of these developments would not be possible without the support the port partners have been giving to UNCTAD's Port Training Programme for many years. The cooperation with the Grand Port Maritime de Marseille, in particular, is absolutely vital to the sustainability of activities in the French-speaking network. In fact, the training seminars for African port communities are organized at the port partner's premises, such as Marseille, who lend some of their experts and port managers for the delivery of the courses. This is one of the keys for the success of this Programme, which is based on networking and replication of the seminars in each member country. "