The participants in the course were selected from over 1,800 applicants from governments, non-governmental organizations, universities, and other entities. They began their study on 7 October.
The online instruction is co-organized by UNCTAD and the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) and is offered in English and in French. Spanish and Arabic versions of the course are being planned for 2014. Officials from government planning ministries are the main target audience of the course.
The course aims to explain the reasons why it is important for international trade and productive capacities to feature strongly in development processes generally, and more specifically in United Nations country-level assistance strategies. Moreover, it looks at how this progress can be achieved.
The objective is to raise the profile of international trade and productive capacities in national development strategies, and to enhance national capacities for the formulation of United Nations development assistance on economic and trade-related issues. Another objective is to coordinate the required inter-agency actions.
The instruction is part of a larger programme that includes national and regional workshops on the topic. So far, a national workshop has been conducted in Lesotho, and four regional workshops have been held in Guatemala, Lebanon, Mali and Nepal. The regional sessions included national sessions for the host countries. In addition, a discussion forum is planned for Geneva in November 2013.
Produced under the coordination of UNCTAD, the training material was developed within the United Nations Inter-Agency Cluster on Trade and Productive Capacity with the aim of ensuring that the vision and expertise of all members of the Cluster was included and conveyed to the trainees.