unctad.org | Strategic Meeting of the UNCTAD Centers of Excellence
Strategic Meeting of the UNCTAD Centers of Excellence
29 - 30 October 2019
Salle XV
Geneva, Switzerland

Key Issues


An increasingly important component of the work of ALDC is to provide tailor-made and demand-driven technical assistance to member States through the delivery of targeted training and capacity-building programmes. Based on findings from recent UN Development Account Projects, UNCTAD has identified countries and relevant institutions with demonstrated policies and successful outcomes in diversifying strategic sectors, such as fisheries and aquaculture. As a result, ALDC has established Centers of Excellence (CoE) in selected countries, and built partnerships with key stakeholders and institutions to leverage these good practices for the benefit of other developing countries.
The currently established CoE hold particular strengths and expertise in the fisheries and aquaculture sectors, and in the design of policies to enhance market access and improve product certification, including by addressing issues related to rules of origin, duty-free, quota-free access, preference utilization, and geographical indications of origin. Other CoE are specialized in the social and environmental aspects of rural development and social protection, while some focus on sustainable development, poverty alleviation and policy cooperation across developing countries. CoE, through their selected Coordinators, liaise with UNCTAD in the design of substantive programmes of work and the delivery of capacity-building activities in support of the developing countries. This includes developing human resource capabilities and building institutional, as well as regulatory capacities. The CoE aim to leverage South-South cooperation as a means of providing technical assistance, and more importantly to share successful experiences and best practices in trade and development policies.


The Annual Strategic meeting aims to bring together all Coordinators of the CoE in one central location.

This would enable the Coordinators to engage formally with UNCTAD staff, brief member States directly on the activities undertaken at the respective Centers, and further enhance synergies among themselves to ensure coherence and continuity in the work planning.

The primary objectives of the meeting are the following:

  • To exchange views on how to best manage, coordinate and run Centers of Excellence on a sustainable basis as possible, including through financial resources mobilization;
  • To sensitize member States to the work carried out in the CoE and enable the cross fertilization and sharing of good practices among key national institutions and stakeholders from other countries, and international experts;
  • To provide a unique venue and convening mechanism for information sharing and engagement, including through the scheduled training courses for the dissemination of innovative policies and initiatives; and
  • To present opportunities for the development of partnerships and joint activities with stakeholders in other value-added activities engaged with strategic, export-oriented sectors, including fisheries and aquaculture, as well as the pharmaceutical and other healthcare industries.

Mukhisa Kituyi and Centres of Excellence_1.jpg
UNCTAD Secretary-General, Dr. Mukhisa Kituyi presented plaques to the Coordinators of the Centers of Excellence.

More photographs from the meeting are available at: https://www.flickr.com/photos/53390373@N06/albums/72157711668618971.

Mr. Mussie Delelegn
Related Sites:

​For more information on the Centers of Excellence, please see: https://unctad.org/en/Pages/ALDC/Technical%20Assistance/Centers-of-Excellence-in-Africa-and-Asia.aspx.


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