Capacity Development Portal
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Improving developing country understanding of the importance of the WTO SPS Agreement; increasing developing country confidence in using its mechanisms which guarantee an open and rules-based international trading system

What problem did it address, where?

To improve overall understanding the key WTO technical agreements (SPS, TBT and TRIPS) in developing countries, various training and capacity building activities have been undertaken together with the WTO SPS Committee and the standard setting bodies. FAO has provided technical inputs to a joint project with ITC, UNCTAD and WTO (the Joint Integrated Technical Assistance Programme) to develop national capacity to provide WTO inquiry point services in both anglophone and francophone African countries, as well as India, and others


The WTO-UNCTAD-ITC Joint Integrated Technical Assistance Programme involved the creation of inquiry points in Africa with installation of equipment and training of inquiry point staff. FAO trained on both the role of the SPS Agreement recognised standard setting bodies, and in the use of the main information tools available (notably the International Portal on Food Safety, Animal and Plant Health) to answer SPS-related questions and also undertook regional SPS training workshops with the WTO SPS secretariat

Where next?

Generic training materials on the use of information tools such as have been supplied to a number of institutions running courses in this area. The portal is also looking to recruit national data owning authorities as partners supplying information on regulations and standards to the system

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