Thirty-one students and lecturers from seven Colombian Vi member universities participated in a study tour of Geneva-based organizations October 11-15.
As biotrade increasingly becomes a key issue in the trade liberalization process in Colombia, the five-day study tour, designed to complement the students' academic work in international business, concentrated on topics related to the environment and biodiversity.
Throughout the week, participants attended interactive presentations and conferences, and discussed various current themes with experts.
"All the key perspectives of the broad topic of trade and environment were covered during the study tour," said one of the students.
At UNCTAD, experts presented the organization’s work on biotrade, organic agriculture, investment in low-carbon economies, and intellectual property rights related to plant patentability.
The study tour also included interventions by experts from the non-governmental organization sector -- Oxfam International and the Union for Ethical Biotrade (UEBT) -- and from other international organizations -- World Trade Organization (WTO) and the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO).
The presenter from Oxfam explained the organization's work, particularly on climate change and biodiversity, while the UEBT expert gave a thorough insight into the field of biotrade. Presenters from the WTO outlined the organization's dispute settlement procedures and the Doha Round negotiations, and WIPO’s representatives concentrated on the current negotiations in the field of traditional knowledge and genetic resources.
The group also benefited from an intervention by the Colombian Permanent Mission to the WTO, who gave an overview of the country's position in the ongoing Doha Round negotiations, including specific negotiations on trade and environment.
In addition, participants visited the International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development, the International Standardization Organization, the International Trade Centre, and took part in a guided tour of the WTO.
The group participated actively throughout the week, and showed satisfaction with the study tour.
"I think the study tour was very exciting and met all my expectations,” one of the students said. “I learned many things and was reminded of subjects already addressed during my studies."
- Universidad Jorge Tadeo Lozano
- Universidad La Sabana
- Universidad del Norte
- Universidad ICESI
- Universidad Sergio Arboleda
- Universidad EAFIT
- Universidad Tecnológica de Bolívar