A partnership with academia

Building knowledge for trade and development


UNCTAD Virtual Institute hosts University of the West Indies Study TourFollowing the success of last year's study tour, the Virtual Institute organized a three week study tour for 23 students on the Masters in International Trade Policy programme at the Univeristy of the West Indies (UWI), from the 8th to the 26th May.

Vi university member coordinator, Pamela Coke-Hamilton, who set up the masters programme at UWI, believes the study tour gives students a valuable insight into the workings of the Geneva Institutions and builds on their academic studies in the classroom. For the potential future makers and shapers of Caribbean trade policy, the study tour provides an opportunity to put people in contact with experts in the field and to become more familiar with how the major institutions supporting international trade impact the Caribbean region.


Over the three weeks of the tour, students visited UNCTAD, the International Trade Centre, the World Trade Organisation and the World Intellectual Property Organisation. They participated in 42 workshops and presentations, involving over 45 presenters/facilitators from the four organizations, as well as outside speakers from the International Labour Organisation and the Whorld Health Organisation. In addition, the group also met and discussed with Ambassadors from the permanent missions of Barbados, Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago and the Organisation of the Eastern Caribbean States.

The tour was designed to present to students the work of UNCTAD, the ITC, the WIPO and the WTO, and to discuss some of the most pressing issues and questions currently of importance in international trade policy, especially in relation to the Caribbean region. In addition, students also met with and discussed the work, challenges and hopes of the Caribbean region missions with the people actually involved in trade negotiations. A full programme of the study tour can be downloaded here.

Following the conclusion of their stay in Geneva, the students have moved to Brussels for one week at the European Commission, before they undertake individual work placements in government ministries in the Caribbean and in one case at the Guyanese mission in Brussels. It is hoped that the UWI will be able to return next year to repeat the tour, and for the Virtual Institute to broaden the scope of the tour to include other Geneva Institutions.