Geneva's Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies today joined the Virtual Institute,  further strengthening the presence of UNCTAD's host country, Switzerland, already represented by the World Trade Institute, in our network.

In the past, the Vi has cooperated and interacted, on an ad-hoc basis, with Jasmine Champenois, Executive Director of the Institute's International Programmes, and Theresa Carpenter, Executive Director of its Centre on Trade and Economic Integration. This, in addition to the recent move of our UNCTAD colleague, Ugo Panizza, to take up a professorship at the Institute, triggered a mutual wish to institutionalize and strengthen this cooperation through Vi membership.

The Graduate Institute is an institution of research and higher education dedicated to the study of world affairs, with a particular emphasis on the cross-cutting fields of international relations and development issues. Capitalizing on its location in Geneva, it is intensely engaged with international organizations, NGOs, government representatives and multinational companies, with the objective of developing creative thinking on the major challenges of our time, fostering global responsibility and advancing respect for diversity.

The Institute offers graduate programmes in a number of "trade and development" areas, in particular international economics, international law, development studies, international relations and international affairs. On offer also are PhD programmes in international economics, development economics, international law, and international relations. Additionally, the Institute runs two-week summer and winter programmes focusing on WTO, international trade and development; United Nations and global challenges; and International affairs and multilateral governance. In terms of executive education, degree-granting programmes are available in development policies and practices; international negotiation and policy-making; and international oil and gas leadership.

Faculty and researchers at the Graduate Institute work in interdisciplinary teams in various research centres and programmes. These include the Centre for Finance and Development, the Centre for Trade and Economic Integration, the Centre for International Environmental Studies, the Programme for the Study of Global Migration, the Programme for the Study of International Governance, and the Programme on Gender and Global Change.

The academic aspects of cooperation between the Graduate Institute and the Vi will be coordinated by two colleagues. Ugo Panizza,  Professor at the Department of International Economics and Deputy Director of the Institute's Centre on Finance and Development, teaches courses on econometrics, and finance and development, and leads a doctoral seminar in development. His research interests include international finance, sovereign debt, banking, political economy, income inequality, or public sector labour market, issues on which he has an extensive publication record. He will be supported by Theresa Carpenter, whose research work focuses on the economics of global and regional value chains, the link between financial markets and trade, and the impacts of the 2008-2009 global crisis. Jasmine Champenois, who is responsible for the Institute's international programmes and who has been the driving force behind the Institute's Vi membership, will provide support with regard to the institutional coordination of the cooperation with the Vi.

The Institute is ready to host Vi fellows in their library, receive Vi study tours for short presentations, assist in identifying interns, and facilitate possible pro-bono research work for the Vi by its students. They are also interested in promoting their scholarships and degree programmes within the Vi network, and undertaking research cooperation with the members on topics of mutual interest.

For more information, visit the university profile on the Vi website.