A partnership with academia

Building knowledge for trade and development



Students from Vi core Spanish member, Universitat de BarcelonaThe Virtual Institute this year partnered with the United Nations Information Service (UNIS) in Geneva to organize study tours for our university members. The Vi will still, however, offer presentations on UNCTAD-specific topics.

"Given that UNIS in Geneva has a lot of experience, as it organizes more than 70 study tours per year, we are delighted that they can do the same with the universities from our network. This will allow the Vi to use its limited resources to strengthen its other activities," said Richard Kozul-Wright, Director of UNCTAD's Division on Globalization and Development Strategies (GDS), home of the Vi.

This year's first student visit, held February 21, trained 28 Master’s students in International Economic Law and Policy from Vi core Spanish member, Universitat de Barcelona. The presentation was delivered by GDS's Alfredo Calcagno, who examined trends and challenges in the context of the global economy.

The second training session took place on April 24, and gathered 18 students and teachers from Vi Colombian affiliate member, Universidad Sergio Arboleda. The two presenters, focusing on structural transformation and on trade facilitation, were Ricardo Gottschalk, of GDS, and Pamela Ugaz, of UNCTAD's Division on Technology and Logistics.

The Vi also organized training for 31 professors and students from Vi Russian university members on May 11. Vi Officer-in-Charge, GDS's Igor Paunovic, opened the session with a presentation titled "Catching up with the developed economies: a long-term perspective." The session concluded with a presentation on foreign direct investment, delivered by Kalman Kalotay, of UNCTAD's Division on Investment and Enterprise.

Closing the semester was the session organized May 15-19 for eight students of the Master's programme in International Trade Policy of Vi core member, the University of the West Indies (UWI). Presentations on core UNCTAD topics ranging from competition policy and climate change to structural transformation and the Post-2015 development agenda, were delivered by experts representing all UNCTAD divisions.

Vi institutional members wishing to conduct study tours in Geneva should contact Catherine Fegli at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Please note that UNIS cannot organize study tours longer than one week, and that the groups must have a minimum of 20 participants. If you plan to come with fewer than 20 participants, UNIS may be able to help coordinate your arrival with other groups. Also, given the large number of groups for which they organize tours, do contact Ms. Fegli as soon as possible to be able to get the preferred time slot for your group. Finally, please indicate the topics that you would like to be delivered by UNCTAD when asking for study tours, as we will continue to enjoy making presentations on the challenges of trade and development to different audiences.