On Monday we visited the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD). ”Established in 1964, UNCTAD promotes the development-friendly integration of developing countries into the world economy.” (UNCTAD website). One of the areas of growth is in the services sector, driven largely by human creativity (something all people possess in varying degrees) and technology. We toured the UN Office in Geneva afterwards, and saw the negotiation rooms for disarmament issues, human rights, and more.
On Wednesday, Lee Tuthill and Martin Roy of the WTO Secretariat came to our class to discuss telecommunications and audio/visual sectors. Questions included how music downloads are classified – as a good or service -, how cloud computing will be classified and into which sectors the various components will fall, and how negotiations might move forward within the Doha round.
We had other great lectures in the morning, afternoon simulations and discussions, and concluded the full two weeks on Friday with a lecture on the future of the WTO by Prof. Cedric Dupont, followed by a cocktail reception and a photo of the whole group on the grounds of the Graduate Institute. As you can see by the larger group photos, we were joined for two weeks by 35 or so people from all over the world. It was truly a pleasure to get to know them, and we all benefitted from the many perspectives on trade and development.