[Majuro, RMI] Pacific Islands Forum Trade Ministers this week welcomed the opportunity for training placements within the World Trade Organisation (WTO) facilitated by the Permanent Delegation of the Pacific Islands Forum to the WTO in Geneva, Switzerland (Geneva Office).
Ministers at the 2012 Forum Trade Ministers Meeting held today in Majuro, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, were provided an update on the operations of the Geneva Office, including internship opportunities for Pacific islanders.
Through the WTO’s Regional Coordinator Internship Programme, Trade Ministers heard that Mr Justin Lima from Samoa will begin his placement at the Geneva Office from May to October 2012.
Mr Lima is a Senior Foreign Service Officer for Trade from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade in Samoa.
“Mr Lima’s presence in the Geneva Office will be crucial in facilitating Samoa’s liaison with the WTO when implementing its post-accession protocols,” explained Geneva Office Permanent Representative, Ambassador Aivu Tauvasa , speaking from Geneva.
“Mr Lima will also attend meetings and engage in discussions in the various WTO fora with a focus on trade areas of interest to our Pacific region.”
Samoa officially became the 155th Member of WTO on 10 May 2012. Vanuatu is currently in the process of progressing domestic ratification to the WTO and will soon join current neighbouring WTO members Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands and Tonga.
The WTO’s Regional Coordinator Internship Programme is a technical assistance programme designed to enhance capacity building efforts of WTO members by enabling a representative from a member country to be attached to a Mission in Geneva for a six month period.
Mr Lima is the third intern from the Pacific since 2011 to undergo a WTO internship.
Said Mr Lima: “To participate in this programme is not only exciting and challenging but I know I will gain valuable experience in my personal capacity development which I know will better assist me in my role in Samoa’s engagement as a member of the WTO and specifically its LDC and non-resident status. I am looking forward to learning from my time in Geneva.”