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  • Millennium Development Goals - (MDGs)
  • ITC’s goal is to assist developing and transition countries to achieve sustainable development through exports. Our objective is increased and better trade, which creates employment, entrepreneurial opportunities and generates income for the most vulnerable.

    The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) serve not only as a critical benchmark for ITC in these efforts, but the goals themselves underscore the fundamental reasons for the existence of ITC. 

     The ITC strategic plan 2010 - 2013 responds to the Millennium Development Goals

    The Millennium Declaration, signed by 189 countries in 2000, established the MDGs with a vision to improve conditions for the world’s poorest people. According to the official list of MDG indicators publised by the UN on 15 January, 2008, “the eight Millennium Development Goals derive from the Millennium Declaration are interrelated should be seen as a whole.

    They represent a partnership between the developed and the developing countries to create an environment - at the national and global levels alike which is conducive to development and the elimination of poverty". The goal, targets and indicators provide benchmarks to measure various facets of poverty reduction and to track the progress of the international community to meet the MDG promises.

    How trade can help to keep Millennium promises

    Exports can have an immediate and tangible impact on people’s lives, both in well-established trading countries and in those emerging from disruption and conflict. Exports can generate employment and higher income, increase government revenue to provide more services to the poor, contribute to women’s economic empowerment and help deal with environmental challenges.

    Global markets are a powerful means of addressing poverty, raising livelihoods in a sustainable manner and promoting entrepreneurship. The MDG Gap Task Force Report 2010 confirmed that trade needs to be a key driver to reaching the MDGs by the 2015 deadline: While delivery of development assistance is slowing down, donor commitment to Aid for Trade is on the rise.

    ITC’s Strategic Plan 2010-2013 identifies "Targeting the Millennium Development Goals" as a priority for its work. The global economic crisis necessitates an even sharper focus on the MDGs: While the impact of the crisis on trade by developing countries varies across countries and sectors, overall, the most vulnerable population groups and the least-developped countries have been hit hardest.

    Trade – and more specifically the sharp declline in international demand and trade finance – has been a major transmitter of the crisis to the South. And trade will have to play a key role in pulling developing countries out of the crisis.             

    Millennium Development Goals Timeline

    In the run up to the year 2015, ITC will focus on supporting partner countries to achieve their MDGs: reducing poverty through economic empowerment and employment creation and helping the most vulnerable gain access to markets.

    Trade-related capacity building, advocacy for an ambitious and development-oriented conclusion of the Doha Round of global trade talks and economic governance based on inclusiveness, transparency and participatory approaches are essential to ensure that trade contributes its full potential to development and the reduction of poverty.

    Examples of ITC projects and programmes:

    • Trade-led poverty reduction by key export sectors
    • Mobile telephone for market information
    • Country-led export strategies
    • Trade information for sustainable development
    • Facilitating South-South sourcing and sales transactions of pharmaceutical companies


    Strategic Plan and Millennium Development Goals - International Trade Centre

  • Highlights

    Ms Helen Clark visits ITC

    GENEVA - Developing countries need to invest in information and communication technologies (ICT) to accelerate their economic development, the heads of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the International Trade Centre (ITC) agreed at...

    Ms Arancha Gonzalez attend the 60th session of UNCTAD's Trade and Development Board at UNCTAD

    The three Geneva-based trade agencies must cooperate effectively and offer complementary approaches to developing countries, the new heads of the agencies agreed. The leaders of the World Trade Organization (WTO), the United Nations Conference on Trade...


    Over the last seven years, the International Trade Centre (ITC) has become more focused and its interventions more impactful, said outgoing Executive Director Patricia Francis, addressing the 47th annual meeting of ITC’s Joint Advisory Group (JAG)...

    Autumn events

    Growth, inclusion and innovation will take centre-stage at three ITC conferences this autumn in Indonesia, Malaysia and Mexico.

    Catadores in Brazil. Thumb.

    ITC’s Ethical Fashion Initiative invites 100 garbage collectors to its Good Business Models for a Sustainable Future event at the Corporate Sustainability Forum.

    Green field and tree blue.

    ITC and the Swedish Standards Institute (SIS) will contribute to the dialogue on the role for trade and standards in promoting sustainable development at this month’s Rio+20 Conference.


    Patricia Francis, ITC's Executive Director, joined Ambassador Betty E. King, the Permanent Representative of the United States of America to the United Nations, Ms. Ruth Y. Goldway, Chairman of the United States Postal Regulatory Commission and Ms. Violette Ruppanner, President of the Organization of Women in International Trade (OWIT), at the US Mission in Geneva to debate how to optimise the effects of leveraging the power of women's networks...


    Focusing on the value of exports rather than simply their volume is a key means for developing countries to survive and prosper in times of economic crisis, said Patricia R. Francis, ITC's Executive Director...


    The 11th World Export Development Forum (WEDF) wound up here today with the more than 300 delegates from 60 countries expressing optimism about trade growth in the post-crisis era and reaffirming their commitment...


    Some 4,000 farming and craft-producing households in four northern provinces of Viet Nam will benefit from a multi-agency programme, led by ITC, which was launched recently with funding from Spain’s Millennium Development Goals (MDG) Achievement Fund...