It gives me great joy to be standing here, representing the vibrant and diverse 2024 cohort of Young Professionals at the World Trade Organization (WTO). The sheer pleasure of being part of this incredible journey, alongside nineteen (19) remarkable individuals hailing from various corners of the globe, is simply beyond words.
The two weeks of our induction have been nothing short of a dazzling experience, illuminating our minds and souls with new insights, rewarding us with knowledge, and sparking a fire within us to dive headfirst into the WTO’s vital work. Our excitement knows no bounds as we eagerly prepare to immerse ourselves in the noble task of aiding the WTO in achieving its core objectives, thereby uplifting the lives of people worldwide, particularly in developing and emerging economies through the transformative power of trade.
Our gratitude overflows towards the program organisers for this remarkable opportunity. We embark on this journey with great eagerness, ready to embrace all that the WTO and the enchanting city of Geneva have to offer. Our spirits are high, and we are poised to make the most of every moment, learning, growing, and contributing to the cause with unbridled enthusiasm.
To my fellow young professionals, congratulations are in order! Our dedication, passion for sustainable international trade, and unwavering belief in the potency of the Multilateral Trading System have brought us to this extraordinary juncture.
There is no doubt that we are all acutely aware of the pivotal role the World Trade Organization plays in nurturing global trade and economic collaboration. It serves as a vital platform for nations to negotiate agreements, resolve disputes, and champion fair and open trade practices. We, as young professionals, hold a unique opportunity to shape the trajectory of global trade, steering it towards sustainable development and prosperity for all.
We also recognize that these are particularly challenging times, from the global impact of the COVID-19 pandemic to the transformative force of technological advancements, to rising geopolitical tensions and the urgent need to address climate change. As young professionals, we are poised to meet these challenges with innovation, collaboration, and a resolute commitment to positive change.
Our generation holds within it the power to drive positive change, to shape a future where global trade benefits all. By embracing innovation, fostering collaboration, and upholding the values of fairness and transparency, we can create a world that is prosperous and sustainable for all.
Together as Young Professionals, we have the power to drive progress and sculpt a future where global trade benefits everyone. We carry the responsibility to remain informed, continuously learn, and adapt to the evolving global landscape. By seizing opportunities for professional growth, fostering constructive dialogue, championing inclusivity, harnessing the potential of digital technologies, and building resilient networks, we can contribute to the advancement of the WTO’s objectives and leave a lasting mark on the global trade community, paving the way for a more sustainable world.
Our hearts brim with gratitude once more for the unwavering confidence placed in us by the leadership of the Secretariat. We are also grateful to the Member State Officials present and to the YP programme selection and induction teams at the WTO led by Mr. Samer Seif El Yazal along with Queen, Hye Seung and Virginie.
Our dedication to this endeavour is further fueled by the recognition that the Young Professional Programme is not just a capacity-building initiative but also an opportunity for us to leverage our accumulated experience and knowledge. We are eager to contribute to emerging trade topics such as digital trade, climate change, environmental sustainability, and the needs of Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs), thereby supporting the existing work of the WTO.
We stand resolute in our commitment to tirelessly work towards the WTO’s goals, unified in our belief that together, we can shape a world where trade becomes a powerful force for positive change. We also echo the sentiments of the DG, who emphasizes that ‘the future of trade is digital, green, and must be inclusive.’