About Human Resources Development Section / TrainForTrade

The Section focuses on developing skills, knowledge and capacities through innovative development approaches based on a recognised pedagogical method and state-of-the-art technological solutions.

The core functions of the Section are to:

  1. Advise on the use of information and communications technology (ICT) to promote knowledge sharing, networking and competence building;
  2. Apply Learning and Content Management Systems (LMS/CMS);
  3. Host a distance learning platform (learn.unctad.org);
  4. Provide inter-divisional support for capacity development;
  5. Operate the Port Training Programme in 4 linguistics networks in Africa, Asia and Latin America;
  6. Develop and implement the TrainForTrade technical assistance programme with core components on international trade related issues.

The TrainForTrade programme (TFT)

TFT facilitates sustainable economic development through training and capacity development


TrainForTrade was launched in 1989 to address trade-related human and institutional capacity needs of developing and transition countries. The ultimate goal is to increase countries’ participation in international trade in an equitable and sustainable manner.

UNCTAD’s mandate is to work for development-led globalization, where the development paths are sustainable and inclusive. The TrainForTrade programme contributes to this goal by disseminating international trade-related knowledge and developing skills and capacities. TrainForTrade has proven to be very useful and instrumental in connecting UNCTAD research and analysis with sustainable capacity-building activities in developing and transition countries. TFT’s activities help to facilitate South-South and North-South collaboration and foster communication between trade and training experts.

TFT addresses the development aspects of trade

Many developing countries are lagging behind in trade capacity and international competitiveness.  Several constraints affect developing countries’ capacity to utilize the opportunities of trade for economic growth, development and poverty reduction. Lack of knowledge and skills is one of these constraints.  Ensuring that trade policies are development-friendly, adapted to local conditions as well as to the global economy, requires access to knowledge, information and trade-related skills and capacities.  TrainForTrade is addressing these challenges by providing capacity-development frameworks that help facilitate the integration of developing and transition countries into the world economy.

TFT and Sustainable Development Goals: UN SDG

The focus will be on:

End poverty in all its forms everywhere,
Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls
Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all
Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation
Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development
Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development, in particular with the targets to enhance North-South, South-South and triangular regional and international cooperation on access to science, technology and innovation and enhance knowledge sharing.

Activity Reports:

UNCTAD annual report 2018 (page 18)
UNCTAD annual report 2017 (page 26)
UNCTAD annual report 2016
(Section on Human Resource Development/TrainForTrade, from page 63) (full report)
dtl2014d1_en_143x200 Division on Technology and Logistics activity report 2013
(Section on Human Resource Development/TrainForTrade, from page 17)
dtl.2012 Division on Technology and Logistics Activity report 2012 (section on Human Resource Development/TrainForTrade, from page 19)