TrainForTrade is pleased to announce that a high-level official launch of the TrainForTrade special course Building Port Resilience Against Pandemics will be held online on 22 June 2021 from 2.30 to 3.30 p.m. CEST. To check your local time, please follow this link.

This is a preparatory event for the UNCTAD 15 ministerial conference scheduled for the week of 3 October 2021. All interested participants can register themselves at, then select “Official Launch of the Special Course Building Port Resilience Against Pandemics” and use the access code BPRLAUNCH.

Ships carry around 80% of global trade, including food, energy, raw materials and vital medical supplies. COVID-19 highlighted the critical role that maritime transport plays in response to pandemics and the need for governments to allow commercial ships continued access to ports worldwide and to facilitate the rapid changeover of ships’ crews.

Panellists will discuss the importance of keeping supply chains open and allowing the maritime trade to continue despite the changing context in which economic sectors operate due to the current COVID-19 pandemic. It will feature the Acting Secretary-General of UNCTAD, Ambassadors to the United Nations of Ireland and Spain, Heads of Ports of Barbados, Valencia and Buenos Aires, and the Director of UNCTAD’s Division on Technology and Logistics.

Welcoming remarks

  • Ms. Isabelle Durant, Acting Secretary-General of UNCTAD

Panel Discussion

  • H.E. Mr. Michael Gaffey, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Ireland to the United Nations
  • H.E. Ms. Aurora Díaz-Rato Revuelta, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Spain to the United Nations
  • Mr. David Jean-Marie, Managing Director & Chief Executive Officer of Barbados Port Inc.
  • Mr. Aurelio Martínez, President of the Port Authority of Valencia
  • Mr. José Carlos Mario Beni, Comptroller of the General Administration of Ports S.E, Port of Buenos Aires

Interactive discussion

  • Moderated by Ms. Shamika Sirimanne, Director of UNCTAD’s Division on Technology and Logistics

More information about the event can be found here.

About the course Building Port Resilience Against Pandemics (BPR)

UNCTAD’s TrainForTrade programme has designed a self-paced, moderated online course to help port community managers strengthen the knowledge and skills needed to protect the people working in port activities while ensuring the continuity of operations. The course, set to be delivered from 28 June to 30 July 2021, will also lead to the development of a set of recommendations to mitigate the impacts of the current and future pandemics in port communities around the world. The policy advice will feed into the deliberations of UNCTAD 15.

More information about the course and registration can be found here.