To review the programme activities for the period October 2014 – March 2015, a Steering Committee meeting co-chaired by Mr. Azher Choudhry, Additional Secretary Ministry of Commerce and by the Head of Cooperation at the European Union Delegation (EUD), Mr. François Bernard, was held on May 19th 2015.
The Programme Managers of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), Mr. Steffen Kaeser, of the International Trade Centre (ITC), Mr. Jean Sebastian Roure and of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), Mr. Mansur Raza, participated in the meeting through video conference from Vienna and Geneva.
In his opening remarks, Mr. Choudhry thanked the European Union (EU) for the long support, appreciated the trade opportunities offered by the GSP+ scheme, and informed that a Treaty Implementation Cell would be set up at the MoC to supervise the implementation and enforcement of the 27 UN conventions.
Addressing the meeting, Mr François, recalled the exceptional duration of the TRTA programmes and stressed the importance of ensuring sustainable continuity of the activities beyond the duration of the programme. He also underlined the need to have a more effective coordination with the donors.
Appreciation for the programme’s results were also expressed by the UNIDO representative, Mr. Esam Alqararah, in his intervention along with UNIDO’s gratitude for the trust and long support granted by EU.
The presentations on the achievements of the reported period were made by the TRTA staff, with inputs from the Programme Managers in Vienna and Geneva.
Mr. Kaeser wanted to recall some of the milestones achieved by the progamme, like the remarkable number of laboratories internationally recognized, the National Food Safety Bill, the National Quality Policy, the CE Marking achieved for several products, the CoPs in horticultural and fisheries sectors. About the impact of the programme he drew the attention of the participants to twelve concrete stories of men and women who are part of this programme and whose personal or professional lives have changed for better. He concluded by thanking the partner agencies, ITC and WIPO and by stressing the important linkages between TRTA and other agencies like the Food & Agricultural Organization (FAO), Australia-Pakistan Agriculture Sector Linkages Program (ASLP), Center for promotion of imports from developing countries (CBI), United States Agency for International Development (USAID).
Special emphasis to the achievements resulting from the TRTA long-lasting technical assistance was given by the interventions of the representatives of National Plant Animal Health & Inspection Service (NAPHIS) from Ministry of National Food Security & Research, the newly appointed Director General at Pakistan National Accreditation Council (PNAC), the Joint Technical Advisor of Ministry of Science and Technology (MoST), the Director General of National Physical and Standards Laboratories (NPSL), the researchers of Mango Research Station (MRS) and Citrus Research Institute.
Building on these positive aspects, Ms. Roshan Ara, development advisor at EUD, recommended that the programme documents the exit strategy to ensure sustainability and defines the impact generated by the six years of activities.