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    ...And the Thirty Years Before


    © International Trade Centre, International Trade Forum - Issue 1/2004

    Trade Forum's issue 3/1994 highlighted the milestones that had marked the first 30 years of ITC's history. The article is reprinted below.

    Principal ITC developments over 30 years

    26 Oct. 1962
    Proposal for the establishment of an International Trade Information Centre made by the Brazilian representative to the GATT Council.

    19 Mar. 1964
    GATT Contracting Parties decide to establish "trade information and trade promotion advisory services in the framework of GATT."

    1 May 1964
    GATT International Trade Centre commences operations in Villa Le Bocage, Geneva, with a staff of three profes-sional officers and two general service personnel.

    1 Oct. 1964
    Mr. Herbert L. Jacobson appointed Head of the Centre.

    15 Dec. 1964
    First issue of International Trade FORUM published in English, French and Spanish languages and circulated to 10,000 individuals and organizations engaged in international trade or trade-related activities.

    1 July 1965
    Top post of ITC redesignated as Director.

    1 May 1966
    ITC receives its first trust funds from individual donor governments for projects in developing countries.

    30 Oct. 1967
    UNCTAD Trade and Development Board endorses the proposals made by the Executive Heads of UNCTAD and GATT for a joint UNCTAD/GATT International Trade Centre.

    22 Nov. 1967
    GATT Contracting Parties recommend that ITC be operated jointly by UNCTAD and GATT as from 1 January 1968.

    12 Dec. 1967
    United Nations General Assembly adopts Resolution 2297 (XXII) approving the establishment of the joint Centre.

    1 Jan. 1968
    Arrangements for the joint International Trade Centre UNCTAD/GATT comes into effect. ITC's staff consists of 18 professional officers and 16 general service personnel.

    Mar. 1968
    ITC hires its first experts to carry out technical cooperation projects in developing countries; these consultants total 42 throughout the year.

    28 May 1968
    First session of the Joint Advisory Group on the International Trade Centre held.

    May 1970
    First contribution received from UNDP for ITC's technical cooperation programme.

    31 Dec. 1970
    ITC's annual technical cooperation programme with developing countries goes above the $1 million mark for the first time.

    12 Jan. 1971
    Fourth session of the Joint Advisory Group recommends the creation of "a small advisory group of experts to be convened from time to time."

    8 Apr. 1971
    Mr. H.L. Jacobson becomes Director (Promotion) of ITC and Mr. V.E. Santiapillai Director (Programme).

    10 Jan. 1972
    First meeting of the Technical Committee of the Joint Advisory Group.

    9 Aug. 1973
    United Nations Economic and Social Council Resolution 1819 (LV) recognizes ITC as "the focal point for technical assistance and cooperation activities in the export promotion field within the United Nations system" and the "focal point for all United Nations assistance in the field of trade promotion."

    18 Dec. 1974
    United Nations General Assembly affirms ITC's status as a subsidiary organ of both the United Nations and GATT.

    1 May 1975
    Mr. Victor E. Santiapillai appointed Director of ITC.

    24 Nov. 1978
    Proposals published for the first medium-term programme of ITC 1979-1981.

    31 Dec. 1978
    ITC's annual technical cooperation programme with developing countries goes over the $10 million level for the first time.

    1 June 1979
    Mr. P.C. Alexander appointed Director of ITC.

    20 Dec. 1979
    Top executive position of ITC upgraded to that of Assistant Secretary-General, through a decision of the UN General Assembly, with the title designated as Executive Director of ITC, effective 1 January 1980.

    31 Dec. 1979
    ITC-implemented technical cooperation projects financed by trust funds surpass an annual $10 million for the first time.

    27 Oct. 1980
    Proposals published for the second me-dium-term programme of ITC, 1981-1983.

    5 Dec. 1980
    International Development Strategy for the Third UN Development Decade, adopted by the UN General Assembly, calls on donor countries to further support ITC in its programme of technical cooperation in trade promotion and export development.

    3 Apr. 1981
    Joint Advisory Group at its fourteenth session establishes a working party to review the future arrangements for the Technical Committee and the Joint Advisory Group.

    5 May 1981
    Mr. Göran Engblom appointed Executive Director of ITC.

    14 Sept. 1981
    Substantial New Programme of Action for the Least Developed Countries, adopted in Paris, calls for a strengthened role of ITC in promoting effective international marketing.

    5 Oct. 1981
    ITC's new headquarters in Geneva officially inaugurated.

    31 Dec. 1981
    ITC's annual technical cooperation programme with developing countries exceeds $15 million for the first time.

    26 Mar. 1982
    Joint Advisory Group at its fifteenth session recommends that the Technical Committee and Joint Advisory Group meetings be merged into one annual meeting.

    29 Nov. 1982
    Declaration of GATT Ministerial session invites contracting parties to grant new voluntary contributions to ITC or provide other forms of assistance to it.

    1 Dec. 1982
    Proposals published for the third medium-term programme of ITC 1983-1985.

    2 July 1983
    Resolution adopted at UNCTAD VI on the strengthening of ITC, particularly in relation to commodities.

    22 Dec. 1983
    Administrator of UNDP grants executing agency status to ITC, effective 1 January 1984, following endorsement by UNCTAD's Trade and Development Board and the GATT Council, as recommended by the Joint Advisory Group at its sixteenth session in March 1983.

    31 Dec. 1983
    ITC-implemented UNDP-financed technical cooperation projects go above an annual $5 million for the first time.

    1 Jan. 1984
    ITC starts implementation of the UN Medium-term Plan for the period 1984-1989 (later extended through 1991).

    31 Dec. 1986
    ITC's annual technical cooperation programme with developing countries goes above $20 million for the first time, and within this ITC-implemented UNDP-financed technical cooperation projects exceed $10 million.

    3 Aug. 1987
    First Act of UNCTAD VII calls for support to ITC in its activities concerning commodities and for increased technical assistance to least developed countries through ITC and UNCTAD in relation to market access.

    14 Sept. 1990
    Second UN Conference on Least Developed Countries calls upon ITC to provide technical assistance to these countries in export development, promotion and diversification.

    31 Dec. 1990
    ITC's annual technical cooperation programme with developing countries reaches a record level of $35.6 million, with UNDP-financed projects at $18.1 million and trust-fund financed projects at $17.5 million.

    1 Jan. 1992
    ITC starts implementation of the UN Medium-term Plan for the period 1992-1997.

    17 Jan. 1992
    Mr. Saïd T. Harb appointed Acting Executive Director of ITC.

    1 May 1992
    Mr. Raju Makil appointed Officer-in Charge of ITC.

    26 May 1992
    UNDP Governing Council approves the application of support cost flexibility arrangements to ITC, on the basis of ITC's status as an autonomous organization in the UN system.

    23 Dec. 1993
    UN General Assembly reaffirms the level of ITC's post of Executive Director as that of Assistant Secretary-General.

    13 June 1994
    Mr. J. Denis Bélisle appointed Executive Director of ITC.