Institute for Leadership Development United Nations
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Sujit Chowdhury
Leading the
Implementation of the
World Trade University


I view the launch of the World Trade University (WTU) from three perspectives: response to a demand, urgency for convergence and the need for a different set of attitudes - a can - do mentality.

On Response to a Demand:

In my capacity as Executive Director of the Institute for Leadership Development and Secretary-General of the World Summit of Young Entrepreneurs, I have been privileged to engage and learn first hand that the international system is being influenced by new global trends, rapidly changing policies and a need for skilled human resources and effective institutional functioning at all levels.

I have been curious in learning about the evolution of international systems. I cannot fathom why so many thousands of people in places like Seattle, Washington D.C., Osaka, Prague and Quebec City etc. would oppose something so passionately which is supposed to be embraced with caution. It has become clear that the forces of globalization are in contradiction. Both of these external and internal processes, international demand for developing, least developed and emerging economies to facilitate market reforms and internal constraints of these countries to transform from within require constant adaptation to "changes" and call for all relevant parties, national and international, to come together and join forces to enhance the benefits of freer global trade.

On Urgency for Convergence:

I would like to raise a timely question: how can diverse and dispersed sources of expertise be harnessed as well as countries and their institutions be better prepared so that they too can benefit from rule-based trade. Furthermore, what institutional arrangements are required to create a new way forward? These questions underscore the necessity for innovative, 'face-to-face and virtual' networked institutions to facilitate a mechanism for just-in-time learning. We believe that capacity, both institutional and individual, can be significantly heightened through approaches that mobilize existing knowledge and human resources and by facilitating convergence.

On the Need for a Different Set of Attitudes - a Can - Do Mentality:

A genuine interest has been shown by multilateral agencies, governments, the international private sector, prestigious academic institutions, leading experts, foundations and civil society organizations to engage effectively with the works of the WTU. Numerous partnerships have been announced and we are in the process of engaging others. We are confident that the WTU is a timely response in balancing the trade opportunities because trade education is not only good economic policy but good social policy as well. The World Trade University is a safe haven where critical examination of trade realities will not be distorted by the aim to please or curtailed by the risks of displeasure.

With this spirit of excellence and with your support and guidance which we so urgently need, I am confident that the World Trade University is bound to flourish.

Sujit Chowdhury

2002 WTU. All rights reserved.