Norway boosts global trade and food safety

Norway is contributing NOK 16 million to the Standards and Trade Development Facility (STDF) to help developing economies and least-developed countries meet international food safety standards, facilitating their access to global markets.

Photo: Rudolph A. Furtado / Wikipedia
Salted fish is dried on the ground at the Malte port harbor in Karnataka, India.

Marit Fosse

Norway’s pledge was confirmed at a ceremony attended by WTO Director-General Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala and Norway’s WTO Ambassador Petter Ølberg on Feb. 12 at the WTO, in Geneva.

“I am grateful for Norway’s generous contribution to the STDF. This contribution underscores the importance of international cooperation in advancing food safety systems, contributing to poverty reduction, enhanced food security and better protection of the environment. With Norway’s support, the STDF will continue to develop and finance projects helping developing countries meet international food safety standards, promoting safe and inclusive trade,” said the WTO Director-General Ms Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala.

The contribution from the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (NORAD) will enable the STDF to launch new collaborative SPS capacity development projects across Africa, Asia-Pacific, Latin America and the Caribbean. It will also enhance the STDF’s knowledge platform, which serves as a catalyst for identifying and disseminating best practices, fostering innovative approaches and promoting the exchange of information that enhances SPS work globally.

Ambassador Ølberg said : “Norway is happy to continue our long-standing support for the STDF. No doubt about it, the STDF is efficient in assisting developing and least developed members access global markets, strengthening their compliance with international sanitary and phytosanitary standards. This also answers concerns by the WTO G90 group in their Agreement-specific proposal on SPS.”

The STDF is a global multi-stakeholder partnership to facilitate safe and inclusive trade, established by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the World Health Organization (WHO), the World Bank Group, the World Organisation for Animal Health (WOAH) and the WTO, which houses and manages the partnership. The STDF responds to evolving needs, drives inclusive trade and contributes to sustainable economic growth, food security and poverty reduction, in support of the United Nations Global Goals. The new contribution from NORAD extends its collaboration with the STDF into 2024. Norway’s total contribution to the various WTO trust funds from 2001 to 2023 is about CHF 44,578,000.

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Marit Fosse

Marit Fosse trained as an economist from Norwegian school of Economics and Business Administration in Bergen (Norges Handelshøyskole NHH) and then earned a doctorate in social sciences. She is the author of several books. Nansen: Explorer and Humanitarian, co-authored with John Fox, was translated into Russian/Armenian/French. In addition, Fosse is the editor of International Diplomat/Diva International in Geneva, a magazine set up 20 years ago for diplomats and persons working in the international organizations in Geneva but also elsewhere. In her free time, Fosse is an accomplished painter.