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WORKSHOPS FOR PARLIAMENTARIANS
In 2015 one of the top priorities for the Facility was to support Members in their efforts to ratify the TFA. To achieve this goal the Facility conducted several regional and national workshops for Parliamentarians.
This program was initiated through a presentation at a Parliamentary Conference on the WTO that was organized jointly by the Inter-Parliamentary Union and the European Parliament and conducted at the WTO at the beginning of 2015. This was attended by approximately 350 Parliamentarians from around the world.
The main concern of Parliamentarians was the impact the TFA will have on their country. Presentations at the workshops focused on the benefits of the implementation of the TFA, examples of the benefits of individual TF measures, and presentations from partner organizations and donors to inform of the technical assistance that is available.
The first regional workshop, for Parliamentarians from all African countries, was held in conjunction with a Ministerial Conference hosted by the Government of Morocco in which the WTO Director-General (DG) took part. Additional regional workshops were held for Parliamentarians in Latin America and the Pacific Islands.
In addition, national workshops were conducted in several WTO Members, upon request. The TFAF also prepared materials to assist Members to understand how to notify the WTO of their ratification and distributed this information widely through the TFAF website and at TFAF and WTO large events.
Due to the typical time period for a parliamentary process it is difficult to quantify success. However, several Members in each region ratified the TFA within a relatively short period after each regional workshop, despite the fact that in most cases the parliament had not received the TFA for ratification from their government at the time of the workshop.