The STDF was established as a Trust Fund by the WTO, World Bank, WHO, FAO and the OIE at the Doha WTO Ministerial Conference in November 2001 in order to assist developing countries enhance their expertise and capacity to implement international SPS standards referred to in the SPS Agreement of the WTO.
The assistance of STDF provided to developing countries responds to the fundamental requirement that traded agricultural products are safe, and do not pose risks to human, animal and plant health. From the perspective of developing countries the capacity to comply with national regulations and international standards in the SPS area is often a crucial factor in order to gain and maintain market access for agricultural products.
Over the years, STDF has become an increasingly relevant vehicle for effective coordination among technical cooperation providers, the mobilization of funds required for technical assistance, the exchange of experience and the dissemination of good practice in relation to the delivery of SPS-related technical assistance.
The Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) has made a multi-annual contribution to STDF to support multilateral efforts for trade development. Along with this contribution, SECO has given a monitoring mandate to SAFOSO to strengthen SECO’s position as active donor.
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