Paragraph 166 of the Bangkok Plan of Action was adopted by member States of UNCTAD in 2000 where requested the Secretary-General to organize regular training courses for capital-based policy makers and academics to gain a better understanding of the interrelated issues in the areas of trade, investment, finance and technology; and how to participate and derive gains from trade and investment negotiations. The secretariat was also to establish the basis for a continuous and systematic form of capacity-building.
Today, regular courses are organized in the five developing regions: Africa; Arab Economies; Economies in transition/Eastern Europe; and Latin America-Caribbean. Partners in each of these regions have been identified as multi-year venues.
The Trade and Development Board of UNCTAD in 2001 established an Advisory Body which now oversees the organization and management of these courses. The Advisory Body, the governance structure of this programme, is chaired by the current President of the TDB with the Secretary-General of UNCTAD. Member States are represented in the Advisory Body as follows: four from Group B, 9 from the Group of 77 and China, and 2 from Group D.