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TWN Info Service on WTO and Trade Issues (Jul11/05)
12 July 2011
Third World Network

 
UNCTAD-XIII to take place on 21-26 April 2012 in Doha
Published in SUNS #7184 dated 6 July 2011
 
Geneva, 5 Jul (Kanaga Raja) -- The thirteenth quadrennial conference of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) is now officially scheduled to take place in Doha, Qatar from 21 to 26 April 2012.
 
According to an UNCTAD press release, on 4 July afternoon, the Minister of State for International Cooperation of Qatar and the Secretary-General of UNCTAD signed the comprehensive document under which Qatar will host UNCTAD-XIII.
 
The signing ceremony took place in the Green Room of the Villa Bocage on the grounds of the Palais des Nations.
 
UNCTAD said that the thirteenth quadrennial conference is expected to attract some 6,000 Government officials, civil society representatives, staff members, and representatives of other international agencies.
 
The last conference, UNCTAD-XII, was held in Accra, Ghana from 20 to 25 April 2008.
 
At its fifty-second executive session earlier this April, the Trade and Development Board of UNCTAD approved the theme and sub-themes for UNCTAD-XIII.
 
The theme is "Development-centred globalization: Towards inclusive and sustainable growth and development."
 
The sub-themes are as follows:
 
1. Enhancing the enabling economic environment at all levels in support of inclusive and sustainable development.
 
2. Strengthening all forms of cooperation and partnerships for trade and development, including North-South, South-South and triangular cooperation.
 
3. Addressing persistent and emerging development challenges as related to their implications for trade and development and inter-related issues in the areas of finance, technology, investment and sustainable development.
 
4. Promoting investment, trade, entrepreneurship and related development policies to foster sustained economic growth for sustainable and inclusive development.
 
The UNCTAD press release has quoted Khalid Bin Mohamed AL-Attiyah, the Qatari Minister of State for International Cooperation, as saying at the signing ceremony of the host-country agreement that "UNCTAD XIII will be a valuable opportunity to contribute to the search by developing countries for a new and dynamic direction in their sustainable development options. This is also very relevant to the needs of our region which is undergoing enormous changes."
 
Referring to the status of the long-running Doha Round of global trade negotiations, the Qatari Minister said, "We are also aware of the stalemate in the Doha Round. The Conference may help to invigorate the Doha debate."
 
According to the press release, UNCTAD Secretary-General Dr Supachai Panitchpakdi told the 13-member Qatari delegation attending the ceremony: "We are delighted that an UNCTAD Conference should take place in the Arab region for the first time ever."
 
He described Qatar as "a natural-resource-rich country.... that has successfully managed its revenues and achieved exceptionally high levels of both economic and human development. The country can serve as an inspiration and source of knowledge for visiting delegations, as well as make connections for trade, investment, and other forms of cooperation."
 
"Developing links of this kind is of course important because our Conference will take place at a sensitive time in the global economy," Dr Supachai added.
 
"UNCTAD XIII is the first major UN ministerial conference on trade and development since the fallout from the economic crisis and, as such, provides us with a good opportunity for reflection," the UNCTAD head stressed.
 
Also speaking at the signing ceremony, Luis Manuel Piantini Munnigh, President of UNCTAD's Trade and Development Board, described the theme of the Conference, "Development-centred globalization," as conveying "an important message - that development must be at the heart of the globalization process, and that development must be inclusive and sustainable."
 
"We must make sure that UNCTAD XIII makes a difference and contributes in a very real way to development efforts by our member States," the President of the Trade and Development Board added. +

 


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