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UNCTAD’s Barbados meet next year to outline post-Covid recovery

| Updated: August 08, 2020 17:54:35

UNCTAD Secretary-General Mukhisa Kituyi UNCTAD Secretary-General Mukhisa Kituyi

The 15th quadrennial ministerial conference of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD15) will be held in Bridgetown of Barbados in April next year, according to a statement of the UN body.

The conference will take place from April 25 to April 30 in 2021 where 195 member States of the organisation will join to align the sustainable development agenda with global efforts to recover from the Covid-19 pandemic.

Barbados Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley and UNCTAD Secretary-General Mukhisa Kituyi signed an agreement on Wednesday in this connection for the hosting of UNCTAD15, officially setting off preparations for the landmark gathering.

“The Covid-19 global emergency and its extreme repercussions have exposed the need for a fundamental rethinking of many of the assumptions that previously underpinned the international economic order,” Prime Minister Mottley said during the signing ceremony held virtually.

“In a sudden and unexpected way, the crisis has provided the UNCTAD membership with a unique opportunity to be at the forefront of the new thinking and radical policy corrections that the situation now requires,” she added

Dr Kituyi said: “In a world overhung with the Covid-19 pandemic, UNCTAD15 is a first opportunity for the development community to give us a mandate aligning Agenda 2030 with the global new normal.”

The UN’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are a universal call to action to end poverty, protect the planet and improve the lives and prospects of everyone, everywhere, in line

UNCTAD15 will be a major global event of the UN’s “decade for action” to deliver on the SDGs. It will mobilise the governments, civil society organisations, businesses and the youth to address the massive unmet trade, finance, investment and technology needs of developing countries struggling to tackle the coronavirus crisis.

According to UNCTAD’s estimates, developing countries need $2.5 trillion in immediate resources to begin meeting the challenge of the pandemic. This is beyond the outstanding SDG funding gap of billions.

For example, even before the pandemic, least developed countries (LDCs) alone needed annual investments of $120 billion to achieve the SDG targets.

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