Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley signing the Host Country Agreement for the 15th session of the UNCTAD Ministerial Conference, at Ilaro Court today. Looking on are Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Senator Dr. Jerome Walcott (left) and UN Resident Coordinator for Barbados and Eastern Caribbean, Didier Trebucq. (A.Reid/BGIS)

The 15th Session of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD 15) will now be held in Barbados from April 25 to 30, 2021.

Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley made this announcement today after signing the Host Country Agreement for the 15th session of the UNCTAD Ministerial Conference, at Ilaro Court, while the UNCTAD Secretary-General, Dr. Mukhisa Kituyi, signed the document in Nairobi, Kenya.

Ms. Mottley emphasised the importance of the conference, which has as its theme: From Inequality and Vulnerability to Prosperity for All

UNCTAD 15 was originally scheduled for October 18 to 23, 2020, in Barbados, but had to be postponed because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Prime Minister told those gathered at Ilaro Court and online: “The Government of Barbados is committed to delivering a conference that allows for the universal participation of the 195 member states of UNCTAD while fully protecting the health and safety of both the visiting delegates and the local population.

“We aim to provide a platform for consequential deliberation and action by ministers and for serious engagement with civil society, young people and the private sector. Above all, we are determined to make UNCTAD 15 an inclusive and unforgettable event…. We intend to offer you an unforgettable and significant event, with opportunities for creativity and entrepreneurship for the people of Barbados first and foremost.”

Ms. Mottley explained that the pre-conference events would include six fora on Youth, Civil Society, Gender and Development, Global Commodities, the Creative Industries and Trade Digitisation, on April 23 and 24.

She noted that ministers will debate and provide leadership on a range of issues, and highlighted some as:

  • the impact of COVID-19 on trade and development as well as on our ability to attain the sustainable development goals and agenda 2030;
  • elements relating to the future of the multilateral trading system;
  • the nexus between health and trade in policy formulation;
  • the measurement of vulnerability and the management of debt;
  • structural transformation of developing countries;
  • the growth of the digital economy;
  • the impact of climate change on trade and development;
  • trade facilitation and transportation; and
  • the importance of regional integration in building resilient value and supply chains to strengthen business continuity systems and the food security

Ms. Mottley said that by signing the agreement, Barbados had confirmed its intent to become the first Caribbean country and the first small island developing state ever to host a session of the United Nations Conference on Trade Development.

Click here to download Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley’s Statement at the signing of the Host Country Agreement for UNCTAD 15.

sharon.austingill-moore@barbados.gov.bb

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