, NAIROBI, Kenya Jul 16 – The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development has kicked off in Nairobi to chat the way forward in achieving sustainable development goals in the world.
The conference was formally opened by President Uhuru Kenyatta who urged the more than 10,000 foreign and local delegates to come up with a framework of ensuring their deliberations are implemented.
“I want to take this opportunity to thank all the negotiators who have worked hard on the outcome document for this conference, I am made to believe that this document will outline UNCTAD’s program of work for the next four years and indeed it deserves you that the mandate of UNCTAD should be strengthened so that it can play a more meaningful role in the implementation of our new global agenda,” he told the conference in his opening statement.
United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on his part urged the delegates attending to focus on equality and inclusion in trade to be able to achieve outlined goals.
He also noted the worrying signs of global economy as well as stagnant income which would only be solved through strong collaboration.
“The successful actions we will make over the next 15 years especially in the area of trade, investment, technology and finance require that we tap the full potential of all actors, promote innovation and correct unsustainable trends,” he said.
UNCTAD Secretary General Dr Mukhisa Kituyi paid tribute to the UN boss who is attending his last UNCTAD conference as well as urging delegates to seek ways of strengthening international solidarity.
“On behalf of UNCTAD I want to thank you that through your tenure you have attended and opened all the three UNCTAD conferences. I want to bid you welcome to give us guidance as we try to move forward on how our actionable agenda can inform lasting success of not only this conference but international solidarity that leaves no one behind,” he said.
Soon after the opening of the global conference, member states convened in the first plenary of UNCTAD 14 to pave the way for the commencement of the negotiations of the Conference outcomes.
First will be a negotiated text which has been the subject of discussions for the last six months and which outlines UNCTAD’s programme of work for the next four years.
The negotiations process commenced with the compilation of member states views submitted to the president of the Trade and Development Board of the UNCTAD Alfredo Suescum, Ambassador of Panama to the UN Geneva.
The second is a political declaration which Kenya, as the host, is expected to present for adoption by the member states. The declaration provides political guidance to the future work of UNCTAD.
“It is important to mention that UNCTAD 14 is unique as it brings together multi-stakeholders from governments, private sector, civil society, academia and the youth among others. The next five days are therefore crucial in ensuring that Nairobi delivers an outcome acceptable to all Member States,” Foreign affairs Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed told journalists in an earlier briefing.
The conference brings together more than 10,000 foreign and international delegates.