H.E. Mr. Ali bin Ahmed Al-Kuwari, Minister of Commerce and Industry and Acting Minister of Finance, participated in the Fifteenth session of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD 15), hosted by Barbados, via video conferencing from October 3 to7..
This year’s edition of the quadrennial conference, held under the theme, ‘From inequality and vulnerability to prosperity for all’, explore ways to bridge the gap between developed, developing, and the least developed countries, as well as highlighting the pivotal role of trade in achieving comprehensive development and prosperity for countries.
At the outset of his speech at the plenary session, H.E. the Minister of Commerce and Industry and the Acting Minister of Finance expressed his thanks and appreciation to the Government of Kenya for its efforts in presiding over the last conference. H.E. also thanked the Government of Barbados for its efforts and commitment to hosting the proceedings of UNCTAD 15, despite the many delays imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic.
H.E. Mr. Al-Kuwari further expressed his appreciation of the Ambassador of the Republic of Tanzania, Ms. Maimuna Tareshi, chair of UNCTAD, for her efforts in coordinating the mechanisms for drafting the new mandate document.
H.E. Mr. Al-Kuwari also thanked the Secretary-General of UNCTAD, the deputy Secretary-General, and the UNCTAD secretariat for preparing and setting up the conference.
The challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic necessitated the consolidation of efforts to combat the pandemic, not only nationally, but also on a cross-national level, H.E. Mr. Al-Kuwari said, further explaining that the crisis underscored the importance of joint and multilateral international action.
H.E. Mr. Al-Kuwari added that the pandemic had affected all countries worldwide. Its negative impact has been more pronounced among vulnerable peoples who lack access to basic healthcare and medical equipment and the necessary political, economic, and financial tools to overcome the pandemic’s repercussions, H.E. Mr. Al-Kuwari further stated.
In this regard, H.E. Mr. Al-Kuwari emphasized the need to strengthen international collaboration, to develop a coordinated and multilateral response to overcome the consequences of the pandemic, referring to the initiatives adopted by the State of Qatar in this regard.
Qatar had provided all means of support to the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization (GAVI), Friends of COVAX Facility (FOF) group, and the World Health Organization (WHO), H.E. Mr. Al-Kuwari added, pointing out that Qatar had also donated thousands of tons in medical equipment to more than 81 countries.
H.E. Mr. Al-Kuwari called on all countries to unite efforts and work side by side to support and develop the work of UNCTAD, by building on past achievements to move forward towards enhancing international cooperation to establish a comprehensive and fair global economic environment for all countries worldwide.
In this context, H.E. the Minister stressed the need to devise a road map that would allow developing countries, especially the least developed, to implement practical policies that would enable them to give their people equal access to development benefits.
H.E. Mr. Al-Kuwari referred to Qatar’s efforts while presiding over UNCTAD 13, so as to support UNCTAD, as well as diversify and expand its mandate, owing to Qatar’s commitment in its vital role in building a new and innovative approach to multilateral economic relations.
Qatar has taken important steps towards devising long-term policies to consolidate comprehensive and equitable development nationally, regionally, and internationally, H.E. Mr. Al-Kuwari further said, pointing out that the State had provided all means of support for international efforts to address various issues, in all international forums, especially the World Trade Organization (WTO).
In this context, H.E. Mr. Al-Kuwari reiterated Qatar’s commitment to supporting the role of UNCTAD, especially with regard to initiatives aimed at helping developing countries and least developed countries, underlining Qatar’s keenness to support all UNCTAD efforts to help the Palestinian people.
H.E. Mr. Al-Kuwari stressed Qatar’s unwavering determination to continue supporting and standing by the Palestinian people. In cooperation with the United Nations and several of its partners, Qatar is keen on working to direct development and humanitarian projects and financial assistance to low-income families, and to ensure the Gaza Strip receives power supply, H.E. Mr. Al-Kuwari stated.
In concluding his address, H.E. the Minister of Commerce and Industry & Acting Minister of Finance voiced hope that UNCTAD 15 would contribute to fostering the ideal environment to achieve the desired goals and objectives, thus paving the way for achieving the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals.
The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) was established in 1964 as an intergovernmental organization.
UNCTAD is the part of the United Nations Secretariat dealing with trade, investment, and development issues. The organization’s goals are to maximize the trade, investment and development opportunities of developing countries and assist them in their efforts to integrate into the world economy on an equitable basis.
UNCTAD takes on formulating policies relating to all aspects of development including trade, aid, transport, finance, and technology.
Source: Ministry of Commerce and Industry