UN body agrees framework to make globalization and trade work for billions across global south

22 July 2016

The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) today wrapped up its fourteenth quadrennial conference, with delegations in Nairobi, Kenya reaching agreement on a framework that will guide the body's work over the next four years, largely focused on ensuring broad achievement of the new UN Sustainable Development Agenda.

Known as the 'Nairobi consensus, the outcome document culminated UNCTAD 14, which opened on 17 July and discussed the theme From Decisions to Actions, with the aim of contributing to the efforts to achieve the goals of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

“I'm delighted that our 194 member States have been able to reach this consensus, giving a central role to UNCTAD in delivering the sustainable development goals," UNCTAD Secretary-General Mukhisa Kituyi said after negotiators adopted the consensus outcome document and Political Declaration.

“With this document, we can get on with the business of cutting edge analysis, building political consensus, and providing the necessary technical assistance that will make globalization and trade work for billions of people in the global south,” he added.

UNCTAD14 President, Amina Mohamed, told the negotiators: “It's a good day for Kenya, a good day for UNCTAD, and a big win for multilateralism."

Prepared under the responsibility of the Kenyan Government, the political declaration, known by its Swahili translation, the

Azimio, represents a broad expression of the social and economic state of the world.

The conference was opened on Sunday by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in the presence of Kenya's President Uhuru Kenyatta and the Vice-President of Uganda, Edward Kiwanuka Ssekandi.

More than 5,000 dele gates from 149 countries also attended, UNCTAD said. The Conference took place as analysts remain gloomy about the outlook for the world economy. In the global north, many people have grown skeptical about the benefits of globalization, while poverty and inequality remain pervasive in the south.

The Conference saw concrete progress including the launch of a new e-trade initiative, the first UN statistical report on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) indicators, the launch of a multi-donor trust fund on trade and productive capacity, and the commitment of more than 90 countries for a roadmap on fisheries subsidies.

The conference also saw a fashion show, highlighting the creative and commercial potential of Kenya's fashion industry, the launch of this year's Economic Development in Africa Report, and the highlighting of issues around non-tariff measures, debt, and illicit financial flows.


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