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Globalization Key Topic At Trade, Development Meet

Changes in globalization to be key topic at UN trade and development conference

18 March 2008 - Containing the global economic slowdown and adapting development thinking to "the second wave of globalization" will be major topics at the upcoming session of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD).

Delegates to the 20-25 April meeting will also address the implications of emerging challenges such as high energy prices and climate change for development, UNCTAD Secretary-General Supachai Panitchpakdi told reporters in Geneva today.

A central focus of the conference, which will take place in Accra, Ghana, will be the special development challenges of Africa, he added.

The current, "second wave" of globalization, Mr. Panitchpakdi explained, has come about as developing countries become major players in the world economy.

Earlier this month, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon expressed hope that the UNCTAD-XII conference could galvanize support for a more development-friendly global economic, trading and financial system, among other goals.

Established in 1964, UNCTAD promotes the integration of developing countries into the world economy. It also helps shape policy debates on development, with a focus on ensuring that domestic policies and international action are mutually supportive in bringing about sustainable growth.

Noting that 2008 is a pivotal year in the effort to meet the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), which aim to reduce extreme poverty and other global ills by 2015, Mr. Ban said that UNCTAD-XII must promote financial policies that help meet the MDGs in sub-Saharan Africa, in particular, as a matter of urgency.

ENDS

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