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17.04.2008 General News

UNCTAD XII Opens On April 20

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The 12th meeting of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD XII) will open in Ghana from April 20 to 25 under the theme: 'Addressing the Opportunities and Challenges of Globalisation for Development'.

It will be attended by about 4,500 representatives of UNCTAD's 193 states, including several heads of state, as well as participants from other international bodies, non governmental organisations, businesses and the academia.

The Presidents of Brazil, Algeria, Finland, El-Salvador, Nigeria, Senegal, Tanzania and Turkey have confirmed their participation in the conference, according to a statement issued by the Ministry of Information and National Orientation.

Activities planned for the conference include a flag raising ceremony at the National Theatre on April 17, followed by the World Investment Forum to be staged on April 18 and a Civil Society Forum which comes off April 17-25.

The World Investment Forum will feature government officials, investors and investment promotion agencies from 193 countries and will focus on the 'Investment-led Globalisation Process, Its Trends and Prospects.'

'This will provide a unique opportunity for heads of state and government as well as corporate leaders to explore the emerging international investment landscape,' the statement said.  The forum will produce a position document that will be presented on April 21 to the opening plenary of the UNCTAD XII.

Many prominent figures from the world of politics, business and policy-making are expected to attend, including President John Agyekum Kufuor, the President of Finland Tarja Halonen, Secretary General of the United Nations, Ban Ki-Moon and Secretary General of UNCTAD, Supachai Panitchpadki.

The statement said the conference's high level discussion on April 21 would be devoted to Africa.

This session will be chaired by the United Nations Secretary General and moderated by UNCTAD Secretary General, Supachai Panitchpadki. The commodities boom and its development importance will be reviewed at a roundtable on April 23, titled 'The Changing Face of Commodities in the 21st Century.'

On April 22, the roundtable will be on foreign direct trade and traditional trans-national corporations entitled 'Creating an institutional environment conducive to increased foreign investment and sustainable development'.

The April 24 roundtable discussion will focus on the continuing difficulties of least developed countries in shifting their economies away from dependence on exports of primary commodities.


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