- Published on Friday, 27 April 2012 08:44
On Thursday, April 26th, a day before the conclusion of negotiationsm UNCTAD XIII, members of the Civil Society Forum said they wish to see a stronger and even more relevant UNCTAD to emerge from the negotiations. They called for an UNCTAD that is "able to continue to contribute alternative analysis and thinking as well as strategic direction to address the global crisis."
The Civil Society Forum, which takes place alongside the thirteenth session of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD XIII), brings together representatives of non-governmental organizations from around the world to discuss the conference agenda.
Lidy Nacpil, Regional Coordinator in the Philippines and representative of Jubilee South Asia Pacific Movement on Debt and Development (JSAPMDD), said: "Governments [of developed countries] together with the international institutions they dominate and favor, i.e. the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank, choose to deny that the crises are of a systemic nature triggered by the neoliberal policies that they support."
She added: "They prefer to silence institutions that have been ahead of the curve and sing a different tune. They raise more than a trillion dollars' worth of funds for unrepresentative organizations that produce recommendations putting millions of women and men at risk, while UNCTAD's funding and work is constrained on the pretext of efficiency."
Deborah James, Director of International Programs at the Center for Economic and Policy Research in Washington, DC, said: "UNCTAD is the only international forum where developing countries have a voice. We should be strengthening UNCTAD in comparison to other institutions that are dominated by the developed countries, such as the IMF, not weakening it. This is especially important as they have been wrong about the financial system and UNCTAD has been right in predicting the current crisis."
About UNCTAD XIII
The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) will hold its thirteenth session (UNCTAD XIII) at the 'Qatar National Convention Centre' in Doha from 21 to 26 April, 2012. It represents the first time that UNCTAD has been held in the Arab region. UNCTAD XIII will provide an opportunity for wide-ranging debate and reflection on the state of the global economy and the major economic challenges facing developing countries, particularly in light of recent economic and social crises.
A series of events will precede and run in parallel with UNCTAD XIII. These include the Civil Society Forum (17 to 25 April) that gathered some 400 representatives of non-governmental organizations from around the world; the first Global Services Forum uniteing actors from the economic sector as well as government officials; and the third World Investment Forum, attended by political decision makers and high-level officials of global corporations, including Peter Brabeck-Letmathe, Chairman of the Board of Nestlé.