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Statements in International Organisations


UNCTAD - Trade and Development Board: 43rd Executive Session (Geneva)

Statement by Slovenia on behalf of the European Union, given by HE Ambassador Andrej Logar

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Dear Mr. Secretary-General of the UN,
Dear Dr. Supachai,
Dear colleagues,

It is my pleasure to take the floor and welcome you, Mr. Secretary-General, here in UNCTAD on behalf of the European Union. The Candidate Countries Turkey, Croatia1 and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia[1], the Countries of the Stabilisation and Association Process and potential candidates Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Serbia, as well as the Republic of Moldova, Armenia and Azerbaijan align themselves with this declaration.This Statement is also supported by JUSSCANNZ.

Your visit comes at a critical time for the organization as we are less than two month away from the next Session of the Ministerial Conference in Accra and in the midst of intense discussions on its outcome document. Allow me to take this exceptional opportunity to share with you briefly some of our views on the role of UNCTAD, as well as the opportunities and challenges it is facing.

We see UNCTAD as an important part of the United Nations development machinery and strongly believe that it can - in its core areas of comparative advantage and expertise - make a significant contribution to the international efforts in supporting developing countries, particularly the LDCs and Africa, so that they achieve their development objectives, including the Millennium Development Goals.

In order to strengthen its own development impact, but also that of the UN system as a whole, UNCTAD should participate actively in the system-wide coherence processes as well as management reforms. Furthermore, while UNCTAD undeniably has a record of achievements in promoting development through trade and investment, delivering fully on its potential in the future in the face of changing needs and realities requires a bold embrace of internal change and adaptation - both in programmatic terms and in terms of approach.

We consider the following particularly important from the perspective of strengthening UNCTAD:

  • Establishment, within UNCTAD mandate, of clear priorities for its work, based on practical relevance of the issues and the comparative strengths of the organization;
  • UNCTAD speaking with one voice, providing actionable and practical solutions for developing countries;
  • Better involvement of national experts in the work of UNCTAD and
  • Streamlined intergovernmental process with more clearly defined functions and expected outcomes.

The Secretary-General of UNCTAD, Dr. Supachai, early on in his term took the initiative including by establishing a panel of eminent persons on "Enhancing the Development Role and Impact of UNCTAD". Important decisions have already been taken on the basis of the panel's recommendations but further steps are needed both by us member states as well as the secretariat. Just like everyone has a stake so we also all share responsibility. While the on-going negotiations for the Accra Conference have been rather slow so far, this process remains an opportunity to build further progress. It is our hope that your presence here today and your address to the Trade and Development Board will help towards a constructive spirit and momentum so that we provide the organization with a relevant, impact-oriented and manageable work program for the following four years as well as the institutional and organizational set-up to allow it to use its resources in the most efficient manner.

Finally, in order to take forward what we hope will be a strong Accra outcome and ensure its implementation, UNCTAD will also need a complete management team in place. We thus attach great importance to the appointment of a new Deputy Secretary-General as soon as possible.

Mr. Secretary-General, let me conclude by thanking you again for your address and the privilege of this opportunity to bring to your attention what we believe are crucial issues for the success of the forthcoming Ministerial Conference to which we remain fully committed.


[1] Croatia and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia continue to be part of the Stabilisation and Association Process.


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Date: 05.03.2008