Meeting will take place in Doha from 21 to 26 April 2012
Geneva, 4 July 2011 - The Minister of State for International Cooperation of Qatar and the Secretary-General of UNCTAD signed this afternoon the comprehensive document under which Qatar will host UNCTAD XIII, the next quadrennial meeting at which the organization´s major priorities and programme of work are set.
The Conference, which will attract some 6,000 Government officials, civil society representatives, staff members, and representatives of other international agencies, is now officially scheduled to take place in Doha from 21 to 26 April 2012.
Khalid Bin Mohamed AL-Attiyah, Minister of State for International Cooperation said at the signing ceremony of the host-country agreement that "UNCTAD XIII will be a valuable opportunity to contribute to the search by developing countries for a new and dynamic direction in their sustainable development options. This is also very relevant to the needs of our region which is undergoing enormous changes."
Referring to the status of long-running global trade negotiations, the Minister added, "We are also aware of the stalemate in the Doha Round. The Conference may help to invigorate the Doha debate."
UNCTAD Secretary-General Supachai Panitchpakdi told the 13-member Qatari delegation attending the ceremony, "We are delighted that an UNCTAD Conference should take place in the Arab region for the first time ever."
He described Qatar as "a natural-resource-rich country. . . that has successfully managed its revenues and achieved exceptionally high levels of both economic and human development. The country can serve as an inspiration and source of knowledge for visiting delegations, as well as make connections for trade, investment, and other forms of cooperation."
"Developing links of this kind is of course important because our Conference will take place at a sensitive time in the global economy," Mr. Supachai went on. "UNCTAD XIII is the first major UN ministerial conference on trade and development since the fallout from the economic crisis and, as such, provides us with a good opportunity for reflection."
The signing took place in the Green Room of the Villa Bocage on the grounds of the Palais des Nations. The Green Room is where discussions that led to the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT), the precursor to the World Trade Organization, began some 60 years ago, the Secretary-General noted.
Also speaking at the signing ceremony was Luis Manuel Piantini Munnigh, President of UNCTAD´s Trade and Development Board. He described the theme of the Conference, "Development-centred globalization," as conveying "an important message - that development must be at the heart of the globalization process, and that development must be inclusive and sustainable. We must make sure that UNCTAD XIII makes a difference and contributes in a very real way to development efforts by our member States."
Present at the ceremony were the regional coordinators of UNCTAD member States and other high-level UNCTAD staff.
The signing event was the culmination of a two-day visit by Qatari officials to finalize the details of UNCTAD XIII. Beginning Sunday, they and UNCTAD officials discussed, in a series of meetings, such topics as the budget for the Conference; logistics and preparations; the participation of civil-society organizations; information and communications technology for the Conference; and security.
A special bilateral meeting was held this morning with a representative of Her Highness Sheikha Mozah bint Nasser of Qatar.
Members of the delegation from Qatar included Abdula Falah Abdulla Al-Dosari, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Qatar to the United Nations in Geneva; Abdulla Al-Jaber, Director of the Office of Minister of State for International Cooperation; Ahmed Ahen, Director of the Department of International Cooperation and Trade Agreements of the Ministry of Business and Trade; Najat Mahdi Al-Khalaf, Director of the Convention and International Cooperation Department of the Ministry of Justice; Abdulla Al-Khowaiter, Director of the Unit of Public Relations and Communication; Ahmed Al-Marzuqi, President of the Department of Regional and International Organizations; Mohammed AL-Uthman, Office of the Minister of State for International Cooperation; Abdel Galil Mohammed Almy, Counselor of the Office of Her Highness Sheikha Mozah bint Nasser; Colonel Khaled Abdulla Al-Hooty, Focal Point for Secretary of Qatar for UNCTAD XIII; Muntasar Al-Uri; Awni Behnam, Senior Inter-Regional Advisor; and Nasser Ibrahim Lenqawi, Commercial Attaché.
The Conference will be held at the state-of-the-art Qatar National Convention Centre( QNCC).