Geneva, Switzerland, (19 June 2013)
Input from civil society – non-governmental organizations, academics, business leaders, and others – will be sought during a two-day debate on how to raise living standards and spur economic growth in a world that has changed greatly since the United Nations Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) were set in 2000.
The UNCTAD Public Symposium 2013, which is to be held on 24–25 June, will look at New Economic Approaches for a Coherent Post-2015 Agenda.
The Public Symposium is designed to harvest non-official perspectives on a major subject of international discussion, namely how governments and global organizations should pursue development – the improvement of health, nutrition, education, housing, and other basic living conditions – once the MDG deadlines expire in 2015. Several of the MDGs have not been met, and the recent financial, food, climate, and energy crises have driven home the message that changes in philosophy and tactics are needed, as efforts continue to help poor people and countries.
In plenary sessions to be held on 24 and 25 June respectively, the Symposium will debate Macroeconomic and financial governance on the road to 2015 and Trade and investment rules for inclusive and sustainable development.
These two themes echo concerns raised by UNCTAD in recent years – including at the UNCTAD XIII quadrennial conference in 2012 – that globalization should be “development-centred” rather than “finance-driven”; that reducing poverty requires devoting greater attention to spurring broad-based economic growth, as opposed to current approaches of supplying aid; and that steps are needed to close widening income gaps.
UNCTAD regularly consults civil society in the course of its work. Some 680 civil society organizations have registered to attend the Symposium.
The session will be opened on the morning of 24 June by UNCTAD Trade and Development Board President Mukhtar Tileuberdi and UNCTAD Secretary-General Supachai Panitchpakdi.
In addition to morning plenary debates over the two days, during which civil society representatives will give their reactions to presentations made by panellists, the Symposium will feature numerous breakout sessions in the afternoons.
Among the topics for these smaller meetings are Financial and commodity market rules for development-led globalization, Regional monetary and financial architectures, Changes in the global economy and multilateral governance, Africa’s transformation priorities and the post-2015 development agenda, and Can a more locally focused agricultural trade regime reduce hunger and environmental impacts?
A full programme for the Symposium is available at unctad.org/Symposium2013.
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