An article published yesterday on the Al-Jazeera website discusses the recent developments surrounding the debate on the future mandate of UNCTAD.
Written by Deborah James, Director of International Programs at the Center for Economic and Policy Research in Washington, DC, the article introduces UNCTAD as the only multilateral economic agency focused on development, and one that has emerged as “one of the leading critics of finance-led globalisation, positing development-led globalisation as the needed alternative policy focus of global economic governance.”
This exactly is now the point of contention, explains the article. Other international economic institutions, dominated by the same governments whose failed policies led the world into the economic crisis, “feel reluctant to share the governance space with UNCTAD.”
Unlike those institutions, UNCTAD is known for “not only having predicted the crisis, but also for not being afraid of suggesting alternative-to-the-Washington-Consensus solutions,” reminds Ms. James.
She goes on to recognize the widespread support that UNCTAD is receiving as the discussions on its mandate are taking place. She recalls the Declaration adopted by civil society representatives at UNCTAD XIII, and endorsed by nearly 200 NGOs globally, which calls for reinforcing UNCTAD’s mandate. It also reminds of the recent BRICS Trade Ministers’ Statement, also demanding that UNCTAD mandate be strengthened.