In 1964, the founding Member States of UNCTAD articulated a vision for a better and more effective system of international economic cooperation, whereby the division of the world into areas of poverty and plenty may be banished and prosperity achieved by all.
In 2014, as the global population forges towards 8 billion and beyond, the importance of seeking ways for the developing world to participate in global trade as a partner of equal standing is as strong as it has ever been. And so, as it celebrates its 50th anniversary, it is my great pleasure to offer the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) my sincere congratulations.
For 50 years, UNCTAD has deployed research, analysis, technical assistance and political influence to try and create a system of economic cooperation that could help bridge the gaps between the developed and the less-developed world. By helping developing countries to improve their ability to participate effectively in global trade, UNCTAD has made, and continues to make, a very positive contribution towards a fairer and more equitable global economy. As we seek to define the post-2015 development agenda the need for a way forward that will lead to prosperity for all, through stable economic growth and sustainable development, is more urgent than ever.
UNCTAD can, with great justification, look back on 50 years of achievement and progress. But it is to the future, and to the next 50 years, that attention must now turn. It is a future in which resources will be stretched ever further but in which the old imbalances will become increasingly unacceptable. It is a future in which UNCTAD's work- to ensure the benefits of globalization are enjoyed by all- will continue to grow in importance.
*Photo courtesy: http://www.imo.org