Trade House Pavilion opening at COP28: Global leaders join forces on trade and climate change

Trade House Pavilion opening at COP28: Global leaders join forces on trade and climate change
01 December 2023
17:00 - 18:00 hrs. Expo City, Trade House Pavilion, Thematic Arena 3 [LIVE STREAM]
, United Arab Emirates

Sustainable development is at the heart of the multilateral trading system, with trade playing a vital role in the global response to the climate crisis.

The international trade and business institutions, ICC, ITC, UNCTAD, and the WTO, have joined forces to build the Trade House Pavilion to spotlight how trade can contribute to climate action and a just transition and to support collective action throughout the COP duration alongside the first-ever Trade Day happening at a COP.

This session will serve as the Pavilion's opening with the heads of the four international organizations coming together with the UAE COP28 Presidency leadership to speak on the importance of trade being part of the Presidency Program and the UNFCCC Pavilion spaces. It will also kick off a two-week program of leaders' dialogues, stakeholders' conversations, and launch events on trade and climate aligned with the official COP28 Presidency Programme thematic days.

This event will be live streamed

Join us online

Session Goals

  • Build awareness on how the key international trade and business organizations joined forces with UAE to put trade on the COP28 Presidency action agenda.
  • Heads of ICC, ITC, UNCTAD, and WTO identify the resources, interventions, and innovations needed to support collective action on trade to tackle the climate crisis and accelerate a just transition.
  • Position the Trade House Pavilion as the ' to-go-place ' for all conversations, discussions, and major announcements at COP28 – using the hashtag #TradeHouseCOP28 to promote all.
  • Identify recommendations and action items for strengthening collaboration


Welcome remarks by Moderator

  • Ms. Rachel Kyte, Dean Emerita, Professor of Practice at The Fletcher School, Tufts University

Opening Keynote by COP28 Presidency

  • H.E. Dr Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, Minister of State for Foreign Trade, Minister of Economy

Leaders panel discussion on collective action on trade and climate

  • Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Director-General, WTO
  • Ms. Rebeca Grynspan, Secretary-General, UNCTAD
  • Ms. Pamela Coke-Hamilton, Executive Director, ITC
  • Mr. John Denton, Secretary General, ICC


Rebeca Grynspan
UN Trade and Development (UNCTAD)

Rebeca Grynspan, of Costa Rica, became UNCTAD's eighth Secretary-General on 13 September 2021 and is the first woman to lead the organization.

Prior to her UNCTAD appointment, she was the Ibero-American secretary-general from 2014 to 2021, also the first woman to head the organization. During her mandate, she has coordinated the 22-member Iberoamerican Conference and led four key summits of Heads of State and Government. 

In 2010 she was appointed Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations and Associate Administrator of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and prior to that was UNDP Regional Director for Latin America and the Caribbean.  

Prior to joining the United Nations, Ms. Grynspan served as Vice-President of Costa Rica from 1994 to 1998. She was also Minister of Housing, Minister Coordinator of Economic and Social Affairs, and Deputy Minister of Finance. In 2021 she was named Special International Advisor to the newly created Economic and Social Council of Argentina and invited to join as member of the G20 High-Level Independent Panel on Financing the Global Commons for Pandemic Preparedness and Response.

In addition to her experience as a lecturer and advisor to several international organizations, she has been actively involved in key United Nations initiatives, such as the Millennium Project's Task Force on Poverty and Economic Development and the High-level Panel on Financing for Development.  

In 2014 and 2015, she was recognized as one of the 50 leading intellectuals of Latin America.  And she was recognized as one of the 100 most powerful women in Central America by Forbes magazine.

Ms Grynspan holds a degree in Economics by the University of Costa Rica and a MSc in Economics by the University of Sussex. She has been awarded a Doctorate Honoris Causa by the University of Salamanca, the University of Extremadura and the European University of Madrid in recognition of her outstanding professional achievements. 

Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala
World Trade Organization

Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala is the Director-General of the World Trade Organization (WTO). She is an economist and international development expert with over 30 years of experience.

She was Chair of the Board of Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance (2016 – 2020), the African Risk Capacity (2014 – 2020) and Co-Chair of The Global Commission on the Economy and Climate. Previously, she served as Senior Advisor at Lazard and sat on the Boards of Standard Chartered PLC and Twitter Inc.

Dr Okonjo-Iweala was appointed as an AU COVID-19 Special Envoy and WHO COVID-19 Special Envoy. Dr Okonjo-Iweala served twice as Nigeria’s Finance Minister (2003-2006, 2011-2015), the first woman to hold the position, and spent a 25-year career at the World Bank rising to the No.2 position of Managing Director.

In 2020 Dr Okonjo-Iweala was named Forbes African of the Year. She has been ranked by Fortune as one of the 50 Greatest World Leaders (2015) and by Forbes as one of the Top 100 Most Powerful Women in the World consecutively for four years. She holds a Bachelor’s in Economics from Harvard University and a PhD from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Pamela Coke-Hamilton
Executive Director
International Trade Centre

Pamela Coke-Hamilton has served as Executive Director of the International Trade Centre since 1 October 2020. She joined ITC from the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), where she was Director of the Division on International Trade and Commodities.

Ms. Coke-Hamilton has a breadth of experience and expertise in trade-related capacity-building and sustainable development. She served with the Jamaican Government, the Caribbean Forum in trade negotiations, and multilateral institutions, including the Organization of American States and InterAmerican Development Bank. She previously served as Executive Director of the Caribbean Export Development Agency, strengthening the private sector and micro, small and medium enterprises through investment promotion.  

She has a deep understanding of the challenges faced by vulnerable economies such as the small island developing States and least developed countries. Ms. Coke-Hamilton has worked extensively with the private sector across African, Caribbean and Pacific countries and academia to build trade-related institutional strength within member States. She also established the Women Empowered through Export (WeXport) platform to address the disadvantages that women-owned firms experience in accessing markets. 

Ms. Coke-Hamilton holds a Juris Doctor in Law from the Georgetown University School of Law in Washington, DC, and a BSc in International Relations and Economics from the University of the West Indies, Kingston, Jamaica.

John W.H. Denton
Secretary General
International Chamber of Commerce

John W.H. Denton AO is the Secretary General of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC). He is a global business leader, international advisor on policy and a legal expert on international trade and investment.

He serves as Board member of the UN Global Compact, Founding Member of the Business 20 (B20), and Co-Chair of Italy B20 working group on Finance and Infrastructure. He is Co-Founder of the Australia-China CEO Roundtable and Patron of UNHCR in Australia.

Board member of the IFM Global Investors - a global institutional investment manager, John is also Chair of the Asia Pacific advisory board of Veracity, a global advisory group based in New York, and Chair of the Moeller Institute advisory board at the University of Cambridge.

He also serves on the Boards of the UNDP (New York) impact investing steering group, and of UNICEF's global education initiative: GenU. He joined the Advisory Board of the African Green Infrastructure Investment Bank (AfGIIB) and the G7 Working Group on Impact Investment.

International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), International Trade Centre (ITC), and the World Trade Organization (WTO)

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