Canada funds participation of least developed countries in UNCTAD15

28 September 2021

The funding will make the conference more inclusive and enhance the ownership and practical value of the negotiated UNCTAD15 outcome.

© JonoErasmus

Canada has donated $200,000 to support the participation of least developed countries (LDCs) in the upcoming UNCTAD15 conference to be held virtually, hosted by Barbados, from 3 to 7 October.

The funds will ensure the participation of key stakeholders such as government, civil society, academia and youth representatives to guarantee the successful delivery of the conference.

LDCs’ participation in the wide-ranging but focused interactive debates at the conference will enhance the ownership and practical value of the negotiated UNCTAD15 outcome.

Thanks to the Canadian donation, various countries are organizing national events before, during and after UNCTAD15, with the help of local UN offices, in line with the theme of the conference, “From inequality and vulnerability to prosperity for all”.

Pre-conference national events

On 29 September, Guinea-Bissau will hold a local forum linked aligned to the global UNCTAD15 pre-cursor event, the Creative Industries and Trade Digitization Forum scheduled for 29 September to 1 October.

On 30 September, Uganda will organize a national dialogue under the theme “Enhancing public and private investments in Uganda to build resilient value chains”.

Deliberations at the event will inform the country’s input to UNCTAD15 and stimulate national discussions on how Uganda can position itself to benefit from the opportunities presented by regional and global value chains in the context of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA). 

On 1 October, Bhutan will organize a “techbrew” networking event to generate momentum towards the conference.

With the tech community in Bhutan mushrooming fast, there are increasing numbers of IT-focused individuals looking to meet likeminded digital gurus and entrepreneurs to network and gain inspiration and learn more about their industry.

The event will offer about 60 tech entrepreneurs an opportunity to network and share their experiences.

In Comoros, a debate on how to strengthen the resilience of the Comorian private sector in the face of the COVID-19 crisis to fight inequalities and ensure shared prosperity for all is scheduled for 1 October.

The event will offer local actors (private and public) a platform to discuss the difficulties encountered by the country’s private sector, identify the bottlenecks hindering its proper functioning and agree on avenues for revitalizing it.

On the same day, the country will hold an event on how to reinforce its commercial trade infrastructure for inter-island trade between the three Comorian islands –Grande Comore, Anjouan and Mohéli.

Stakeholders will discuss the barriers that affect the movement of goods between the islands and how to boost inter-island transport.

On 2 October, Comoros will hold another event on the challenges and opportunities presented by the digital economy and how it can enhance the resilience of Comorian youth and women.

Local events during the conference

Rwanda will focus on trade facilitation by showcasing UNCTAD’s support to the country through its ministry of trade and industry.

It will showcase its single window and trade facilitation platform implemented by the Rwanda Revenue Authority under the supervision of the National Trade Facilitation Committee to fulfill World Trade Organization’s Trade Facilitation Agreement.

The portal provides traders with transparent information on trade procedures and the government with a tool to measure the impact of the trade facilitation reforms.

On 6 October, Haiti will hold an event themed “From multiple vulnerabilities to resilience and prosperity: A call from Haiti”.

The event will explore how to ensure international cooperation is better delivered and coordinated in Haiti to address its intractable problems and build a fairer, greener and more inclusive society.

It will also examine how to innovate in creating new forms of dialogue and coalitions in support of the implementation of key national policy frameworks for recovery, resilience building, and a more equal society.

Considering Haiti’s status as a small island developing state and an LDC, stakeholders will also discuss the regional and international policies and instruments needed to support the country’s path towards structural transformation and prosperity for all.

On 7 October, Djibouti will hold a workshop to raise awareness and inform economic operators and civil society about the country’s national standardization and quality promotion system adopted in 2019 to improve consumer protection and food safety.

During the conference, Angola, Zambia and other countries will provide communications and connectivity support to participants who will follow UNCTAD15 discussions remotely.

Post-conference events

Burkina Faso will, on 8 October, hold a round-table discussion on the COVID-19 pandemic’s impact on trade and the new realities for the west African nation.

The event will also examine the prospects for the evolution of trade in Burkina Faso following the pandemic and the entry into force of the AfCFTA this year.

On 12 October, Guinea-Bissau will organize a radio debate to discuss the outcomes of UNCTAD15 and how to implement the key recommendations of the conference.

In late October, Bangladesh will hold an event focused on the country’s changing trade regime in the context of its graduation from LDC status and the fallout from COVID-19.

The country is celebrating its qualification for LDC graduation on its 50th independence anniversary and has initiated preparations for a smooth transition.

Participants at the event will discuss the country’s changing trade regime and potential next steps to address emerging challenges with international development partners, the private sector, civil society and relevant government ministries.