UN Trade and Development chief underscores importance of multilateralism in achieving shared prosperity

27 June 2024

Collaboration and synergies are needed more than ever to realize the world’s common vision for a more prosperous future for all.

SG Grysnpan speaks at a panel dicussion marking the 60th anniversary of the International Trade Centre.
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© World Trade Organization (WTO)/ Jay Louvion | UN Trade and Development Secretary-General Rebeca Grynspan (second right onstage), International Trade Centre Executive Director Pamela Coke-Hamilton (second left), and WTO Deputy Director-General Xiangchen Zhang (first right) spoke on 27 June at a panel discussion moderated by broadcaster Georgie Ndirangu (first left).

Collective commitment to multilateralism remains key to addressing global challenges and propelling inclusive development.

That’s the message from UN Trade and Development (UNCTAD) chief Rebeca Grynspan while addressing an event held in Geneva on 27 June.

The event marked the 60th anniversary of the International Trade Centre (ITC), coinciding with this year’s Micro-, Small, and Medium-sized Enterprises (MSME) Day.

Other high-level speakers included UN Deputy Secretary-General Amina J. Mohammed, ITC Executive Director Pamela Coke-Hamilton, World Trade Organization (WTO) Deputy Director-General Xiangchen Zhang, and African Union Commissioner for Trade and Industry Albert Muchanga.

Shared history, common vision for future

ITC is the joint agency of the United Nations and WTO, the former acting through UN Trade and Development.

Originally created by the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade in 1964 – the same year UNCTAD came into being – ITC works to support small businesses of developing countries to effectively participate in global trade.

In that sense, Secretary-General Grynspan highlights that the three organizations share not only a history, but also a vision for a better future – underpinned by firm commitment to multilateralism, trade-driven inclusive growth, and an international economic system that works for all.

Joint efforts towards shared prosperity

For decades, UN Trade and Development has been building synergies with ITC and WTO to foster a more equitable and sustainable world.

The entities jointly promote economic growth, empower communities and small businesses, and help developing countries build economic resilience. Some highlights of their collaboration include: