Statement by Mukhisa Kituyi, Secretary-General of UNCTAD

UNCTAD 15 Conference to be hosted in Bridgetown, Barbados

Geneva, Switzerland
11 December 2020

After productive discussions with the Prime Minister of Barbados, Her Excellency The Honorable Mia Amor Mottley, and following extensive and regular consultations between my officers in the UNCTAD Secretariat and officials of the Government of Barbados, we jointly agree that we are unable to proceed at this time with the organization of the UNCTAD 15 ministerial conference in April 2021, as earlier communicated, in light of prevailing sanitary conditions linked to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.

We reached this difficult decision after considering all possible options in close consultation with the relevant UN entities to evaluate the current situation and ascertain the correct course of action to protect the health and safety of the people of Barbados, as well as that of all delegates to this Conference. After the review of our plans and the evaluation of the current pandemic situation, a determination was made that the situation rated as high risk. 

In view of this rating, both parties mutually agree that the postponement of the conference to new dates later in the year from 3 to 8 October 2021, is the best course of action. It is our intention to continue working closely with all parties and the member States to ensure that preparations for the Bridgetown Conference continue as smoothly and safely as possible. 

I extend my sincere appreciation for the continued close collaboration with the Government of Barbados and look forward to a successful 15th UNCTAD ministerial Conference.

Thank you.