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UNCTAD/PRESS/MA/2021/006
Nobel laureate Esther Duflo to deliver UNCTAD’s prestigious lecture

Geneva, Switzerland, 2 June 2021

Nobel laureate and renowned economist Esther Duflo will deliver the 17th edition of UNCTAD’s prestigious Raúl Prebisch Lecture online on 15 June.

The lecture entitled “Good economics for hard times” will focus on how countries can better address pressing socioeconomic challenges and ensure an inclusive recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Ms. Duflo, the Abdul Latif Jameel Professor of Poverty Alleviation and Development Economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, will deliver the lecture during the second edition of the United Nations Trade Forum to be held on 14 and 15 June.

The forum is among the pre-events leading to UNCTAD’s quadrennial ministerial conference scheduled to take place online from 3 to 7 October, hosted by Barbados.

“We are delighted to welcome Ms. Duflo to deliver this year’s lecture. Her seminal work has helped improve the economic lives of the poor through better policies. Her lecture will be an outstanding addition to the global dialogue on forging socioeconomic solutions that benefit people more equally,” UNCTAD Acting Secretary-General Isabelle Durant said.

About the lecture

The Raúl Prebisch Lecture is periodically delivered by a prominent thinker or head of state at the United Nations’ offices in Geneva, Switzerland, but this year it will be given online due to the pandemic.

The lecture often tackles trade and development issues, but also covers other topical global concerns. The lecture series began in 1982, with the inaugural one given by its namesake, the late Raúl Prebisch.

Mr. Prebisch (1901-1986) was secretary-general of UNCTAD from 1965 to 1969. Known primarily for his work as a scholar specializing in international and development economics, his greatest contribution to economics is the Prebisch-Singer thesis.

Since 1982, the Raúl Prebisch lectures have offered renowned intellectuals the platform to address critical global issues. Past speakers include Barbados Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley in 2019 and former Ecuador President Rafael Correa Delgado in 2014.

Others are Prof. Jeffrey Sachs, Prof. Lawrence R. Klein, Dr. Joseph E. Stiglitz, Prof. Jagdish Bhagwati, and Ms. Shrimati Indira Gandhi.

How to watch the lecture

Watch the lecture live on UNCTAD’s Facebook page on 15 June at 3:00 p.m. GMT (4:00 p.m. Geneva time).

For further information, please contact the UNCTAD Press Office (+41 22 917 5549/5166, unctadpress@unctad.org).