About us

Global Commission

Global Commission
on Trade and Development Options 2020

The Global Commission on Trade and Development Options 2020 was established in August 2019 under the sponsorship of the Government of Barbados. Its purpose is to bring independent expertise and scholarship to the UNCTAD 15 preparatory process on the critical trade and development issues impacting developing countries, in particular Small Island Developing States, and to offer policy recommendations on the way forward.

Inaugural Chairman of the Commission: the late Professor the Rt. Hon. Owen Arthur


Rt. Hon. Owen Arthur

Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley entrusted the Right Honourable Owen Arthur, Professor of Practice, Economics of Development at the University of the West Indies, Cave Hill Campus, with the responsibility of chairing the Global Commission. Professor Arthur, a distinguished economist, was the fifth Prime Minister of Barbados, serving in that capacity from 1994 to 2008. During his term in office, Owen Arthur played a major role within the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) in the establishment of the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME), and held lead responsibility among Heads of Government for advancing its implementation. Through his Chairmanship of the Commonwealth Ministerial Group on Small States and his advocacy within the international economic development and financial institutions, former Prime Minister Arthur was a leading voice in the call for policies that recognise the vulnerabilities of small developing states and respond to their special needs.

Professor Arthur enthusiastically accepted Prime Minister Mottley’s assignment, and was working with his fellow Commissioners on this important project up until his untimely death on 27 July, 2020. The Government of Barbados has given its commitment that, as a tribute to the memory of the Right Honourable Owen Arthur, it will put measures in place to ensure that the work of the Commission is completed and built upon.

The Members of the Commission

Deputy Chair Ms. Dorothy Tembo

Deputy Chair Ms. Dorothy Tembo, an economist, who brings to the Commission 30 years of trade and development expertise. Ms. Tembo served as Director of Foreign Trade in the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Commerce of Zambia from 2004 to 2008, and thereafter as Executive Director of the multi-donor Enhanced Integrated Framework Programme at the WTO. In 2014 she became Deputy Executive Director of the International Trade Centre, and has, since January 2020, served as its Executive Director ad interim;

Judge Tuiloma Neroni Slade

Judge Tuiloma Neroni Slade a lawyer and former Attorney General of Samoa, who served his country with distinction as Ambassador to the United States of America and Permanent Representative to the United Nations, subsequently becoming a Judge on the International Criminal Court. A champion of sustainable development issues for Small Island Developing States (SIDS), Judge Slade chaired the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS) from 1997 to 2003, and served for two terms (2008-14) as Secretary General of the Pacific Islands Forum;


Mr. Axel Addy

Mr. Axel Addy, a former Minister of Commerce and Industry of Liberia (2013-18), who served as the Chief Negotiator of Liberia’s accession to the WTO.  A strategic leader and advocate for multilateralism and for inclusive trade opportunities for developing countries, Mr. Addy is currently the Chief Executive Officer of Ecocap Investment Group (EIG), an investment and advisory firm specialised in linking investment and emerging markets in West Africa. He has been featured and cited by Forbes, Reuters, The Guardian, BBC, Japan Times and several local dailies including Frontpage Africa, among others. He has co-authored articles in the Guardian and World Economic Forum publications and a chapter in a book, “WTO, Trade Multilateralism in the 21st Century”;


Professor the Hon. Dr. Richard Bernal

Professor the Hon. Dr. Richard Bernal, an economist and diplomat, who served as Ambassador of Jamaica to the United States of America from 1991 to 2001, and is recently retired from his post as Pro-Vice Chancellor for Global Affairs at the University of the West Indies, Mona Campus. Prof. Bernal has had extensive experience in the regional and international economic and trade arena, and, in his capacity as Director-General of the Caribbean Regional Negotiating Machinery (CRNM) from 2001 to 2008, had lead administrative responsibility for coordinating the Caribbean’s strategy in the various external trade negotiating theatres. He served on the Board of Directors of the Inter-American Development Bank, and is the author of four books.

Documents and Speeches

Signing Ceremony