Press Release

UNCTAD 15 Conference Postponed

24 April 2020

Bridgetown, Barbados – The fifteenth session of the UNCTAD Ministerial Conference (UNCTAD 15) will no longer be held in Barbados from 18 to 23 October 2020, as had been previously scheduled.

After consultations this week between Prime Minister, The Hon. Ms. Mia Amor Mottley, and UNCTAD Secretary-General, Dr. Mukhisa Kituyi, it was agreed that under the current global circumstances of COVID-19 it will not be possible to proceed as planned.

The Conference is the highest decision-making body of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) and is held every four (4) years. During the Conference, policy makers assess the current trade and development issues, discuss policy options and formulate global responses to the challenges affecting States – particularly developing states. The Conference also sets the organization’s mandate and work priorities.

Prime Minister Mottley stated that, “Barbados accepts, with regret, that the October timeframe for UNCTAD 15 is no longer feasible in the light of the current global emergency. However, we are convinced that UNCTAD has a unique opportunity to be at the forefront of the new thinking and radical policy corrections that this crisis situation now requires. We are committed to making UNCTAD 15 a ground-breaking session towards that objective.”

Ms. Mottley added that the Government will consult widely with its national stakeholders and confer again with the Secretariat on possible options for a rescheduled UNCTAD 15 Conference.