Prime Minister's Message

Message from the Prime Minister 

The Hon. Mia Amor Mottley, Q.C.,M.P.

On December 19, 2019, the General Assembly unanimously welcomed the offer of Barbados to host the 15th Session of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD 15).  We are honoured by the responsibility entrusted to us, and committed to making UNCTAD 15 a memorable and participatory event, both for its international delegates and for the citizens of Barbados.

My Government is conscious of the historic juncture the international community has reached in economic and trade relations, making it all the more urgent for us to act strategically to reassert the relevance of UNCTAD and the indispensable value of multilateralism.

We are even more conscious of the unprecedented situation currently facing all nations of the world. The devastating impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has shown us, in the starkest of terms, the profound and irreversible nature of global interdependence. It is clear that the crisis will have far-reaching consequences for the international economic order as we have come to know it. It is equally clear that its long-term effects will fall disproportionately on the vulnerable and disadvantaged in our societies.

Yet catastrophic circumstances can be powerful catalysts for positive and fundamental change. UNCTAD, with its distinctive history, its highly respected research capacity and its technical expertise, can play a unique leadership role in defining that new path. Barbados is determined to help make UNCTAD 15 a Conference that responds to the new realities, and fully reflects the dynamic vision and bold priorities of member states for the future of trade and development.

Barbados will be the smallest state and the first Small Island Developing State ever to host a session of UNCTAD. This will also be the first time the Conference is being held in the Caribbean region. It is indeed a challenging undertaking for a country of our size, economic circumstances and capacity constraints, but we are confident that through supportive partnerships and alliances with friendly governments, international and regional agencies as well as the business community, we will together ensure the success of the Conference and its accompanying events.

We invite you to read about the exciting plans we have for UNCTAD 15. We look forward, with your help and participation, to making them a reality.