The National Organising Committee (NOC) for the UNCAD 15 Conference launched its host country website(www.unctad15.bb) with a media briefing on 26 August 2020.
Opportunity for Transformation
National Coordinator, Ms. Teresa Marshall, said to members of the media who had gathered at the NOC’s offices, or were participating online, that UNCTAD 15 would be taking place during an unprecedented juncture of world affairs, “and takes on an even greater significance as an important opportunity for our leaders to reimagine a new world economic and trade order and to make decisive decisions for the future.”
She added that, “COVID-19 has challenged so many assumptions and has sent us all back to the drawing board. The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development emerged out of an equally turbulent era, the age of decolonisation of the 1960s, and the call by the newly independent developing nations for a greater say in shaping the international economic order in which they now functioned. We believe that UNCTAD 15 is taking place at a similarly historic moment where bold leadership and new thinking can be transformative.”
Ms. Marshall introduced all the members of the NOC staff, which includes Mr. Carlos Wharton, Deputy National Coordinator for the Substantive Negotiations, and Mr. Tyronne Brathwaite, Deputy National Coordinator for Administrative, Financial and Logistical Matters.
Mr. Wharton spoke about some of the broad substantive areas likely to engage the attention of delegates, explaining that UNCTAD makes its contribution in three areas: Consensus Building; Research and Analysis; and Technical Cooperation.
He said his role was to ensure that Barbados provides as much input as it can in:
– Building a consensus on how to build a better world, using UNCTAD as an instrument to achieve that goal;
– Determining how best to use UNCTAD to conduct research and analysis in new areas that directly affect our development – such as the nexus between health and trade and the growing challenge of climate change and its pressure on access to supply chains; and
– Technical Cooperation – Ensuring that UNCTAD continues to provide technical cooperation in areas where the multilateral system has worked, such as, the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement.
Mr. Wharton said, “Barbados has benefited in the recent past from technical assistance provided by UNCTAD, and we would want to ensure that under its new mandate, UNCTAD continues to provide such assistance to improve efficiencies at ports of entry and so on.”
Mr. Brathwaite briefed the media on arrangements for the Conference which will take place over the course of six days, as well as the six forums which will precede it.
He shared that, “One final and very exciting aspect of the UNCTAD 15 offerings is the Village Marketplace which will be set up on a two-acre parcel of land obliquely opposite the LESC. The Village Marketplace will serve as a showcase for the best of Bajan food, arts, music and culture. The basic design is that of a typical Barbadian village complete with chattel houses and liming spots where delegates can enjoy on a daily basis and in fresh air surroundings, a meal and live local bands. Delegates and other visitors to the Village Marketplace will also be able to browse and purchase locally-produced arts, craft and music.
The Village Marketplace was conceptualised and designed by Mr. Adisa Andwele who serves the National Organising Committee as Event and Production Manager for the Marketplace.”
Website and Social Media
Ms. Marshall explained that the main objectives of the website were to:
- profile Barbados and provide comprehensive information for delegates attending the Conference,
- highlight the priorities Barbados and the Caribbean wish to see addressed at UNCTAD 15, and
- inform Barbadians about the Conference and the economic opportunities it can provide for them.
The site was developed by Barbadian company Tapp New Media, and Managing Director, Mr. Fabian Branch, was on hand to take the website live and display some of what it features.
Media, Public Relations and Branding Focal Point, Dr. Sharon Marshall, and Social Media Coordinator, Ms. Marsha Branch, updated their media counterparts on areas of particular interest to journalists on the website, and the local UNCTAD 15 social media accounts (@BarbadosUnctad on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, and https://bit.ly/barbadosunctad on YouTube) which have been established.
Officer in charge of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade and Deputy Permanent Secretary, Ms. Donna Forde, was in attendance for the launch. Permanent Representative of Barbados to the United Nations in Geneva, Ambassador Chad Blackman, and UNCTAD staff in Geneva watched the proceedings online.
Photographs: Aisha Reid, Barbados Government Information Service.