Trade ministers and delegates from 194 countries are meeting today in the Kenyan capital Nairobi to attend the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, UNCTAD.
The conference guided by the theme, from decision to action will discuss a wide range of issues affecting the global economy with particular focus on creating a sustainability model in development in line with Sustainable Development Goals adopted by world countries September last year.
Key for African countries will be reduction in overreliance on sale of commodities and expansion of other sectors of the economy. The Brexit effect is also expected to feature in the talks as countries readjust their positions to cushion their economies from the impact of Britain’s exit from the European Union last month.
According to the conference programme, the delegates will start with a discussion on investment promotion and sustainable development. This will present an opportunity for leaders from developing countries to share their ideas and experiences on sustainable development.
“The defining challenge of our era is to accelerate development that is economically sound, socially inclusive and environmentally sustainable. The Sustainable Development Goals embody nothing less. Reflecting on over 50 years and looking ahead to 2030, I am confident that we can deliver on our mandate and promises to generations to come: prosperity for all, dignity for all and a better planet for all,” said Dr. Mukhisa Kituyi, the UNCTAD Secretary General in the UNCTAD 2015 report.
The conference will also focus on the role of technology and innovation in spurring economic growth as well as investments in the creative industry, which is popular with the youth. The youth forum will be the first in UNCTAD’s history since its founding in 1952.
The conference, which is the 14th will also explore the role of the private sector in its contribution to bridging the sustainable development fund gap left by governments of developing countries.
An annual budget of $3.9 trillion is needed annually for developing countries to meet the sustainable development goals by 2030. However, public a shortfall of $ 2.5 trillion remains after public investments and global aid.
The conference will be officially opened by the Kenyan president Uhuru Kenyatta and the UN chief Ban Ki Moon both attending the African Union summit in Rwanda.
The forum will feature ministerial debates, high-level round tables, thematic events, a World Investment Forum, a Global Commodities Forum, a Youth Forum and a Civil Society Forum, among other events.