Kenya gears up for UNCTAD conference as state moves to focus on country’s development agenda

The Ministry of Tourism has touted the upcoming United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), which will be held in Nairobi, as a boost for the sector and the country’s economic development.

The conference marks the 14th Session of the event, exactly 40 years after Kenya’s founding President, Jomo Kenyatta, opened the 4th session in May 1976.

UNCTAD will be held at the Kenyatta International Convention Center (KICC) in Nairobi from July 17 to July 22.

Tourism Cabinet Secretary Najib Balala and Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary Ambassador Amina Mohammed yesterday met with UNCTAD’s Secretary General Mukhisa Kituyi and Permanent Representative of Kenya to the United Nations, Dr. Stephen Ndungu during a handover ceremony to promote the upcoming affair.

“The Government of Kenya is committed to a successful UNCTAD Conference in Nairobi,” Amb. Mohammed said.

She was speaking just after the ceremony, which was held at the Kenya International Convention Centre (KICC) in Nairobi.

The week-long conference will host various Heads of State, global leaders and a wide range of diplomats, academia and civil society, under the theme; “From decision to action: moving toward an inclusive and equitable global economic environment for trade and development”, and will feature Ministerial debates, high-profile round tables, a World Investment Forum, a Global Commodities Forum, and a Civil Society Forum, among other events.

President Uhuru Kenyatta last year expressed his gratitude to the UNCTAD Board for choosing Nairobi to host the conference.

“We look forward to welcoming the world to Nairobi for the first United Nations implementation conference since the conclusion of the Addis Ababa Action Agenda in July 2015, the Agenda 2030 in New York and the just concluded COP21 in Paris,” he said.

Headquartered in Geneva, UNCTAD is responsible for expediting the global trade agenda (international trade). Governed by its 194 nation members, UNCTAD sets the tone for wide ranging and mutually beneficial trade relations around the world.

The conference is expected to serve as an opportune time to consider the means of delivering on the post-2015 development agenda, as well as decide on UNCTAD’s program of work. The UNCTAD Conference adds to the ever expanding list of events that Kenya has been attracting over recent times. It was preceded last December by the 10th World Trade Organisation (WTO) Ministerial Conference and will be followed in August by the first TICAD (Tokyo International Conference on African Development) on African soil.

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