Communication for Sustainable Development

Unctad to focus on sustainable growth amidst financial crisis

During its stewardship of the thirteenth session of United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (Unctad XIII) to be held in Doha  from April 21-26, Qatar will seek to foster regional economic co-operation by enhancing inclusive and sustainable development.

Unctad XIII will address the challenge of sustainable development in the wake of the global financial crisis.

With the Arab Spring , countries in particular are looking towards a more sustainable future, and it is significant that Unctad’s quadrennial ministerial meeting is  being held in the Middle East for the first time.

Replacing short-term concerns of regime security with a focus on the long-term needs of the people is an essential step towards ensuring the political gains of the Arab Spring are translated into enduring economic and social benefits.
Qatar’s hosting of Unctad XIII provides an opportunity at a key moment in Arab history to lay the foundations for a sustainable future.
This must be a future free from the vested interests and cosy networks of privilege that have prevented the region from reaching its true economic potential.
It is no accident that Qatar has been chosen to host Unctad XIII because the Qatar government and Unctad share the same goals and vision. Both want the economic inequalities between the ‘haves’ and the ‘have not’s’ initially reduced and eventually eradicated.
Qatar appreciates that its enormous carbon based wealth gives it a privileged position within the Arab world and it is also aware of its responsibility to ensure a more sustainable future in Qatar and beyond.
At a national level, Qatar is creating the conditions that will enable it to enjoy the benefits of increased trade, a diversified economy, foreign direct investment, and emerging growth opportunities.
The country is also addressing many of the issues that have inhibited the development of a wealth-generating, robust and private sector.
Centralised economic controls and restrictive economic barriers are being removed. Investments in education, non-carbon based industries,healthcare,transport-tion,services and infrastructure are driving growth at a rate which dwarfs that of leading Western nations.
At the same time, it is also channelling some of its wealth into supporting the new governments in the Maghreb.
Having taken a lead in driving political change, Qatar is conscious that the Arab Spring economies continue to remain fragile and in a state of flux that they require financial and technical help if they are to bring people from the economic margins to the mainstream of society.
To this end, Qatar has called for governments in Arab states to bring in economic reforms for ensuring sustainable growth and this is a key objective of Unctad XIII.
Unctad’s secretary-general Supachai Panitchpakdi is keen to push forward radical reform of the global financial system, taming financial markets and creating the right conditions for sustainable growth.
His stance will strike a chord with those who believe that financial markets and institutions have become the masters rather than the servants of the real economy, distorting trade and investment, heightening levels of inequality and posing a systemic threat to economic stability

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