Civil Society Forum Wishes To See A Stronger UNCTAD

A day before the conclusion of negotiations at UNCTAD XIII, members of the Civil Society Forum said they wish to see a stronger and even more relevant UNCTAD to emerge from the negotiations. They called for an UNCTAD that is “able to continue to contribute alternative analysis and thinking as well as strategic direction to address the global crisis.”

The Civil Society Forum, which takes place alongside the thirteenth session of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD XIII), brings together representatives of non-governmental organizations from around the world to discuss the conference agenda.

Lidy Nacpil, Regional Coordinator in the Philippines­ and representative of Jubilee South Asia Pacific Movement on Debt and Development (JSAPMDD), said: “Governments [of developed countries] together with the international institutions they dominate and favor, i.e. the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank, choose to deny that the crises are of a systemic nature triggered by the neoliberal policies that they support.”

She added: “They prefer to silence institutions that have been ahead of the curve and sing a different tune. They raise more than a trillion dollars’ worth of funds for unrepresentative organizations that produce recommendations putting millions of women and men at risk, while UNCTAD’s funding and work is constrained on the pretext of efficiency.”

Deborah James, Director of International Programs at the Center for Economic and Policy Research in Washington, DC, said: “UNCTAD is the only international forum where developing countries have a voice. We should be strengthening UNCTAD in comparison to other institutions that are dominated by the developed countries, such as the IMF, not weakening it. This is especially important as they have been wrong about the financial system and UNCTAD has been right in predicting the current crisis.”