President Tarja Halonen attended the release event of the Second Report of UNCTAD's Panel of Eminent Persons, which is entitled Addressing Key Economic Issues to Advance Sustainable Development: Ideas for Actions, on May 21st in Geneva. The atmosphere in the event was positive and the panelists received a lot of affirming feedback.
Secretary-General Supachai Panitchpakdi established the First Panel of Eminent Persons when first becoming UNCTAD Secretary-General in 2005 with the goal of renewing UNCTAD in mind. The purpose of the First Panel was to provide recommendations on how to enhance the development role and impact of UNCTAD. The task of the Second Panel was to concentrate on finding ways to pursue development-centered globalization in the post-crisis era. The Report reflects on the key economic challenges of today and comes up with 10 concretes initiatives, relating to for example trade and inclusive growth, on how to tackle these. In addition to the recommendations, the Report includes Dr Supachai’s considerations on the role of UNCTAD and his own time as the Secretary-General of the organization.
In the release event both the panelists and the audience expressed their satisfaction towards the Report. As Halonen noted, it is however important to remember that at this point the recommendations are still only seeds that could then be further developed and adopted by the Member States.
In addition to the Co-Chair Halonen, other members of the distinguished Panel of Eminent Persons included for example Co-Chair and University Professor Jagdish Bhagwati, Vice President of the Dominican Republic Margarita Cedeño Fernández and the former President of Mozambique Joaquim Alberto Chissano.
The report can be found in the following address: http://unctad.org/en/PublicationsLibrary/osg2013d3_en.pdf