BARBADOS / ENGLAND – Madame president, prime minister Mottley, distinguished delegates: The United Kingdom would like to congratulate you and our gracious host, Barbados, for delivering an impactful conference in what have been extremely challenging circumstances.
The fact that the international community was able to meet virtually on this occasion to discuss some of the most pressing economic and developmental challenges of our time and seek consensus on the best way forward is a tribute to the enduring power of multilateralism. We must harness this momentum and this willingness to act to build back better from the pandemic and achieve a more equal, green and prosperous world for all.
This drive has been most exemplified by the efforts of all Member States to adopt the Bridgetown Covenant. After nine months of intensive negotiations, we now have a revitalised mandate and a refreshed direction for the organisation. One which acknowledges the importance of building back better from the pandemic, addressing climate change, progressing digital transformation and women’s economic empowerment, and having a well-functioning UNCTAD which truly responds to the needs of developing countries.
Barbados should also be commended for bringing to the fore the specific challenges facing Small Island Developing States as well as the need for collaborative action on climate change.
Indeed, we hope that when the world comes together for COP26 in Glasgow in just a few short weeks, it will be a turning point for our world and how we tackle climate change.
I wish to extend my appreciation to all regional coordinators, the Secretariat, chair and friends of the chair for their tireless work to make this week’s conference, and its outcomes, possible.
In this spirit of collaboration, I am also pleased to announce that the United Kingdom will, henceforth, be joining the JUSCANNZ regional grouping at UNCTAD. This is a testament to the already close relationships between our countries and to the willingness to work even closer together on this important agenda going forward.
We look forward to working closely with the secretary-general and other Members on implementing the new mandate and the revitalised UNCTAD over the next four years.