Civil Society Forum: 15th Session of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD15)

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Anita Gurumurthy and Parminder Jeet Singh were part of two panels at the Civil Society Forum for the 15th Session of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD15) to be held from 3rd to 7th October, 2021. The theme for this year's conference is From Inequality and Vulnerability to Prosperity for All.

The Forum was organized and hosted by the Caribbean Policy Development Centre from 22nd September to 24th September 2021 to contribute to the transformative discourse that needs to take place in the UNCTAD15 conference that will be held in October. It also aimed to address some of the systemic and structural inequalities in the trade and development space.

Read the concept note for the Forum here.

Anita Gurumurthy was part of the first plenary session on Day 1, titled 'The Crisis of Multilateralism – UNCTAD Rediscovering its Original Mandate to Confront Key Challenges of the Global South.' The session sought to discuss UNCTAD’s mandate and role in the context of today’s conjuncture, and its ability to confront current challenges, particularly those facing the Global South, including:

  •     The need for re-balancing of the current global division of labor and advancing socio-economic transformation;
  •     Advancing the climate/ecological transition
  •     Advancing the transition towards a feminist care economy; and
  •     Confronting the techno-structural aspects of digitalization.

She was joined by the following speakers in the plenary:

    Mr. Tetteh Hormeku-Ajei, Head of Programmes, Third World Network-Africa
    Ms. Diyana Yahaya, Gender and Trade Coalition
    Mr. Alvin Mosioma, Executive Director, Tax Justice Network Africa
    Ms. Kai-Ann Skeete, The University of the West Indies
    Mr. Daniel Bertossa, Assistant General Secretary, Public Services International

The session was moderated by Mr. Stephen Fletcher.

You can hear a recording of the session here or read a transcript of her talk here.

Parminder Singh was part of the first plenary session of on Day 2, titled 'Trade, Technology & Development: Reframing the Discourse.'

The plenary session focussed on:

  •     The role that UNCTAD could play in exploring strategies that could shift the centre of economic activities of Southern countries towards the national and regional.
  •     Reframing trade agreements and international cooperation to advance economic structural transformation.
  •     Building local economic resilience through technology justice.

He was joined by the following speakers in the plenary:

    Ms. Susana Barria, Public Services International
    Ms. Sanya Reid Smith, Legal Advisor and Senior Researcher, Third World Network
    Mr. Adam Wolfenden, Trade Justice Campaigner, Pacific Network for Globalization
    Ms. Sofia Scasserra, Associate Researcher, Transnational Institute
    Ms. Jane Nalunga, Expert on trade, tax and investment-related issues, SEATINI

The session was moderated by Ms. Deborah James, Coordinator, Our World Is Not For Sale and closed by Ms. Sandra Massiah, Member of the International Civil Society Facilitation Committee of the UNCTAD15 Civil Society Forum.

Hear the recording of the session here