“Barbados to host UNCTAD conference”

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Barbados has landed a major United Nations conference.

Prime Minister Mia Mottley announced today the island would host the 15th United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) quadrennial meeting in October next year.

Mottley, who was speaking to the media at the Grantley Adams International Airport after arriving from London, England, said the United Arab Emirates, which had put in a late bid, would host the World Economic Forum and electronic forum the following month after the two countries engaged in discussions and decided to co-chair the events.

Barbados will be the first small country to host the conference.

About 3 500 visitors and delegates are slated to attend.

“It is a massive undertaking, but it is one that we feel we are more than capable of doing,” Mottley said.

The Prime Minister said the real benefit was not just in hosting the conference, but would put Barbados at the centre of the world in discussion on trade and development issues. She said, for example, Barbados, like other small island states, grappled with the effects of climate change having contributed little to what was happening in that area.

Mottley thanked those who were involved in the bid process, including Ambassador Chad Blackman who is based in Geneva, Switzerland, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade and the Ministry of Tourism and International Transport, including Minister Kerrie Symmonds, who made the final pitch.

The Prime Minister also gave an update on other discussions in London and Morocco and spoke again about forging better links with African countries.

Read more in tomorrow’s Weekend Nation. (SAT)

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