The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) XII Session in Accra would not only offer hope to development, but also propose solutions to, among other things, the global financial turbulence, an official of UNCTAD said.

Mr. Kobsak Chutikul, Special Advisor to the Secretary-General of UNCTAD, said “the Accra Conference will be looking for answers, proposing solutions, offering alternatives and hope.”

He said this at a flag raising ceremony in Accra to mark the official taking over of the Accra International Conference Centre, the venue for the conference, from the government of Ghana to begin the meetings.

The UN and Ghana flags were raised at the ceremony, which saw a parade mounted by a contingent of men and women of the First Battalion of Infantry of the Ghana Armed Forces and some UN officials.

Other global challenges, which Mr Chutikul said would be considered at the Conference, were the impact of climate change that threatened to roll back many years of steady growth in many parts of the world, and the soaring food prices, which also threatens hundreds of thousands of people around the globe, especially in Africa.

He said in the next 10 days, “Accra will sing chorus, create a great symphony of voices that will be heard around the world.”

He said Least Developed Countries (LDCs) must continue to affirm and celebrate the audacity of hope, to dream and to demand always what is right in the affairs of the world.

Once hope and an idea have been conceived, Mr Chutikul said, the next step would be to bring everyone on board to have an agreement and then seek the means to bring those ideas into fruition and to deliver on development.

Mr Joe Baidoo-Ansah, Minister of Trade, Industry and President’s Special Initiatives, lauded UNCTAD’s contributions to world trade especially for LCDs but noted that the benefits had not been fairly distributed.

“We must do everything possible to ensure that each one shares in the benefits of development. Development must be all inclusive,” he said.

Mr Baidoo-Ansah said the world had had significant achievements in the past few years in the area of trade, especially the creation of export market for LDCs.

The 12th meeting, which is scheduled to officially open on Sunday, April 20, would run until April 25 under the theme: “Addressing the Opportunities and Challenges of Globalization for Development”.

About 4,500 representatives of UNCTAD’s, 193 states including several heads of state, as well as participants from other international bodies, non-governmental organizations, businesses and the academia are expected to attend.

Source: GNA

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