Ahead of a Crucial Trade and Development Meeting in Barbados Guterres Highlights the Importance of “Youth Voices”

On Sunday, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said he was committed to making the UN a place where “youth voices are heard, and their ideas lead,” as he spent the day in Barbados, which will host a major UN trade and development conference tomorrow, focusing on the need to build a global green economy and recover equitably from the COVID-19 pandemic. 

António Guterres arrived in the Caribbean island nation on Saturday and will speak at the UNCTAD15 conference, which starts on Monday and is titled “From Inequality and Vulnerability to Prosperity for All”. 

Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta will deliver the opening comments digitally, followed by Prime Minister Mia Mottley of Barbados and Rebeca Grynspan, Secretary-General of UNCTAD, the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, in the Barbadian capital Bridgetown. 

According to his Deputy Spokesperson, who briefed media at UN Headquarters on Friday, Mr Guterres is likely to emphasise the problems of dealing with debt distress and the need to mount a sustainable and equitable recovery for all in his remarks. 

He is also expected to stress the importance of re-igniting trade and investment engines and ensuring that they assist the world’s poorest countries, as well as the need to create a global green economy. After meeting Prime Minister Mottley, who will serve as President of UNCTAD15, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon tweeted on Sunday that she had underscored the necessity of investment in protecting the world’s most vulnerable in a dramatic speech to the UN General Assembly last week. 

He spent the day meeting with government officials and was scheduled to visit parts of Barbados affected by climate change to experience firsthand the effects of erosion and land degradation. He was also scheduled to visit a village still reeling from the effects of Hurricane Elsa, which made landfall on July 2nd as the Atlantic season’s first hurricane. 

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