By Vatican News staff writer
Archbishop Ivan Jurkovič, the Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the United Nations in Geneva has appealed to the Preparatory Committee (PrepCom) for the 15th United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD 15) Ministerial Conference to constructively engage on the path towards ensuring “prosperity for all” – the motto of UNCTAD.
Speaking on Friday at the second session of the Preparatory Committee, the Archbishop noted that UNCTAD 15 presents a “unique occasion to coordinate worldwide efforts for a healthier future” in the wake of “the pandemic and its fallout that have exposed serious deficiencies in the apparatuses of globalization” with lasting impacts on future efforts, especially in developing countries.
From this perspective, he continued, UNCTAD 15, scheduled from 25-30 April, 2021 in Barbados, “will provide the first opportunity for the development community to align the Agenda 2030 with global ‘new normal’.”
UNCTAD working towards prosperity for all
Archbishop Jurkovič pointed out that from its inception, UNCTAD has been the “strongest multilateral voice available for the community of developing nations, providing a constant impulse to reform the global economic system.” In this way, it exists with the goal of making “the global economic system work for everyone,” even though the gloomy projections from the impact of Covid-19 make this goal seem further away than ever.
Recalling UNCTAD’s guiding motto, “Prosperity for all”, Archbishop Jurkovič highlighted that even though the consequences of the current crisis extend beyond the financial domain into the economic, social and cultural spheres, the international community cannot let the financial system continue to be a source of global economic instability. Rather, “it must urgently take measures to prevent the outbreak of other financial crises,” he insisted.
He went on to stress the need to “transform global approaches to trade and development” in order to chart a sustainable course to better recovery, and highlighted that instead of “building back better”, we need to “re-build some aspects entirely from the ground up.”
In this regard, he reiterated that “it is imperative that the Barbados Conference mark the beginning of a new and decisive decade of development, learning from the lessons and missed opportunities of past years” because for many, “going back to ‘business as usual’ is no longer a possibility.”
Not a time for indifference
Insisting that “this is not a time for indifference because the whole world is suffering and needs to be united in facing the pandemic,” the Archbishop expressed his desire that the vulnerable people living in the peripheries may not be abandoned.
He, therefore, requested that the delegation of the Holy See be included in the Extended Bureau Consultation for UNCTAD 15 in order to provide a concrete contribution to the upcoming Ministerial document.