Friday 3 July, 2020

Barbados shouldn't lose chance to host postponed UNCTAD 15 in 2021

Tourism Minister Kerrie Symmonds (FILE)

Tourism Minister Kerrie Symmonds (FILE)

The plan for Barbados to host the fifteenth session of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD 15 ) in Bridgetown should go forward as is.

Tourism Minister Kerrie Symmonds told Loop News:

"It is a quadrennial conference as in, it takes place every four years so everything remains the same."

The conference was to be held from October 18 to October 23, 2020.

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Speaking on the postponement, Symmonds said that the call was the right one.

"The public health circumstances confronting us in Barbados together with the rest of the world with respect to COVID-19, do not lend to either a safe or a practical environment at this stage in which to either prepare for or host a massive global conference within the next few months.

"Therefore out of an abundance of caution and bearing in mind the importance of protecting the health and well-being of the Barbadian population a decision was taken to postpone the 15 UNCTAD quadrennial conference."

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As it relates to the possible new dates, he shared that the conference has been postponed "until a date next year, which is to be decided in due course."

The quadrennial conference is the highest decision-making body of UNCTAD at which member states make assessments of current trade and development issues, discuss policy options and formulate global policy responses.

Barbados currently has 23 active cases out of 83 reported confirmed cases since March 16, 2020. There have been seven COVID-related deaths as of May 8, 2020.

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