Government has contracted former Prime Minister Owen Arthur to chair a new global commission to examine several critical small island issues ahead of next year’s United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) XV here.
The Barbados-sponsored Global Commission on Small Island Developing States — Trade Development Options 2020, will prepare papers on issues ranging from the high indebtedness of Small Island Developing States (SIDS) to global warming and the impact of artificial intelligence.
Prime Minister Mia Mottley, QC, and Arthur, who is currently Professor of Practice, Economics of Development at the Cave Hill Campus of the University of the West Indies in Barbados, have already held preliminary discussions.
The commissioners will be selected from around the globe and will meet both face-to-face and virtually. A secretariat to support the commission and its work will soon be set up.
Their research will also cover topics such as the development of a realizable modern trade agenda; an assessment of the current state of SIDS; graduation from access to financing; vulnerability; a narrow economic base enhancing dependence on a small range of products; areas of potential transformation; creative economies; and the development of small enterprises.
Papers produced by the commission will be considered in the lead up to Barbados’ chairmanship and hosting of UNCTAD XV here in 2020.