Barbadians are set to reap benefits from the upcoming United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) 15 scheduled to take place next April.
Deputy National Coordinator Tyronne Brathwaite said a Village Marketplace which will be set up on a two-acre parcel of land opposite the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre which will host the conference, will serve as a showcase for the best Bajan food, arts, music and culture.
“The basic design is that of a typical Barbados village, complete with chattel houses and liming spots where delegates can enjoy on a daily basis and in fresh air surroundings a meal and live local bands,” he said during this morning’s launch of UNCTAD 15’s national host country website, at the National Coordinating Office in Welches Plaza, St Michael.
“Delegates and other visitors to the Village Marketplace will also be able to browse and purchase locally-produced arts, craft and music.”
The Village Marketplace was conceptualized and designed by Adisa Andwele who serves the National Organizing Committee as Event and Production Manager for the marketplace.
The main conference will be organized into three meeting tracks –including the General Debate, where ministers will make national statements; Negotiating Sessions to finalize outcome documents; and Ministerial Roundtables and High-Level Events in which panellists and participants will deliberate on priority themes.
Brathwaite said before the main conference there will be a series of meetings and events that will run from April 23 to 24, 2021. He said Barbados will also host a number of pre-conference forums addressing matters relating to the youth, gender and development, civil society, the creative industries, trade digitization and global commodities.
According to Brathwaite, a team of highly competent and experienced individuals will serve as lead organizers for each of the forums: Professor Eudine Barriteau for the Gender and Development Forum; Roshanna Trim for the Youth Forum; Shantal Munroe-Knight for the Civil Society Forum; Adrian Greene for the Creative Industries Forum; Dr Annalee Babb for the Trade Digitization Forum; and Mr Peter Williams for the Global Commodities Forum.
“I should add that the Youth and Civil Society Forums both form an integral part of the UNCTAD machinery. These forums will therefore continue right through to the end of the main conference, as is customary. I should also note that the outcomes emanating from each of the forum discussions are expected to feed into the deliberations of the conference,” he added.
National Coordinator for UNCTAD 15, Theresa Marshall, said Barbados officially launched the official website to profile Barbados and provide comprehensive information for delegates attending the conference, and to provide an opportunity to highlight the priorities Barbados and the Caribbean wish to see addressed at the conference scheduled to take place April 25-30. The opening and closing ceremonies for UNCTAD 15 will be held at the Wildey Gymnasium on April 25 and April 30, respectively.
Marshall said the live website, developed by Fabian Branch of Tapp New Media, will also inform Barbadians about the conference and the economic opportunities it can provide for them.
“We believe that at this unprecedented juncture of world affairs, UNCTAD 15 takes on an even greater significance as an important opportunity for our leaders to reimagine a new world economic and trade order and to make decisive decisions for the future. COVID-19 has challenged so many assumptions and has sent us all back to the drawing board,” she said.
“The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development emerged out of an equally turbulent era, the age of decolonization economic order in which they now functioned. We believe that UNCTAD15 is taking place at a similarly historic moment where bold leadership and new thinking can be transformative.” (AH)