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UNCTAD 14 SIDE EVENT - Harnessing the blue economy for sustainable economic growth and development

Posted on: July 25, 2016

The fourteenth session of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD 14) took place in Nairobi (Kenya) from 17 to 22 July 2016. It brought together Heads of State and Government, ministers and leaders from the private sector, civil society and academia to tackle global trade and economic development issues.

The theme was “From Decisions to Actions”. As the first UN Ministerial Conference of the post-2015, It provided a timely opportunity to assess the changes needed in economic policy to deliver on the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda and to consider the most appropriate means of delivering on the post-2015 as a starting point and to translate ambitions into concrete plans of action. 

Ahmed Ndyeshobola, TradeCom II Team Leader and El Hadji Diouf, Multilateral Trade Expert represented TradeCom II programme to the event. They joined the team of the Secretariat of the ACP Group that was led by its Secretary-General, H.E. Dr. Patrick I. Gomes.

The side-event was organized by TradeCom II Programme in collaboration with the EU-ACP Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA), and the EU-ACP Technical Barriers to Trade Programme (TBT) under the title “Harnessing the blue economy for sustainable economic growth and development”.

The event was moderated by H.E. Dr Patrick I. Gomes, Secretary-General of the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States (the ACP Group). The high-level panel of speakers included Mr. Guillermo Valles, Director of the Division on International Trade in Goods, Services, and Commodities – UNCTAD; Mr. Faiyaz Siddiq Koya, Minister for Industry, Trade and Tourism of the Government of Fiji; and Mr. Stephen Karingi, Director of Regional Integration and Trade Division – UNECA.

The event discussed the implementation of blue economy initiatives as they relate to trade and investment. Discussions focused on how to reach the 14th sustainable development goals “conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development”.

H.E. Dr Gomes opened the debate highlighting emerging opportunities that the blue economy offers in areas such as coastal fisheries and aquaculture, biotechnology, maritime transport and energy.

The panel of speakers underlined the strategic importance of the blue economy and the urgency of a global governance for the sustainable management of the ocean and inland water environment. ACP countries can play a key role and contribute in shaping international blue economy governance and moving towards more effective and better enforced frameworks.

TradeCom II experts participated in other fora at the UNCTAD14 such as the 7th Global Commodities Forum and the World Investment Forum. It was a unique opportunity for TradeCom II representatives to participate in the high-level round tables to better understand the inclusive trade development issues and their impact on ACP trade and investment interests, to engage with key stakeholders and build partnerships. It also served as a platform to promote the TradeCom II programme.

TradeCom II representatives took this opportunity to meet Kenyan institutions such as Eastern African Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture (EACCIA), Kenya Flower Council, Kephis, Kenya Bureau of Standards, and the Kenyan Ministry of Trade, etc. which have submitted requests for technical assistance to the TradeComII Programme to discuss on the bundling of the requests into composite projects.

Programme funded by European Union at the request of ACP Group - Implemented by AESA CONSORTIUM