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  • Press Briefing by Amb. Dr. Amina Mohamed, Cabinet Secretary Ministry Of Foreign Affairs, at the Beginning of the UNCTAD 14 Conference: 17th July 2016

Press Briefing by Amb. Dr. Amina Mohamed, Cabinet Secretary Ministry Of Foreign Affairs, at the Beginning of the UNCTAD 14 Conference: 17th July 2016

  1. UNCTAD 14 is finally with us. In the last 6 months dedicated preparation both in Nairobi and Geneva.

  2. As the Host Nation, I am delighted to confirm that all preparations are in place to deliver a successful UNCTAD UIV conference.

  3. This afternoon, His Excellency President Uhuru Kenyatta, joined by the Secretary of the United Nations, Mr. Ban Ki moon and other high level leaders will grace the opening session of UNCTAD IV.
  4. During this session His Excellency the President will share Kenya’s vision on the post 2015 development agenda in particular, 2030 Agenda which was adopted by world leaders in September last year. We will equally have an opportunity to listen to our guest VVIPs. In addition, H.E the President together with a few Heads of State and Government will participate at the World Investment Summit and equally share Kenya’s perspectives on the road to 2030.

  5. I wish to take this opportunity to personally thank H.E the President, who has been in the fore front during the preparation for this Conference. He has actually demanded daily update on preparations.

  6. Immediately after the opening, member states will convene in the first plenary of UNCTAD 14, during which I assume the Chair of the Conference. This will pave the way for the commencement of the negotiations on the Conference outcomes. The Conference will end on Friday 22 July 2016.

  7. The outcomes of the Conference will take two forms. First is a negotiated text which has been the subject of discussions for the last six months. The negotiations process commenced with the compilation of member states views submitted to the president of the Trade and Development Board of the UNCTAD H.E Mr. Alfredo Suescum, Ambassador of Panama to the UN Geneva. The negotiated text outlines UNCTAD’s programme of work for the next four years.

  8. Second, is a political declaration which Kenya, as the host, is expected to present for adoption by the member states. The declaration provides political guidance to the future work of UNCTAD. We are also expected to give this declaration a name which we will be sharing with the press once we have agreed.

  9. It is important to mention that UNCTAD 14 is unique as it brings together multi-stakeholders from governments, private sector, civil society, academia and the youth among others. It therefore underpins the importance of partnerships in the work of UNCTAD.

  10. The UNCTAD 14 has a number of signature events.  First is the Civil Society Forum, which commenced on 15th Friday July 2016.  Discussions from this forum will provide useful input into the negotiations by member states. My initial observation is that the Forum has received extremely well attendance. UNCTAD works very closely with the civil society in all its deliberations.

  11. Second, is the Commodities Forum commenced its work of Friday 15th and concluded its very crucial deliberations yesterday. As we know, commodities was one of the topics during the UNCTAD 4, which was hosted by Kenya in 1976, at this very venue. The topic is even more relevant 40 years later.

  12. Third, is the World Investment Forum which will bring together business leaders in free exchange of views with the political leaders. It will address issues such as International Investment Agreements, Sustainable Stock Exchanges, Urban Development and Gender Dialogue. It provides an opportunity for business interactions.

  13. A number of side events have also been organized such as the Women in Business Roundtable Discussions.  Over ten side events will take place during the Conference.

  14. The youth Forum will also be taking alongside other events. This is going to be the first youth forum during any UNCTAD Conference. It is in recognition of the contribution of the youth in social economic and sustainable development. A total of 300 youths have been invited of which 250 are international and 50 are from Kenya.

  15. This morning I had occasion to address and participate in the G77 and China Ministerial meeting, which adopted the G77 and China Ministerial Declaration as well as the report of the Senior officials.  This provides a sound basis for groups input into the final text.

  16. The next five days are therefore crucial in ensuring that Nairobi delivers an outcome acceptable to all Member States. We encouraging participants to take time to enjoy Kenya’s beauty and hospitality.

  17. The overall attendance is quite high, and has already surpassed our expectations a sum total of 7000 delegates in all. As at today, we have upwards of 7000 foreign delegates and 4600 Kenyan delegates.

  18. I thank the UNCTAD Secretariat led by Secretary General Dr. Mukhisa Kituyi as well as the National Preparatory Committee for the adequate preparation of the Conference. Usually, it takes four years for the host country to prepare for the UNCTAD Conferences. Kenya has taken six months after stepping in for Peru who were the initial host.

  19. Finally, during the week, we expect to have a few traffic interruptions especially around KICC, City Hall and Parliament Road and areas closely within those vicinities. However, the police will ensure that businesses are not overly interrupted.

  20. I will continue to have regular briefing until the Conference ends on Friday.

Thank you

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