UN Trade Forum 2021: Towards a Green and Inclusive Recovery

The COVID-19 pandemic has been a health and economic crisis of tragic proportions for lives and livelihoods everywhere that is jeopardising continued progress towards the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030. Protecting lives while moving forward with implementation for sustainable recovery has become the world’s priority.

Reigniting global trade is indispensable for the recovery from this crisis. Trade is a source of income, jobs and opportunities for women and men in developed and developing countries. The crisis has also highlighted the fundamental role of trade in allowing goods and services to move from where they are efficiently produced to where they are needed. The crisis has exposed the fault lines of our development path, notably one that depends on effective participation in just-in-time global supply chains. The crisis has also exacerbated the vulnerability and inequality present in our world.

Yet COVID-19 is not the only crisis we face. A climate and environmental emergency may compromise the progress we have achieved and the development prospects of future generations. Thus, recovery is not enough. It must be green and inclusive, and trade and trade policy play a critical role in this process. The United Nations Trade Forum will serve as a space for dialogue on how trade can be harnessed for a more prosperous, inclusive and sustainable world.

In the context of this year’s Forum, UNCTAD will also hold the seventeenth Raúl Prebisch Lecture. This prestigious Lecture is delivered periodically by a prominent thinker or Head of State, and while often tackles trade and development issues, also covers other topical global concerns. This iteration of the Lecture will be given by Nobel Laureate Esther Duflo, Abdul Latif Jameel Professor of Poverty Alleviation and Development Economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (United States of America). Ms Duflo was co-recipient of the Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel 2019, with Abhijit Banerjee and Michael Kremer, “for their experimental approach to alleviating global poverty”.


Registration should be completed online. Early registration is advised to allow timely approval. To do so, please use the following link: United Nations Trade Forum.

Communications concerning representation should be sent to the UNCTAD secretariat, Intergovernmental Support Service, Palais des Nations, CH-1211 Geneva 10, Switzerland; email:

The forum is open to all member States of UNCTAD. Those wishing to attend the event are requested to provide the UNCTAD secretariat with the credentials of their representatives and the names of their alternative representatives and advisers by Monday, 7 June 2021. Specialized agencies and intergovernmental bodies wishing to participate in the meeting and non-governmental organizations in the general category and those in the special category who wish to participate as observers are requested to inform the UNCTAD secretariat of the names of their representatives by the same date.


A link to the formal virtual meeting will be sent to registered participants, at the email address used for registration, one day in advance of the start of the session. For all other enquiries, please contact: Graham Mott at, or Tamar van Straten at


CoNGO Notes: For more information on the NGO Committee on Financing for Development, please visit For more information on the NGO Committee on Sustainable Development-Vienna, please visit For more information on the NGO Committee on Sustainable Development-NY, please visit

Biden and Economic Imperialism | Biden y el imperialismo económico

Biden has been hailed as an antidote to Trump who will “restore America’s place in the world.” Centuries of US imperialism show he actually represents a continuation of neoliberal exploitation and settler colonialism.

A panel of American and global South activists will analyze Biden’s role in upholding US imperialism beyond the military, focusing on his economic policies–including around trade, investment, finance, climate, and food systems–which underpin US empire in profound ways.

Critically assessing the implications of Biden’s first 100 days, this event will engage participants around what’s at stake for our anti-imperialist activism.

We at Regions Refocus invite you to join us with your questions and thoughts, and we welcome messages at

Register here!


US Dollar Hegemony and Special Drawing Rights | Hegemonía del dólar estadounidense y los derechos especiales de giro: Francisco Pérez (Center for Popular Economics, USA)

Biden’s Climate Plan and Green Imperialism | El Plan Climático de Biden y el Imperialismo Verde: Max Ajl (Observatory for Food Sovereignty and the Environment, Tunisia)

Agribusiness and US-India Trade Relations | Agronegocios y Relaciones Comerciales EE.UU.-India: Sagari Ramdas (Food Sovereignty Alliance, India)

Extractivism and the US-Mexico-Canada Agreement | El extractivismo y el Tratado entre México, Estados Unidos y Canadá: Manuel Pérez-Rocha (Institute for Policy Studies/ Mexican Action Network on Free Trade, Mexico)

COVID-19 Vaccine Justice | Justicia de Vacunas COVID-19: Salimah Valiani (Independent Researcher)

Moderator | Moderador: Camden Goetz (Regions Refocus, USA)


CoNGO Notes: For more information on the NGO Committee on Financing for Development, please visit  For more information on the Decolonization Alliance, email For more information on the NGO Committee on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, please visit

#RaiseAPen Virtual High Level Panel Discussion

This high-level event is part of the #RaiseAPen campaign that we just launched in solidarity with mothers in Afghanistan calling for the continued right to education for their daughters. It coincides with the UN-designated International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women. It is our belief that denying education to girls and women is a form of violence.
The campaign supports education not only because it is a fundamental human right, but also because it is a key condition for sustainable development and peace. The diverse panel features influential personalities committed to the rights of women and girls in Afghanistan. This is a unique opportunity to hear them discuss the way forward beyond ‘raising a pen’, to both safeguard and advance these rights. We thank them one and all:
  • H.E Rangina Hamidi: Minister of Education I.R of Afghanistan
  • Stefania Giannini: UNESCO Assistant Director General of Education
  • Ambassador Melanne Verveer: Executive Director Georgetown Institute for Women, Peace and Security
  • Ambassador Mohammad Wali Naeemi: Deputy Permanent Representative of I.R of Afghanistan to the UN
  • Staffan de Mistura: Former UN Special Envoy to Afghanistan
  • Mary Kaldor, Professor of Global Governance and CEO of the Conflict Research Program, IDEAS, London School of Economics and Political Science (Moderator)
  • Anne-Claire de Liedekerke: President MMM (Opening remarks)
  • Rahela Sidiqi: Founder & Director Farkhunda Trust for Afghan Women’s Education, MMM Associate Member and campaign partner (Opening remarks)
Join the conversation, register now and send in your questions (by November 20th at the latest) here.
CoNGO Notes: For more information on the NGO Committee on For more information on the NGO Committee on the Status of Women-NY, please visit For more information on the NGO Committee on the Status of Women-Vienna, please visit