UNCTAD XIII convenes in Doha/Qatar from 21 to 26 April 2012 (19/04/2012)
The Conference is the most important high-level event within UNCTAD, meeting every four years at ministerial level, and was the first to be held in the Arab world. It adopted UNCTAD's mandate and work programme for the next four years (2012-2016). Attendants included representatives of the highest level from the 194 UN Member States and renowned figures from business and civil society. The EU Delegation was headed by Mrs. Kristalina Georgieva, European Commissioner for International Cooperation, Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Response. The European Commissioner participated also in the High-Level Event on Women in Development on 23 April.
The theme of the Conference was Development-centred globalization: Towards inclusive and sustainable growth and development, divided into four sub-themes:
Enhancing the enabling economic environment at all levels in support of inclusive and sustainable development.
Strengthening all forms of cooperation and partnerships for trade and development, including North-South, South-South and triangular cooperation.
Addressing persistent and emerging development challenges as related to trade and development in the areas of finance, technology, investment and sustainable development.
Promoting investment, trade, entrepreneurship and related development policies to foster sustained economic growth for sustainable and inclusive development.
On each of these four sub-themes, high-level debates were held in Doha.
The Conference was preceded by a number of events, which included the Civil Society Forum (17–25 April), the Global Services Forum (19 April), the World Investment Forum (20–22 April) and the Technology and Innovation Day (24 April).
Intensive preparatory discussions on the final outcome document for Doha have taken place in Geneva since 3 February. The EU Delegation to the UN in Geneva has been functioning as the regional coordinator for the EU and its Member States and has negotiated on their behalf and represented them in all the bodies and proceedings of the organization.
The EU and its Member States collectively is the biggest contributor to UNCTAD and the largest donor of development assistance in general as well as the most important contributor to multilateral trade related assistance programmes, apart from being the leading foreign direct investor and the world's biggest trader. The EU will continue to pay particular attention to the needs of the Least Developed Countries (LDCs) and has always considered UNCTAD as one of the major UN institutions to work with those of the UN members mostly in need, especially the LDCs.
Moreover, the EU supports UNCTAD's work in the following areas: Investment: the role of FDI in promoting development; economic diversification and productive capacities; South-South and triangular cooperation and regional integration; strengthening commodity sectors; the role of the private sector in trade and development; and good governance. It values the work and importance of UNCTAD within the core functions: consensus-building; research, policy analysis and data collection; and technical assistance.