Kenya hands over UNCTAD leadership to Barbados


President Uhuru Kenyatta delivers speech at the 15th UNCTAD conference in Bridgetown, Barbados. [PSCU]

Kenya has officially handed over the leadership of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) to Barbados.

Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta handed over the chairmanship to Barbados Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley on Tuesday, during the fifteenth UNCTAD conference held in Bridgetown, Barbados.

Uhuru spoke highly of Mottley’s leadership, calling for enhanced multilateral cooperation in addressing pressing global challenges such as climate change, financial crises and global security.

“I am honoured to pass the mantle of hosting UNCTAD 15 to Barbados, well aware that the conference is taking place in extra-ordinary circumstances. I am totally confident with PM Mottley to take the task of leading the world through UNCTAD. We are in good hands,” the president said.

The Kenyan president noted that although small in size, “Barbados has acted true to form punching well above their weight as it has consistently done and served as a model to all nations of the world that indeed size does not matter.”

Kenya played host of the fourteenth UNCTAD ministerial conference held in July 2016 in the capital, Nairobi.

The East Africa nation was also previously represented by Dr Mukhisa Kituyi, who served as UNCTAD Secretary General from 2013-2021.

Kituyi, a former Minister of Trade and Industry quit the post this year to pursue presidential ambitions in 2022.

He is succeeded by Costa Rican economist Rebeca Grynspan, who became the first woman and Central American to serve as UNCTAD’s secretary-general.

Ppresident Uhuru welcomed Grynspan and acknowledged that she comes in at a most challenging time, when "our world is at crossroads."

Grynspan assumed office on September 13, 2021 and will serve a four-year term.

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