12 May 2005

Supachai welcomes appointment to UNCTAD, pledges continuing support for WTO and Doha Round

Director-General Supachai Panitchpakdi expressed deep appreciation to United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan and to the UN General Assembly on the confirmation yesterday (11 May) of his appointment to lead the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) for the next four years, beginning on 1 September 2005.

“I am profoundly honoured that Secretary General Annan has shown such confidence in me and I can assure him and all UN Member governments that I will do everything in my power to ensure that trade becomes an ever more vital tool for development. While many policy elements are needed to ensure consistent and sustainable economic growth and development, trade is an essential part of the mix. Access to markets is necessary, of course, but many developing countries cannot fully take advantage of this access unless we can work together to improve their capacity to produce and trade,” Director-General Supachai said.

Dr. Supachai stressed that until he leaves his current position he remains fully committed to the World Trade Organization. He emphasized the importance of making significant progress in the Doha Development Agenda talks by the end of July 2005, to provide a sound basis for a successful WTO Ministerial Conference in Hong Kong, China, in December. “On assuming my duties at UNCTAD, I will continue to support the DDA in every way I can,” Dr. Supachai added.