Friday, February 15, 2013

UNCTAD and selection of it's next chief - some issues

While all eyes are on the selection of the next WTO DG (the press conferences at the WTO have been fascinating to me), my attention was brought on the selection of the next Secretary General of the UNCTAD considering the institutional issues that have arisen in UNCTAD in recent times. The Globalization and Development blog raises the issue here

In an open letter to the Secretary General of the UN, leading academics and scholars have called upon certain criteria to be followed for selection of the next Secretary General of UNCTAD. 
"We very strongly urge that the next Secretary-General of UNCTAD, in addition to all the necessary experience, knowledge and management abilities, should have in particular the capacity and courage for independent thought. It is this characteristic that has been the distinguishing factor among the eminent persons who have held the post over nearly 50 years of UNCTAD’s existence. 
A demonstrated ability to provide strong and independent leadership to global analysis from a development perspective and to promote fresh thinking on trade and development issues is needed today more than ever. The world clamours for innovative economic thinking that charts a sustainable way out of the current crisis and that contributes to development and poverty reduction. We would regard the capacity to stimulate such thinking and to articulate the resulting policy approaches in the relevant forums as the single most important consideration when sifting among possible candidates in the requisite consultations with member States. The growing weight of developing countries in global matters requires an intellectually outstanding personality as the new leader of UNCTAD."
Interesting lessons for the the WTO DG selection process? Any lessons that one can learn from the points raised in the letter? the focus of most of the candidates for the WTO DG stressed on reworking the Doha round - some would recommend an innovative approach here too. A lot to watch for in the coming months!


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