Remarks of India at the 2nd meeting of the Extended Bureau of the Trade & Development Board, UNCTAD – delivered by Dr. Sadre Alam, First Secretary on 07 June 2018

Remarks of India at the 2nd meeting of the Extended Bureau of the Trade & Development Board, UNCTAD – delivered by Dr. Sadre Alam, First Secretary on 07 June 2018

Thank you Mr. President,

2. India wishes to reiterate the following requests made in the inaugural meeting of this new bureau of the Trade & Development Board, UNCTAD:

  1. The Secretariat must fully and adequately support this new bureau. For the benefit of new members it is expected to provide a gist of all relevant rules and practices that would guide the bureau in discharging its role. It is necessary to be clear as to what stems from the rules and what constitutes practice. There must be no inconsistency between the two.
  2. For effectiveness of the Bureau meetings, the Secretariat is requested to share the agenda and relevant background documents in advance, wherever possible and necessary. The agenda for the meetings must be set by the Secretariat in consultation with the Bureau.
  3. For the sake of transparency, we request the Secretariat to share a written record of the deliberations and decisions of the Bureau meetings with all Member States of UNCTAD including the list of participants.

3. In addition, we wish to state the following:

  1. India wants a stronger, fit for purpose and result-oriented UNCTAD that is Member-State led and driven and fully and adequately supported by the Secretariat.
  2. There should be no inconsistency between rules and practices as far as the working of the Bureau is concerned. For instance, the delegate’s handbook which the Secretariat suggested to refer to in the last meeting for guidance on Page 10 states:

The Bureau of the TDB which is made up of the board’s president and vice presidents also regularly meets informally to facilitate consensus-building. It sometimes (stress sometimes) meets in an extended bureau’ format which also (stress also) comprises the regional coordinators and interested member states (stress interested member States)’.

 iii. How could interested Member States participate if they are not even informed about such meetings and regional coordinators represent the interests of their groups without holding consultations with its members?

iv. We wish that the business of the bureau is transacted in a transparent and inclusive manner. Any practice that enhances consensus building and the effectiveness of the Bureau is welcome.

The bureau must not burden itself with matters which rightfully belong to the TDB.

4. To conclude, India may not be in a position to agree to the agenda or join the decisions of the bureau if information about its meetings along with the agenda and relevant background documents are not shared in advance both with the bureau members and the membership of the TDB. These fundamental pre-requisites concerning the working of the bureau are indispensable and critical to the process of revitalization of this inter-governmental machinery.

Thank you.

07 June 2018

 
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