Honorary President of IOI, invited to contribute to UNCTAD@60 Global Leaders Forum, Palais des Nations, Geneva and Guest speaker at UNCTAD webinar

Photo Credit: UNCTAD
Photo Credit: UNCTAD

UNCTAD  Celebrates its 60th Anniversary ,12-14 June (Geneva)


To commemorate the 60th anniversary of the foundation of UNCTAD (now rebranded as UN TRADE AND DEVELOPMENT) a Global Leaders Forum was convened at the Tempus Room, Palais des Nations, Geneva.


The theme of the celebration focussed on charting a new development course in a changing world. The Global Leaders Forum represented a historic moment and an opportunity to reflect on the lessons learned over the past six decades of commitment to trade and development and to forge a new path forward for  trade and development strategies. The event brought together leaders from across the globe to redefine the course of development in the world where prosperity for all remains central and fundamental. The event was attended by the UN Secretary General and a number of Heads of States; IOI was re represented by Awni Behnam (Honorary President) and Mahin Faghfouri (President) as discussants reaffirming the long standing collaboration and cooperation with UNCTAD. Member states, international organisation  and civil societies urged for an equitable world economy and renewed multilateralism.


Webinar: Towards a Sustainable  Ocean Economy: What Role for Cities?  20 June 

Photo Credit: UNCTAD
Photo Credit: UNCTAD

The webinar was organized  by David Vivas of UNCTAD with the participation of international experts on Trade and Development from UN institutions and IOI. The event addressed sustainable ocean economy and explored the linkage and potential role of cities. The webinar was attended by representatives from local and regional governmental organisations, and the Global  City Hub. IOI Honorary President Awni Behnam was invited to contribute as a panellist and addressed the webinar as part of the Geneva urban debate. This aims to raise awareness concerning relevant activities by UN Trade and Development to  strengthen information exchange between the organisations and local and civil society as a contribution to the United Nations Summit of the Future.


Dr Behnam spoke about the sustainability challenges to coastal cities in the ocean urban nexus and focused on the  existential threat of sea level rise; on behalf also of the IOI, he called for intensifying Ocean literacy  in  order to foster the synergetic relationship between the Ocean and human settlements and in particular  coastal cities. The webinar was moderated by professor Andras SZORENYI, Senior Policy Adviser (Global Cities Hub) .

“UNCTAD's 60 years of leadership and expertise, particularly in maritime-related trade issues, can make a major contribution with emphasis on SIDS and LDCs in facing this existential challenge, which highlights

the importance of capacity building, innovation, global literacy, and international partnerships

in the urban ocean nexus that is sustainable."

Dr Awni Behnam