REMARKS BY THE
PRESIDENT OF THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY
H.E. MR JULIAN R. HUNTE
A PRESENTATION ON TRADE AND DEVELOPMENT ISSUES
PROFESSOR JOSEPH E. STIGLITZ
NOBEL LAUREATE AND PROFESSOR
AT THE INITIATIVE FOR POLICY DIALOGUE (IPD)
THURSDAY, 2 SEPTEMBER 2004
President of the Economic and Social Council, Excellencies,
Distinguished Delegates, our Distinguished Speaker,
Professor Joseph Stiglitz, Distinguished Ladies and
is my pleasure to welcome you to this presentation by
Professor Joseph E. Stiglitz, Nobel Laureate and Professor
at the Initiative for Policy Dialogue (IPD), Columbia
University. Professor Stiglitz will address the topic
"A Development Round of Trade Negotiations?
Stiglitz is widely recognized for his significant contribution
as an Economist who helped to create a new branch of
economics; as an Economic Educator who has taught in
leading universities in the United States and abroad;
as an Economic Adviser and Senior World Bank Vice President,
and most notably, as a Nobel Laureate in Economics.
Many of you would have had the opportunity to read Professor
Stiglitz's analytical and outstanding works in your
own languages - his publications have been translated
into more than a dozen languages. Many would also have
heard his earlier presentations here at the United Nations.
me make special reference here to Professor Stiglitz's
insightful and informative work, "The Stiglitz
Plan", commissioned by the Commonwealth Secretariat.
This work provides a framework on which trade-preference
dependent developing countries, including Small Island
Developing States (SIDS), might construct a proposal
in the World Trade Organization that would address their
have invited Professor Stiglitz to the United Nations
as a fitting initiative, as we approach the conclusion
of my Presidency of the Fifty-eighth session of the
United Nations General Assembly, to underscore the importance
I attach to sustainable development issues. As you know,
development is one of the three priorities I set for
my Presidency, taking into account the urging by the
general membership of the United Nations that development
be brought back to centre stage on the United Nations
United Nations can, I believe, make significant progress
in delivering Charter ideals of social progress and
better standards of life in larger freedoms for all,
if three vexing and interrelated problems that impact
sustainable development are effectively addressed -
trade, aid and debt. Professor Stiglitz's presentation
will focus our attention on the first of these - trade.
trade is indisputably a prerequisite for the sustainable
development prospects of all countries. It is a fact,
however, that the countries that constitute the membership
of this United Nations are at radically different levels
of development. Experience has shown, conclusively and
often dramatically, that if all countries - developed
and developing - are required to proceed in the same
way, and at the same pace in respect of trade liberalization,
the consequences for many developing countries could
be quite devastating.
development the focus of trade negotiations would no
doubt go a long way to ensuring that trade liberalization
works for developing countries, including the Least
Developed Countries and Small Island Developing States.
Such negotiations provide scope not only for discussions,
but also for decisions on critical issues such as market
access, special and differential treatment for smaller
economies, including SIDS, concessions by developed
countries and capacity building in developing countries.
sustainable development through trade should also help
developing countries to address the serious challenges
with which many are now grappling: challenges such as
poverty and pandemic diseases such as HIV/AIDS. I believe,
as well, that it would help to improve the less than
satisfactory progress made in achieving the Millennium
Development Goals, particularly if commitments made
in over a decade of United Nations summits and conferences
in the economic and social fields are kept. These are
matters that will be taken up in the High-level Plenary
need to bring coherence to trade and development issues
is a matter to which I have always given my full support.
I am therefore particularly pleased that it is being
given increasing emphasis by the international community.
Coherent action requires close cooperation and collaboration
between concerned international institutions, such as
that now being fostered between the United Nations Economic
and Social Council, the World Trade Organization, the
Bretton Woods Institutions and now the United Nations
Conference on Trade and Development.
you may be aware, I have come to the Presidency of the
Fifty-eighth session of the General Assembly having
also portfolio responsibility for International Trade
in the Government of St Lucia. Therefore, sustainable
development and the role of international trade in promoting
development are issues on which I have strongly held
views. But we are not here today to hear my views. We
are here to hear the views of Professor Stiglitz. It
is therefore my pleasure to invite him to make his presentation.