Press Releases

    12 May 2005

    General Assembly Confirms Supachai Panitchpakdi of Thailand as UNCTAD Secretary-General

    NEW YORK, 11 May (UN Headquarters) -- The General Assembly this afternoon confirmed Supachai Panitchpakdi of Thailand as Secretary-General of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD).

    Nominated by the Secretary-General pursuant to General Assembly 1995 (XIX) of 30 December 1964, Dr. Supachai will serve a four-year term of office beginning on 1 September 2005 and ending on 31 August 2009.

    Following the confirmation, Khunying Laxanachantorn Laohaphan (Thailand) welcomed the appointment, saying her country was particularly pleased that a due process of consultations with Member States had taken place over the past two months.  Thailand thanked the Secretary-General for recognizing the special importance that the “Group of 77” developing countries and China accorded to UNCTAD and the selection of the head of that organization.  Thailand also appreciated the opportunity for an exchange of views on 6 May between the Group of 77 and the nominee, which had resulted in today’s confirmation of his appointment.  Given the ongoing efforts to reform the United Nations, Thailand welcomed the increased openness and transparency in the selection process and was encouraged by the Secretary-General’s efforts towards that commendable trend.

    Recalling that her country had hosted UNCTAD X in 2000 and the subsequent mid-term review in 2002, she said it was especially proud to see a Thai national moving on from heading the World Trade Organization (WTO) to assume the driving seat at UNCTAD, with its full recognition of the concerns of developing countries.  Thailand was convinced that the new UNCTAD Secretary-General would work to strengthen and revitalize the Conference and enable it to answer more effectively to their needs, as well as those of least developed countries, landlocked developing countries, small island developing States and middle-income countries.

    At the outset of the meeting, Acting Assembly President Nana Effah-Apenteng (Ghana) said that Nauru had made the necessary payments under Article 19 of the United Nations Charter to be able to participate.

    The General Assembly will meet again at a date to be announced.

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