Press Releases

    2 September 2005

    Supachai Panitchpakdi Takes Office as Head of UNCTAD

    (Reissued as received.)

    GENEVA, 1 September (UNCTAD) -- Dr. Supachai Panitchpakdi today began his tenure as Secretary-General of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), following his appointment by the United Nations General Assembly on 12 May.  Dr. Supachai, a career diplomat and economist, was the Director-General of the World Trade Organization (WTO) for the past three years; his term there ended 31 August.  He previously served as Deputy Prime Minister of Thailand and Minister of Commerce.

    He takes office at a time of relatively healthy growth in the world economy and of expanding trade among developing countries.  He intends to increase the role of UNCTAD in making these trends as beneficial as possible for the developing world, by helping them to build up their capacity both to trade and negotiate.  At the same time, he says, UNCTAD can assist developing countries in their efforts to diversify from dependence on primary commodities by identifying new and dynamic sectors.  In this way, the organization will help developing countries to target areas where trade and development have not been fully exploited for broader developmental objectives, including the Millennium Development Goals.

    Contact:  Press Office, tel.:  +41 22 917 5828, e-mail: , ; T. Tesfachew, tel.:  +41 22 917 5606, e-mail: ; or M. Meier-Ewert, tel.:  +41 22 917 5804, e-mail: .

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