UN Deputy Secretary-General visits ITC, kicking off 60th anniversary year

18 January 2024
ITC News

Deputy Secretary-General Amina J. Mohammed and the International Trade Centre look ahead to Summit of the Future

The year 2024 is pivotal for ITC and the UN system: while ITC is marking 60 years in operation, the UN is preparing for the Summit of the Future in September. Together, these events are targeting a sea change in how international cooperation works in practice—one that delivers on both the Sustainable Development Goals and on the intergenerational promise of multilateralism.

During her visit to Geneva, Mohammed met with ITC’s Executive Director Pamela Coke-Hamilton and staff to discuss preparations for the Summit of the Future, including how ITC’s work can contribute to the Summit’s success.

This is crucial, Mohammed said, in the face of the many crises that are putting international cooperation to the test. We must act now to ensure the hard-won gains of multilateralism are not lost, and so that international institutions can continue serving current generations and those still to come.

‘The Summit of the Future is the shot in the arm that the international community needs, and ITC stands ready to deliver. We cannot afford to have a world order that leaves people behind: that is why everything we do at ITC is driven by the ethos that by changing trade, we can change lives,’ said Coke-Hamilton.

Critical to those efforts are ‘SDG transitions’, which are designed as multipliers for achieving several Sustainable Development Goals at once. Mohammed, Coke-Hamilton, and ITC staff looked at how to build on ITC’s work to support these transitions, particularly those involving food systems transformation, improved digital connectivity, and better jobs and social protections.

They also examined how ITC’s future work can help bridge the four gaps that the UN is targeting, especially at a moment where fragility is on the rise. These gaps include policy initiatives, a market-ready project pipeline, financing and strong institutions.

‘At ITC, we know from our research that fragility is making it harder for small businesses to survive, much less thrive—and that means the SDGs will remain out of reach, unless we act right now,’ said Coke-Hamilton.

International cooperation is a driving force behind ITC’s work, and as the agency celebrates 60 years in operation, it has been focusing its efforts on building deeper relationships with partners across the board—from other UN agencies and Member States to private sector actors of all sizes.

More information about ITC’s 60th anniversary is available on our dedicated webpage. The official site for the Summit of the Future can be accessed here