Objectives & Responsibilities
Ricupero’s own yearning to have a long-lasting establishment for the dissemination of knowledge in development, particularly for the benefit of developing countries.
Thus on 17 March 1997, when H.E. Mr. Rubens Ricupero called upon H.E. General Chavalit Yongchaiyudh, Prime Minister of Thailand, and a number of senior cabinet Ministers, to discuss the organization of the Conference and its theme, he brought up the proposal to set up what he then called an institute of development. The Thai side welcomed the proposal. UNCTAD and Thai officials thereafter held a series of talks to create the International Institute for Trade and Development.
In February 2000, the Royal Thai Government hosted the 10th session of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD X). This occasion gathered high-level representatives of UNCTAD’s 190 member states and hundreds of international and non-governmental organizations to exchange views and opinions under the theme “Development Strategies: Applying lessons of the past to make globalization an effective instrument for development of all countries and peoples.” Member states and development partners endorsed two resulting documents at this Conference – the Bangkok Declaration and the Bangkok Plan of Action, which emphasize the need for all development
partners to strive for open dialogue and full participation of all countries in the international financial, trading and investment system. These documents also call for the rectification of imbalances and asymmetries in order to create a new global order that will distribute the benefits of globalization more fairly in the future.
The discussions for the new Institute eventually culminated within this context, through the signing of an Agreement between the Government of the Kingdom of Thailand and the United Nations concerning the International Institute for Trade and Development on 17 February 2000 by H.E. Dr. Surin Pitsuwan, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Thailand, and H.E. Mr. Rubens Ricupero, Secretary-General of UNCTAD, representing the United Nations. The signing of this landmark agreement became the highlight of UNCTAD X and is what Mr. Ricupero himself has termed a major “concrete result” of the Conference.
The International Institute for Trade and Development is a non-profit, legal entity established under Thai law as a public organization. It conducts activities in close cooperation with the Royal Thai Government, UNCTAD and other international and regional organizations.