The slowdown in global trade and lack of productive investment are intensifying deep divides, protectionism, and even xenophobia said United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon during the opening of the fourteenth United Nations Conference on Trade Development (UNCTAD) in Nairobi, Kenya.
The conference, UNCTAD 14, was opened Sunday by Kenya's President Uhuru Kenyatta in the presence of Mr. Ban and UNCTAD Secretary-General Mukhisa Kituyi.
"There are worrying signs that people around the world are increasingly unhappy with the state of the global economy," said Mr. Ban, who noted high inequality, stagnant incomes, not enough jobs - especially for youth - and too little cause for optimism.
"The global trade slowdown and a lack of productive investment have sharpened the deep divides between those who have benefited from globalization, and those who continue to feel left behind," he said. "And rather than working to change the economic model for the better, many actual and would-be leaders are instead embracing protectionism and even xenophobia."
Linking UNCTAD's mission to bring "prosperity for all" to the Sustainable Development Goals agreed by the United Nations' member States in 2015, Mr. Ban told delegates: "You can count on the UNCTAD secretariat and the entire UN system to support your efforts and implement your vision."
President Kenyatta said that making decisions on development aspirations were "meaningless without action."