By: Aisha Braima
KHARTOUM (SUDANOW)—The UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) opened its 17th conference on petroleum, gas and minerals at the Friendship Hall here on Monday evening in collaboration with the Government of Sudan with participation by more than 12 nations and numerous organizations and companies concerned with the petroleum and minerals sectors.
Sudanese President Omar al-Beshir spoke at the opening session of the conference which will last till November 26. Al-Bashir urged the UN to play a role in lifting the unjust unilateral sanctions which are imposed on Sudan. He said those sanctions have obstructed the movement of the country's exports and imports and its efforts for attracting foreign investments. They also constitute a barrier to the country's dealing with the international institutions and deprive it from settling its foreign debts, he added.
Al-Bashir expressed hope that the UNCTAD conference in Khartoum would be a turning point in the stances of all parties particularly the advanced countries to support the national efforts of the poor and developing countries to create a safe, stable and prosperous future for the coming generations.
Minerals Minister Ahmed Mohamed Sadek al-Karoury said the convening of UNCTAD conference in Khartoum is aimed at manifesting the Sudan's potential prospection operations, attraction of foreign investments and creation of lasting jobs and the International Labor Organization is taking part in the conference to help lay down policies for finding jobs to the Sudanese youngsters.
He said conference includes scientific papers and workshops on prospection operations for petroleum, gas and minerals and challenges of creating jobs, addressing the traditional mining and developing the human resources. The conference will also review the capabilities of the Sudan in fields of petroleum, gas and minerals besides prospection operations in Africa, legislations, funding of industries, country experiences, South-South cooperation and women participation in industries.
Sudan officials regarded the holding of the conference in Khartoum as an important event occurring at a time when the Sudan is suffering an economic siege, indicating the adverse impact of the sanctions on the minerals and other sectors.
It is also considered the first UN conference to be hosted by Sudan with its motto selected by a number of researchers and involved in finding permanent job opportunities in the important industries which are the backbone of the economy.
The organization last year held, in partnership with the National Investment Organ, a workshop on revision of the policies of investment in Sudan with the aim of enhancing the environment of investment with an eye to attracting more foreign investment in Sudan. It indicated in its report that there were no problems of investment in the country.
A large number of international and national companies are taking part in an accompanying exhibition on petroleum, gas and minerals.
Meanwhile, the Director-General of the Geological Research Corporation and chairman of the preparatory committee of the conference, Dr. Yusuf al-Sammani, said UNCTAD conference provides an opportunity for the Sudan to establish economic partnerships and to promote the country's potential in the prospection operations.
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