United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres announced the appointment of Pamela Coke-Hamilton of Jamaica as executive director of the International Trade Centre (ITC), the joint agency of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) and the World Trade Organization (WTO), for trade and international business development.
Coke-Hamilton succeeds Arancha Gonzalez Laya of Spain to whom the secretary-general has expressed appreciation for her dedicated service to the organization, according to a press note issued by the secretary-general's office on Friday, Xinhua news agency reported.
Currently director of the Division on International Trade and Commodities at UNCTAD, Coke-Hamilton "brings a breadth of experience and expertise" in trade-related capacity-building and sustainable development, having served with the Jamaican government, the Caribbean Forum (CARIFORUM) member states in trade negotiations and multilateral institutions, including the Organization of American States and InterAmerican Development Bank. She previously served as executive director of the Caribbean Export Development Agency, strengthening the capacity of private sector and micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) through investment promotion.
Coke-Hamilton "brings a deep understanding of" the challenges faced by vulnerable economies such as the Small Island Developing States (SIDS) and the Least Developed Countries (LDCs) having designed tailored interventions, said the press note.
She has worked extensively with the private sector across the African Caribbean and Pacific countries as well as with universities and academia to build trade-related institutional strength within member states. As a strong proponent of gender equality and mainstreaming in trade, she established the Women Empowered through Export (WeXport) platform to address the disadvantages women owned firms experience in accessing markets.
Coke-Hamilton will be leading the organization at a pivotal moment given the catastrophic impact that the COVID-19 pandemic has unleashed on the global trading system, particularly on MSMEs in developing countries, with ITC required to play a vital role in assisting in building stronger and more resilient businesses and countries, said the press note.
She holds a juris doctor in law from Georgetown University and an undergraduate degree in international relations from the University of the West Indies. She is fluent in English, advanced in French with a working knowledge of Spanish.