Its plan of action, called the “São Paulo Consensus,” said that despite the encouraging signs of growth in the South, the gap between developing and developed countries has continued to widen. It needed to focus on the plight of the least developed countries and using global trade to eradicate poverty. UNCTAD Secretary-General Rubens Ricupero, making his last speech to the Conference before his retirement, said UNCTAD must be used to help integrate the world’s poorest people into the global economy because it was one of the few forums where weak and strong nations could talk with one another straightforwardly about key human development concerns. Looking at the innovations of the session, he said it was the first time that a UN general debate had been broadcast live on the Internet. UNCTAD XI had addressed trade and poverty reduction, trade and gender and the role of creative industries – music, film, publishing and software production – in fostering development. In the creative industries, the poor had a great deal to contribute because of the richness of their cultures, Mr. Ricupero said. UNCTAD was proud of being the voice of the least developed countries, he said. read more