26 January 2011, Geneva, Switzerland.  UNITAR Executive Director, Mr. Carlos Lopes met with President Leonel Fernández of the Dominican Republic last Wednesday, 26 January 2011, when President Fernández was on a visit in Geneva to address UNCTAD member States and observers. The high-level meeting with a number of key Geneva-based individuals from the world of development and finance, including UN leaders, focused on the major commodity, finance and development challenges.

In a special address to UNCTAD member states and observers, President Fernández also stressed the link between financial speculations and commodity prices volatility calling for broadened efforts to limit commodity speculation needed to guarantee stable food and energy prices vital for social stability and democratic governance. "All the debate has led us to forget that this financial crisis was preceded by another crisis - the crisis of rising prices in basic commodities and foodstuffs," President Fernandez said. He also referred to the need for “unified and clear policies” in the face of the financial crisis.