UNCTAD

15th UNCTAD Quadrennial Conference

The 15th UNCTAD quadrennial conference (UNCTAD15) will be held online from 3 to 8 October 2021, with pre-conference events starting on 1 October.

The conference is the highest decision-making body of UNCTAD at which member states assess current trade and development issues and formulate global policy responses. It also sets the organization’s work priorities for the next four years.

The conference presents an opportunity to rethink development solutions and build a new solidarity among nations.

To review pertinent documents, read outcome summaries of relevant events, and access information on registration and how to participate in UNCTAD15 once it becomes available, visit https://unctad.org/meeting/fifteenth-session-united-nations-conference-trade-and-development-unctad-15.

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CoNGO Notes: For more information on the NGO Committee on Financing for Development, please visit ngosonffd.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on Sustainable Development-Vienna, please visit ngocsdvienna.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on Sustainable Development-NY, please visit ngocsd-ny.org.

 

 

Intergovernmental Group of Experts on Consumer Protection Law and Policy [5th session]

The fifth session of the Intergovernmental Group of Experts on Consumer Protection Law and Policy will be held on 5 and 6 July 2021. The session will open at 10 am on Monday, 5 July, in room XIX of the Palais des Nations. The extent of physical and/or virtual participation will depend on the prevailing conditions at the time.

Background and purpose of the meeting:

In line with the agreed conclusions adopted by the Eighth United Nations Conference to Review All Aspects of the Set of Multilaterally Agreed Equitable Principles and Rules for the Control of Restrictive Business Practices (TD/RBP/CONF.9/9), held on 19–23 October 2020, the deliberations at the fifth session of the Intergovernmental Group of Experts will focus on the following topics:

a) Report on the implementation of the United Nations guidelines for consumer protection by member States and relevant stakeholders;

b) Latest developments in legal and institutional frameworks: UNCTAD world consumer protection map;

c) Report of the working groups on consumer product safety: modalities for the prevention of cross-border distribution of unsafe consumer products and on consumer protection in electronic commerce;

d) Report of the working group on modalities of UNCTAD voluntary peer reviews of competition and consumer protection law and policy;

e) Consumer protection needs of vulnerable and disadvantaged consumers in connection with public utilities;

f) Consumer law, policy and regulatory actions in response to and in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic;

g) Voluntary peer review on consumer protection law and policy: Chile;

h) Review of capacity-building on and technical assistance in consumer protection law and policy;

i) Provisional agenda for the sixth session of the Intergovernmental Group of Experts on Consumer Protection Law and Policy;

j) Adoption of the report of the fifth session of the Intergovernmental Group of Experts on Consumer Protection Law and Policy

Written contributions In order to facilitate the deliberations and the informal exchange of experiences and best practices on the topics to be discussed, member States and observers are requested to submit written contributions to the UNCTAD secretariat by Friday, 4 June 2021, to allow participants to prepare themselves for the meeting.

Participation:

This meeting is open to all member States of UNCTAD. Other organizations, including specialized agencies, intergovernmental bodies and non-governmental organizations in the general category may participate as observers. Online registration, at Intergovernmental Group of Experts on Consumer Protection Law and Policy, fifth session, is mandatory for all those wishing to attend the meeting and is required for inclusion in the list of participants. Early registration (before 25 June 2021) is advisable so that timely approval may be received for the issuance of a ground pass to the Palais des Nations. Registration requires uploading an official letter of nomination to represent an organization at this meeting.

For government representatives, a note verbale or an email from the permanent mission concerned in Geneva will suffice. Further enquiries regarding registration should be sent to the UNCTAD secretariat, Intergovernmental Support Service, Palais des Nations, CH-1211 Geneva 10; email: meetings@unctad.org.

Further information and contact details:

Substantive and other inquiries should be addressed to the UNCTAD secretariat, Competition and Consumer Policies Branch; fax: +41 22 917 0044; email: jacqueline.bouvier@unctad.org

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CoNGO Notes: For more information on the NGO Committee on Social Development, please visit ngosocdev.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on Sustainable Development-Vienna, please visit ngocsdvienna.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on Sustainable Development-NY, please visit ngocsd-ny.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on Financing for Development, please visit ngosonffd.org

UN Trade Forum 2021: Towards a Green and Inclusive Recovery

The COVID-19 pandemic has been a health and economic crisis of tragic proportions for lives and livelihoods everywhere that is jeopardising continued progress towards the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030. Protecting lives while moving forward with implementation for sustainable recovery has become the world’s priority.

Reigniting global trade is indispensable for the recovery from this crisis. Trade is a source of income, jobs and opportunities for women and men in developed and developing countries. The crisis has also highlighted the fundamental role of trade in allowing goods and services to move from where they are efficiently produced to where they are needed. The crisis has exposed the fault lines of our development path, notably one that depends on effective participation in just-in-time global supply chains. The crisis has also exacerbated the vulnerability and inequality present in our world.

Yet COVID-19 is not the only crisis we face. A climate and environmental emergency may compromise the progress we have achieved and the development prospects of future generations. Thus, recovery is not enough. It must be green and inclusive, and trade and trade policy play a critical role in this process. The United Nations Trade Forum will serve as a space for dialogue on how trade can be harnessed for a more prosperous, inclusive and sustainable world.

In the context of this year’s Forum, UNCTAD will also hold the seventeenth Raúl Prebisch Lecture. This prestigious Lecture is delivered periodically by a prominent thinker or Head of State, and while often tackles trade and development issues, also covers other topical global concerns. This iteration of the Lecture will be given by Nobel Laureate Esther Duflo, Abdul Latif Jameel Professor of Poverty Alleviation and Development Economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (United States of America). Ms Duflo was co-recipient of the Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel 2019, with Abhijit Banerjee and Michael Kremer, “for their experimental approach to alleviating global poverty”.

Participation

Registration should be completed online. Early registration is advised to allow timely approval. To do so, please use the following link: United Nations Trade Forum.

Communications concerning representation should be sent to the UNCTAD secretariat, Intergovernmental Support Service, Palais des Nations, CH-1211 Geneva 10, Switzerland; email: meetings@unctad.org.

The forum is open to all member States of UNCTAD. Those wishing to attend the event are requested to provide the UNCTAD secretariat with the credentials of their representatives and the names of their alternative representatives and advisers by Monday, 7 June 2021. Specialized agencies and intergovernmental bodies wishing to participate in the meeting and non-governmental organizations in the general category and those in the special category who wish to participate as observers are requested to inform the UNCTAD secretariat of the names of their representatives by the same date.

Logistics

A link to the formal virtual meeting will be sent to registered participants, at the email address used for registration, one day in advance of the start of the session. For all other enquiries, please contact: Graham Mott at graham.mott@unctad.org, or Tamar van Straten at tamar.vanstraten@un.org.

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CoNGO Notes: For more information on the NGO Committee on Financing for Development, please visit ngosonffd.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on Sustainable Development-Vienna, please visit ngocsdvienna.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on Sustainable Development-NY, please visit ngocsd-ny.org

Reforming the International Trading System for Recovery, Resilience and Inclusive Development

Reforming the International Trading System for Recovery, Resilience and Inclusive Development

The COVID-19 crisis has revealed the vulnerability of countries, especially developing countries. Against this backdrop, building back better cannot simply be about doubling down on pre-pandemic policies or “back to business as usual.” The current health and economic crises which have disproportionately affected the developing world should instead spark a fundamental rethink of global productive structures and the architecture of international trade, including international trade rules.

Building back better post Covid-19 must speak to a recovery strategy that is undergirded by a new paradigm and reform agenda that places inclusivity at the centre and moves towards a future of equitable, and shared growth and development consistent with the overdue sustainable development goals (SDGs). More importantly, such a recovery strategy should promote diversification of productive capacities of developing countries, propel transformation into higher productivity sectors, and foster resilience to future shocks.

The confluence of an economic, health and climate crisis offers a unique opportunity to revive multilateralism and mutually resolve the antagonisms that have increasingly afflicted the international trading system over the last decades.

Register at: https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_nbpjGdYVSQuWOzc7NnSWTw

PROGRAM

Moderator: Ambassador Xolelwa Mlumbi-Peter, South African Permanent Representative to the World Trade Organisation

Presentation: UNCTAD Research Paper No. 65 on Reforming the International Trading System for Recovery, Resilience and Inclusive Development – Richard Kozul-Wright, Director in the Division of Globalization and Development Strategies, UNCTAD

Panelists:

  • Anna CavazziniMember, European Parliament
  • Rashmi Banga, Senior Economist in the Division of Globalization and Development Strategies, UNCTAD
  • Rob Davies, former Minister of Trade and industry of South Africa (2009-2019)
  • Yang Yao, Director of China Center for Economic Research and Dean of National School of Development, Beijing University 

Question & Answer Session

Closing remarks: Ambassador Xolelwa Mlumbi-Peter

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CoNGO Notes: For more information on the NGO Committee on Financing for Development, please visit ngosonffd.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on Sustainable Development-Vienna, please visit ngocsdvienna.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on Sustainable Development-NY, please visit ngocsd-ny.org.

[UNCTAD15 civil society discussion] Frontier technologies, the digital economy and development

#UNCTAD15 Civil Society Discussion Series

This event is part of a series of online discussions with civil society held in preparation for the UNCTAD15 ministerial conference that will take place in the week of 3 October 2021.

Senior officials from UNCTAD and civil society leaders will discuss issues related to frontier technologies, the digital economy and development. The key issues identified will be reported to member states as part of the intergovernmental preparatory process for UNCTAD15.

The event, which will be opened by Shamika Sirimanne, director of UNCTAD’s division on technology and logistics, is open to the public.

Registration is mandatory: unctad.us17.list-manage.com/subscribe?u=69d5b141e8ba277f176908a58&id=856c168864

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CoNGO Notes: For more information on the NGO Committee on Financing for Development, please visit ngosonffd.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on Sustainable Development-Vienna, please visit ngocsdvienna.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on Sustainable Development-NY, please visit ngocsd-ny.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on Education, Learning, and Literacy, please visit facebook.com/NGOCELLatUN.

CSTD Special Event: Conversation with Great Minds

Twenty-Fourth Annual Session of the UN Commission on Science and Technology for Development (UN-CSTD)

Special Session: A Conversation with Great Minds

Scientific advances are being made in leaps and bounds. In the biotech field, the revolutionary CRISPR gene editing tool and the messenger RNA (mRNA) technology, are revolutionizing healthcare and hold the promise of changing our world for the better, with the prospects of eradicating pathogens, treating degenerative conditions, and growing more food, to name a few. But important questions arise with such ground-breaking advances. These need to be answered to inform public policy making, especially for developing countries – where many of the challenges that these technologies promise to address are prevalent.

Moderator: Ms. Didi Akinyelure, award-winning journalist

Speakers:

  • Dr. Jennifer Doudna, Nobel Laureate in Chemistry, UC Berkeley
  • Dr. Katalin Karikó, Senior Vice President, BioNTech RNA Pharmaceuticals

This year’s Conversation with Great Minds will address the following issues:

  • What support is needed for doing cutting-edge research?
  • How do we scale breakthrough technologies to those who need them most?
  • How can politicians be engaged to support research priorities of public interest?
  • How do we ensure that any risks of such revolutionary technologies are mitigated?
  • How did these remarkable women in science break the glass ceiling in their careers?

Join us via Zoom: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/86891619693?pwd=SG9BNG5zMmJDZS9kNEhjRW9sK0pIUT09

Meeting ID: 868 9161 9693 Passcode: Lj7PLwNe

The event will also be livestreamed on UNCTAD’s Facebook page: facebook.com/UNCTAD/live_videos

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CoNGO Notes: For more information on the NGO Committee on the Status of Women-NY, please visit ngocsw.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on the Status of Women-Vienna, please visit ngocswvienna.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on the Status of Women-Geneva, please visit ngocsw-geneva.ch. For more information on the NGO Committee on Education, Learning, and Literacy, please visit facebook.com/NGOCELLatUN.

World Negotiation Day

Online event by UNITAR: World Negotiation Day

Upon the request of the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR), the UNCTAD secretariat has the honour to transmit herewith the programme for the “World Negotiation Day”, organized by UNITAR and ADN Group on Tuesday, 9 March 2021.

For the second time in the history of world negotiation, the United Nations Institute for Training and Research, ADN Group ​and Global Citizen Forum have come together to organise the World Negotiation Day.

During the second edition of the World Negotiation Day, talks will be given by negotiators from every horizon. Round table discussions will be held by experts in bilateral and multilateral negotiation, and Rabih El Haddad and Marwan Mery will discuss the importance of negotiation in the 21st Century.

Global warming, disarmament, resource management, 5G… Negotiation is a key player in our future and the only means we have to deal with the trials of this century, peacefully. Register here!

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CoNGO Notes: For more information on the NGO Committee on Financing for Development, please visit ngosonffd.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on Sustainable Development-NY, please visit ngocsd-ny.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on Sustainable Development-Vienna, please visit ngocsdvienna.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on Disarmament, Peace, and Security, please visit ngocdps.wordpress.com

[UNCTAD Seminar] Building Economic Resilience in Small Island Developing States

UNCTAD and the Commonwealth Secretariat will host an online seminar on “Building economic resilience in small island developing States” on 4 March 2021, from 3 to 5 p.m. CET.

Register here!

Background

The coronavirus disease of 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has exacerbated the significant vulnerability of small island developing States to external shocks and has unleashed an unprecedented socioeconomic and financial crisis. The pandemic has also compounded the lingering effects of the financial crisis of 2008/09, following which many small island developing States borrowed to underwrite deficit spending and spur economic growth. Already burdened with high debt service costs at the start of the pandemic, many small island developing States lack the fiscal space to respond to the extraordinary needs created by the pandemic.

To break this cycle of recurring crises and incomplete recoveries, small island developing States strive to build their resilience to environmental and economic shocks. In support of this important quest, in 2014, member States, in the SIDS Accelerated Modalities of Action (SAMOA) Pathway, reaffirmed their “commitment to take urgent and concrete action to address the vulnerability of small island developing States”, taking into account their “individual country circumstances”. Economic development strategies provide a blueprint for Governments and incentives for the private sector to invest in new industries and infrastructure, ideally spurring a cycle of economic growth and structural transformation, towards a resilient economy and sustainable long-term development. In this context, UNCTAD and the Commonwealth Secretariat will hold this seminar for member States on building economic resilience in small island developing States, to present their ongoing work and exchange views with member States on alternative development strategies for small island developing States and other small States.

The specific objectives of the seminar are to:

Inform SIDS and small States of assistance provided by UNCTAD and the Commonwealth; Foster debate on “alternative development strategies for diverse SIDS” based on joint UNCTAD-Commonwealth research; and Identify next steps, including further research, policy analysis and technical assistance.

Speakers:

  • Mr. Paul Akiwumi Director, Division for Africa, LDCs and Special Programmes (ALDC), UNCTAD
  • Dr. Arjoon Suddhoo Deputy Secretary-General, Commonwealth Secretariat
  • HE Mr. Chad Blackman PR of Barbados to the UN in Geneva Coordinator of the SIDS Group in Geneva
  • Mr. Pierre Encontre Chief, SIDS and Status Issues Section, UNCTAD
  • Dr. Ruth Kattumuri Senior Director, Economic, Youth & Sustainable Development Directorate, Commonwealth Secretariat
  • Mr. Kris Terauds Economist, SIDS and Status Issues Section, UNCTAD
  • Mr. Paul Akiwumi UNCTAD

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CoNGO Notes: For more information on the NGO Committee on Financing for Development, please visit ngosonffd.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on Sustainable Development-NY, please visit ngocsd-ny.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on Sustainable Development-Vienna, please visit ngocsdvienna.org.

World Economic Situation and Prospects 2021 on Trade: From short-term disruptions to longer-term resilience

UNCTAD Trade Policy Dialogue

World Economic Situation and Prospects 2021 on trade: From short-term disruptions to longer-term resilience

Please register online at https://unctad.org/meeting/world-economic-situation-and-prospects2021-trade-short-term-disruptions-longer-term

This Trade Policy Dialogue is organized by UNCTAD in partnership with the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA) and the Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE). The session will discuss major findings in the flagship report World Economic Situation and Prospects 2021, which assesses key trends in international trade and agenda for policy, including the roles of global value chains and services in enhancing economic resilience.

Questions:

  • How do we overcome short-term trade disruptions to reinforce longer-term resilience?
  • How do we take advantage of dynamic comparative advantage and “servicification”?
  • How do different countries see the need to revitalize the multilateral trading system?

Programme Agenda:

2:30 p.m. Opening

2:35 p.m. Panel discussion moderated by Miho Shirotori, Head, Trade Negotiations and Commercial Diplomacy Branch, UNCTAD

Panelists:

  • Ingo Pitterle, Senior Economic Affairs Officer, Global Economic Monitoring Branch, United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs
  • Bruno Antunes, Economic Affairs Officer, Trade Negotiations and Commercial Diplomacy Branch, UNCTAD
  • Polina Tonkikh, Director, World Trade Organization Expertise Centre, Russian Federation

3:20 p.m. Questions and answers

3:35 p.m. Closing

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CoNGO Notes: For more information on the NGO Committee on Financing for Development, please visit ngosonffd.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on Sustainable Development-Vienna, please visit ngocsdvienna.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on Sustainable Development-NY, please visit ngocsd-ny.org.

UNCTAD XV: Achieving prosperity for all after COVID-19

Co-organised by the Third World Network; the Civil Society Financing for Development (FfD) Group;
Our World Is Not for Sale; and the Third World Network – Africa

Join the Director of UNCTAD’s Division on Globalization and Development Strategies, Richard Kozul-Wright, to discuss the recent flagship Trade and Development Report 2020: From global pandemic to prosperity for all: avoiding another lost decade.

Thursday, January 21st, 23:00 Manila / 20:30 New Delhi / 18:00 Nairobi / 16:00 Geneva / 16:00 Lagos / noon Sao Paulo / 11:00 Bridgetown / 10am Washington, DC

Register here!

Covid-19 has served as a reminder that we live in a closely interdependent world that brings opportunities but also carries dangers. It has, just as importantly, shed light on a whole series of pre-existing conditions – from heightened inequality, to unsustainable debt and rampant environmental destruction – that were left unaddressed after the Global Financial Crisis.

The most recent Trade and Development Report argues that the global economic crisis caused by Covid-19 throws up a stark choice: continue misguided policy choices or collectively chart a new path that leads from recovery to a more resilient, more equal and more environmentally sustainable world in line with the ambition of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Neither path is preordained. Building a better world is a matter of conviction and collective action. The lives of future generations and of the planet itself will depend on the choices we all take over the coming months.

Kozul-Wright will share with civil society leaders from around the world some of the policy prescriptions recommended in the TDR, including:

· Increased government spending including a big public investment push into cleaner energy, environmental protection, sustainable transport systems and the care economy, including through industrial policies;

· Coordinated macroeconomic expansion focused on job creation and higher wages;

· Labour market regulation that supports employees’ compensation;

· Expanded use of Special Drawing Rights to boost global liquidity;

· Financial support for boosting the health emergency response to COVID-19 in developing countries through a Marshall Plan for Health Recovery;

· A Global Debt Authority to stop a repeat liquidity crises from turning into serial sovereign defaults;

This webinar is being held in the context of the XV Conference of UNCTAD which is scheduled for October 3-8, 2021 in Bridgetown, Barbados, which will set the mandate of UNCTAD for the next four years on the interrelated issues of trade, development, finance, technology, industrial policy, debt, investment, e-commerce, and more.

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CoNGO Notes: For more information on the NGO Committee on Financing for Development, please visit ngosonffd.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on Education, Learning, and Literacy, please visit facebook.com/NGOCELLatUN.

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