United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD)

Concept: United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD)

Topic: Investments

Category: Economy

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CNA mentions: 1 (June 22)


In this article, you will read about the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), a permanent body of the United Nations. This is an important part of the International Relations (IR) section of the UPSC syllabus.

The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) was established in 1964 as a permanent intergovernmental body. It is part of the UN Secretariat and is headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland.

UNCTAD is the principal organ of the United Nations General Assembly dealing with development, investment and trade issues. The organization’s goals are to: “Maximize the trade, investment and development opportunities of developing countries and assist them in their efforts to integrate into the world economy on an equitable basis.”

UNCTAD Objective

The primary objective of UNCTAD is to formulate policies relating to all aspects of development including trade, finance, aid, transport and technology. The permanent secretariat is in Geneva and the conference ordinarily meets once in four years.

UNCTAD collects data and conducts research and analyses policies.

UNCTAD, with its work in the national and global levels, aims to help countries to:

  1. Understand options to address macro-level development challenges
  2. Acquire beneficial integration into the international trading system
  3. Diversify economies to make them less dependent on commodities
  4. Decrease their exposure to financial volatility and debt
  5. Attract investment and make it more development-friendly
  6. Enhance access to digital technologies
  7. Encourage entrepreneurship and innovation
  8. Aid local firms to move up value chains
  9. Facilitate the flow of goods across borders
  10. Prevent consumer abuse
  11. Check regulations that stifle competition
  12. Adapt to climate change and use natural resources more effectively

Currently, Mukhisa Kituyi is the Secretary-General of UNCTAD. He took charge in 2013.

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