United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) - UPSC Notes

The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) is a body of the UN that aims to develop opportunities, investments and trade in developing countries. Such international bodies and programs are relevant to the IAS exam. In this article, you can read all about UNCTAD, its objectives, and the important reports it publishes.

UNCTAD UPSC Notes:- Download PDF Here

International organizations and groupings are an important part of the International Relations section of the General Studies paper-2 in the UPSC Syllabus. International relations is a very dynamic part and is crucial for multiple papers in Prelims and Mains. Students preparing for UPSC 2023 and other Government Exams must be aware of the topic.

Aspirants should begin their preparation by solving UPSC Previous Year Question Papers now!!

To complement your preparation for the upcoming exam, check the following links:

United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD)

The United Nations General Assembly is the parent organisation of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD). Moreover, UNCTAD is a permanent body of the United Nations.

United Nations Conference for Trade and Development (UNCTAD) deals with trade issues, investments and other matters concerning development. United Nations Conference Trade and Development goals are:

  1. The development opportunities, investments and trade of developing countries are to be maximized.
  2. The efforts of developing countries to integrate into the world economy on an equitable basis would be assisted by UNCTAD.

UPSC Prelims Facts - UNCTAD

UNCTAD Objectives

Framing policies in various domains such as trade, technology, finance, aid, and transport is the most important priority of UNCTAD.  Geneva is the permanent secretariat of UNCTAD 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. Reduce the dependency on commodities by diversifying the economies.
  4. Decrease their exposure to debt and financial volatility.
  5. Increase development-friendliness by attracting more investments.
  6. Increase technologies related to the digital domain.
  7. Give more thrust to innovation and entrepreneurship.
  8. Aid local firms to move up value chains.
  9. Facilitate the flow of goods across borders.
  10. Prevent consumer abuse.
  11. Competition should not be stifled, hence any concerned regulations would be cross-checked.
  12. Effectively utilise natural resources that would help in adapting to climate change.

Aspirants can get an overview of the United Nations Organisation (UNO) in the given link.

UNCTAD Reports

The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) publishes important reports like:

Trade & Development Report World Development Report
The Least Developed Countries Report Information and Economy Report
Commodities and Development Report  Technology and Innovation Report

Latest Context of UNCTAD

  1. The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development released the World Investment Report 2020. The report focuses on trends in Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) worldwide and emerging measures to improve its contribution to development.
    • Important highlights of the report – 
      • Global FDI decreased by up to 40% in 2020. It is projected to decrease by a further 5% to 10% in 2021. This would bring global FDI below $1 trillion for the first time since 2005.
      • Developing economies are expected to see the biggest fall in FDI because they rely more on investment in Global Value Chain (GVC) based industries, which have been severely hit due to the Covid-19 pandemic. However, the investment flows are expected to slowly recover by the start of 2022.
  2. The UNCTAD has released its latest Trade and Development Report, because of the hardship caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. Developing countries may see their public external debt increase to $2.4-3.6 trillion in 2020 and 2021.

For a list of other important reports published by international organizations, click on the linked article.

Related Links
Headquarters of International Organisations National Mission for Sustaining Himalayan Ecosystem (NMSHE)
United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) National Mission for Sustainable Agriculture (NMSA)
Green India Mission (GIM) United Nations General Assembly

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