United Nations Conference on Trade and Development
As the focal point within the UN for development issues in the areas of trade, finance, technology and investment, UNCTAD works as an 'ideas laboratory' to provide on-the-ground assistance to developing countries in related areas. It helps developing countries to ensure development gains and opportunities and to participate fully in the world economy.
UNCTAD carries out its activities through three channels: research, policy analysis and data collection; intergovernmental debate and consensus-building; and technical assistance (250 projects and programmes in 2006). Its main activities include:
- identifying broad trends and prospects in the world economy; assisting developing countries in all aspects of their trade negotiations; identifying solutions for the economic development of African countries; analysing the effects of international initiatives on least developed countries; proposing solutions for debt restructuring; encouraging South-South trade cooperation; helping commodity-dependent countries to diversify their production; encouraging the inclusion of environment issues in trade and development policies;
- analysing foreign direct investment trends and their impact on development; helping countries to participate in international investment agreements; advising governments on investment policies through investment policy reviews, investment guides and training;
- identifying policy options in new technologies, in particular digital and e-business solutions; analysing and promoting e-tourism options; facilitating trade and customs clearance through the use of applied information technologies.
with the UN Department for Economic and Social Affairs (UN/DESA), UNDP, ITC, WTO, UNIDO, UNEP and WIPO, the World Bank, the IMF, regional economic commissions, OECD, IGOs and NGOs.