History, mandate, main purposes and recent developments: Funded in1964, the United Nations Conference for Trade and Development – UNCTAD, with headquarters in Geneva and offices in New York and Addis Ababa, promotes the development and the integration of Developing Countries in international economy and trade. At present, UNCTAD has 194 Members and carries out its mandate as defined and updated at the Ministerial Conferences, which are held every four years (the last Conference, chaired by Barbados, took place virtually from 3 to 7 October 2021), through three main functions:
• Serve as a forum for debate between Governments and experts, with a view to building consensus;
• Produce researches, political analysis and data;
• Provide for technical assistance to Developing Countries, in particular to the Least Developed Countries and to the economies in transitions, supported by other organizations and donors.
The Organization is focused on finding effective solutions to foster development in Developing and Least Developed Countries through international trade. It is committed to ensure significant improvements in life-standards by providing technical assistance in fields such as market access, investments, technologies and funding. In these Countries, it aims at reaching fair and sustainable economic growth, including on environmental and social dimensions, with special attention to Africa, the agricultural sector and raw materials.
Specific activities to comply with its mandate and with the Millennium Development Goals include: South-South cooperation, regional cooperation and integration, streamlining of funding for development projects, poverty reduction, international trade’s role in pursuing sustainable development, food and energy security and public debt management.
UNCTAD accounts on its agenda, as broader areas of interest and actions: globalization, development strategies, trade of goods and services, investments on businesses, technology and innovation, trade logistics and development of human capital in international trade.
Italian Participation: Italy, as an important contributor to the United Nations, participates to the activities of the Organization and supports its actions. Italy concentrates its endeavors on elaborating coordination policies with the Members of the European Union, by favoring dialogue and consensus building activities, and by promoting accounting transparency and efficiency in the resources management.
Secretary General: Since 13th September 2021, Rebeca Grynspan of Costa Rica is the eighth Secretary General of UNCTAD. She is the first woman and Central American to be appointed in this position.
Working in UNCTAD: For information on employment conditions, career options, recruitment processes and so on, please visit UN Careers