UNCTAD, which is governed by its 194 member States, is the United Nations body responsible for dealing with development issues, particularly international trade – the main driver of development.
Its work can be summed up in three words: think, debate, and deliver.
Reflection on development is at the heart of UNCTAD’s work. It produces often-innovative analyses that form the basis for recommendations to economic policymakers. The aim is to help them take informed decisions and promote the macroeconomic policies best suited to ending global economic inequalities and to generating people-centred sustainable development.
UNCTAD is also a forum where representatives of all countries can freely engage in dialogue and discuss ways to establish a better balance in the global economy.
In addition, UNCTAD offers direct technical assistance to developing countries and countries with economies in transition, helping them to build the capacities they need to become equitably integrated into the global economy and improve the well-being of their populations.
UNCTAD holds a ministerial-level meeting every four years to discuss major global economic issues and to decide on its programme of work.
It also holds discussions with civil society, including at an annual symposium where members of the public can express their views and interact with country representatives.
Every two years, UNCTAD organizes the World Investment Forum, which brings together major players from the international investment community to discuss challenges and opportunities and to promote investment policies and partnerships for sustainable development and equitable growth.