unctad.org | Review of the technical cooperation activities of UNCTAD
Action taken by the Trade and Development Board 2007
Review of the technical cooperation activities of UNCTAD
Decision 492 (LIV)
09 Oct 2007

The Trade and Development Board

  1. Takes note with appreciation of the technical cooperation activities carried out by the UNCTAD secretariat and of the reports prepared for the Working Party on the Medium-term Plan and the Programme Budget, expresses gratitude for the continuous support provided by bilateral and multilateral donors, reiterates the importance of submitting documents on time, and encourages beneficiary countries to continue providing concrete feedback on the quality and impact of UNCTAD projects in their countries;

  2. Invites all development partners to continue to work together with a view to maximizing the development impact of UNCTAD´s technical assistance, and further invites donors and potential donors in a position to do so to provide adequate funding for the technical cooperation activities of UNCTAD;

  3. Notes with satisfaction the increase in total resources allocated to assistance to the least developed countries, as their special needs require particular attention, and urges donors and the UNCTAD secretariat to further enhance their assistance to these countries;

  4. Welcomes the 16 per cent growth in delivery and the fact that operations in support of all regions, including in least developed countries, increased;

  5. Reiterates the importance of ensuring an equitable distribution of resources among the developing country regions and countries with economies in transition in the overall delivery of technical cooperation;

  6. Reiterates the importance of UNCTAD technical assistance responding to the specific and special needs of least developed countries, small, structurally weak, vulnerable economies, small island developing States, and landlocked and transit developing countries, in accordance with paragraph 33 of the São Paulo Consensus;

  7. Welcomes the fact that a significant part of UNCTAD technical assistance is provided through interregional activities based on the thematic knowledge of the secretariat, and urges donors to continue their support for these activities;

  8. Welcomes the new important donation from the Government of Spain to the United Nations system to help achieve the Millennium Development Goals and expresses gratitude to the Government of Spain for this generous support; in this regard, urges the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), as well as United Nations resident coordinators and the national authorities of beneficiary countries, to provide support with a view to the inclusion of UNCTAD´s operations in this new Spanish fund;

  9. Expresses concern at the continued decrease of UNDP resources to UNCTAD technical cooperation programmes and invites UNDP and the UNCTAD secretariat, in the context of the ongoing discussions on United Nations system-wide reform on coherence, to establish mechanisms for technical cooperation on trade-related issues, to be carried out by UNCTAD in accordance with its mandate and expertise, at the national, regional and multilateral levels;

  10. Encourages UNCTAD to inform United Nations resident coordinators about its technical assistance products so that, where appropriate, they could encourage their inclusion in the countries´ United Nations development assistance frameworks;

  11. Recognizes the importance of the Joint Integrated Technical Assistance Programme (JITAP) to African countries and invites donors to consider positively the launching of a third phase of that programme in view of its successful results and the positive evaluation results of this inter-agency initiative;

  12. Recognizes that UNCTAD is in a position to play an important role in the Aid for Trade initiative, in accordance with UNCTAD´s mandates, expertise and development approach;

  13. Recognizes the importance of the implementation of paragraph 166 of the Bangkok Plan of Action, and calls for the continuation of the training courses on the key issues on the international economic agenda in Geneva and at the regional level;

  14. Calls upon the secretariat to provide member States with information regarding requests for technical assistance and their follow-up;

  15. Takes note with satisfaction of the secretariat´s internal arrangements regarding management aspects of technical cooperation, including the establishment of the Project Review Committee, and requests the secretariat to continue to take measures to increase the impact and efficiency of UNCTAD technical cooperation activities and to keep member States updated in that regard on a regular basis;

  16. Notes with interest that the establishment of the new Division for Africa, Least Developed Countries and Special Programmes has led to rethinking in terms of strategic approach, consolidation and synchronization of the division´s technical cooperation activities, and asks the secretariat to keep member States informed in this regard on a regular basis;

  17. Takes note with interest of the proposals made by the secretariat for the implementation of recommendation 18 of the Report of the Panel of Eminent Persons; in this regard, the Trade and Development Board:
    1. Notes with interest the information provided on the participation of UNCTAD in the ongoing discussions on the United Nations system-wide coherence process and asks the secretariat to continue efforts and initiatives to strengthen UNCTAD´s presence and role in this context;

    2. Welcomes the practical initiatives being taken by the secretariat - such as the establishment of an inter-agency thematic cluster on trade and productive sectors within the United Nations Chief Executives Board for Coordination, the organization of inter-agency trade-related training courses in conjunction with the United Nations System Staff College, and the utilization of staff mobility within the United Nations secretariat to disseminate UNCTAD´s work - and requests the secretariat to keep the Working Party informed about the implementation and the results of these initiatives;

    3. Urges both donors and beneficiaries of the United Nations country-based development assistance plans to provide support, including adequate financial resources, in view of the inclusion of UNCTAD´s operations in the national development plans;

    4. Notes the efforts made by UNCTAD to participate in the "One United Nations" reform and requests the secretariat to inform member States in this regard, taking into account the role of ongoing and future UNCTAD operations, whether country-specific, regional or interregional;

    5. Requests least developed countries´ Governments and UNCTAD to pay more attention to the interface between the United Nations country development assistance plans and the Integrated Framework, with a view to ensuring policy coherence and maximizing the impact of UNCTAD assistance;

    6. Expresses concern about the limited consideration given to trade and trade-related issues in the United Nations development assistance frameworks and similar national development assistance plans, as illustrated in paragraph 42 of document TD/B/WP/195, and supports UNCTAD efforts to address this concern;

    7. Encourages UNCTAD to strengthen efforts in actively supporting the integration of economic and trade-related issues in United Nations development assistance frameworks and national development strategic plans as requested;

  18. Takes note with interest of the proposals made by the secretariat for the implementation of recommendation 19 of the Report of the Panel of Eminent Persons; in this regard, the Trade and Development Board:
    1. Recalls the UNCTAD technical cooperation strategy adopted in 2003 and paragraph 12 of decision 488 (LIII) adopted by the Trade and Development Board at its fifty-third session, in 2006, regarding the need for more coherence and interdivisional coordination of technical assistance programmes and activities, including streamlining through the use of thematic clusters and programmes;

    2. Recalls recommendation 19 regarding the need for consolidation of projects and requests the secretariat to initiate the process, as indicated in box 5 of document TD/B/WP/195, aiming at the establishment of annual plans for thematic trust funds within and among divisions in consultation with member States to take place between October and December 2007;

    3. Urges donors to provide contributions to the new thematic trust funds to be established within and among the divisions according to these consultations, taking into account the financing options mentioned in box 5 of document TD/B/WP/195, and expects that an assessment of the implementation will be made by the secretariat at the next session of the Working Party; this should not preclude member States from continuing to provide earmarked contributions to individual trust funds;

    4. Stresses that the establishment of thematic trust funds should aim at enhancing the effectiveness and impact of UNCTAD technical cooperation activities without compromising the scope, content and manner of delivery; it should also enhance the links between the operational activities and analytical work of UNCTAD, on the one hand, and the results of intergovernmental deliberations on the other;

  19. Invites the donors and potential donors in a position to do so to make multi-year contributions to UNCTAD technical cooperation, to increase predictability in the planning and implementation of the relevant technical assistance programmes;

  20. Urges the secretariat to enhance technical assistance projects in the area of commodities, especially in African commodity-dependent countries, in order to ensure sustained economic growth and poverty alleviation and, in this regard, urges the secretariat to improve its interdivisional coordination on commodity-related issues and report on progress at the next meeting of the Working Party.
1012th plenary meeting
9 October 2007


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