The objective of UNCTAD's work on competition and consumer policies is to ensure that partner countries enjoy the benefits of increased competition, open and contestable markets, private sector investment in key sectors and ultimately that consumers achieve improved welfare.
The Competition and Consumer Policies Programme services the Intergovernmental Group of Experts (IGE) on Competition Law and Policy and the Ad-hoc Expert Group meeting on Consumer protection policies annually, undertakes competition policy peer reviews, publishes the UNCTAD Model law on competition and the Handbook on competition legislation and implements sector specific and economy-wide competition and consumer policies reforms that create a level playing field amongst companies and consumers, increasing the effectiveness of antitrust and consumer protection policies.
The highest intergovernmental body is the United Nations review Conferences to Review the Set on Competition policy which is held every five years.
The Research Partnership Platform work stream are circulated and feed into to the IGE and inform their discussions.
The vital links between competition law enforcement and regulation were highlighted during a workshop for sectorial regulators organized by UNCTAD and the National Competition Agency of Nicaragua on 19 February 2015.
Within the framework of the Trade and Private Sector Development Project financed by the European Union (EU), and in cooperation with the University of Zimbabwe and Competition and Tariff Commission, UNCTAD organized three training courses on competition in Harare between 2 and 13 February 2015.
UNCTAD hosted a meeting in Geneva to debate proposed revisions to the United Nations Guidelines for Consumer Protection. The revisions aim to ensure the guidelines remain relevant to the evolving challenges faced by consumers, especially in the areas of e-Commerce and financial services.