UNCTAD promotes the development-friendly integration of developing countries into the world economy. UNCTAD fulfils this mandate through three key functions:
Providing a forum for intergovernmental deliberations
Undertaking research, policy analysis and data collection to inform these deliberations
Providing technical assistance to developing countries
The mandate and functions of UNCTAD are reflected in the strategy of the Competition and Consumer Policies Programme.
Competition and Consumer Policies Programme - mandate and key functions
The purpose of the Competition and Consumer Policies Programme is to contribute to poverty reduction and the MDGs by strengthening markets through improved competition and consumer protection.
The Competition and Consumer Policies Programme fulfils this mandate through its three key functions:
1. Providing a forum for intergovernmental deliberations
Government representatives discuss competition and consumer protection issues. The main forum is the annual meeting of the Intergovernmental Group of Experts on Competition Law and Policy (IGE). The IGE's discussions focus on five clusters of issues:
- The relationship between competition policy and development
- Effectiveness of competition agencies
- International cooperation
- The interface between consumer and competition policies
- Capacity building
Guidelines, tools and lessons learnt are compiled following these discussions and are disseminated to partner countries, which use them to improve the effectiveness of their competition agencies. These include the UNCTAD Model law on competition and the Handbook on competition legislation.
2. Undertaking research, policy analysis and data collection.
Competition and Consumer Policies Programme focuses its research on the four groups of issues considered by the IGE. The reports developed under the Research Partnership Platform work stream are circulated and feed into presented to the IGE and inform their discussions.
3. Providing technical assistance to developing countries.
The Programme assists partner countries to implement the recommendations and best practice identified in the previous two workstreams. To date COMPAL has been the primary delivery programme for technical assistance, working with competition and consumer protection agencies in 12 Latin American countries. Findings and lessons from the technical assistance are then fed back and used to inform the research and intergovernmental deliberation components of the Programme's work.
The Programme aims to continue being the partner of choice for developing countries seeking high quality, development focused support for improving their competition and consumer protection systems. It achieves this objective through the following strategies:
Global delivery of in-depth technical assistance. Currently countries in Latin American,African and Asian region receives comprehensive long-term technical assistance to strengthen their competition and consumer protection systems through the COMPAL and AFRICOMP programmes. The Programmes replicate best practices learned through the COMPAL approach in new geographies.
A new COMPAL Global programme is planned for 2014, providing in-depth technical assistance to forty countries and their associated regional bodies. This will increase the number of countries with effective competition and consumer protection systems, expanding UNCTAD's impact. The lessons and best practice identified through technical assistance will continue to inform the Programme's intergovernmental forums and associated research.
Multiplying impact through regional leaders. The experience gained so far through capacity building activitiesIn the Competition and Consumer Policies Programmes found that by working with countries with strong competition and consumer protection agencies ( Indonesia, Brazil,, South Africa, Zambia. Serbia, Colombia and Peru, etc..), these countries became regional leaders, attracting neighbouring countries to participate in project activities and providing them with ongoing assistance.
The Programmes replicate these approach in other regions, focusing initially on countries that are willing to take on this leadership role and have the necessary economic clout and competition infrastructure. This includes building strong relationships with the UNCTAD, ICN and the OECD. This approach allows initial donor funding to act as a catalyst, with the efforts of the regional leaders delivering increased impact and value for money.
Strong field-based presence. A strong presence in the countries and regions where CCPB works make in-country delivery more effective and responsive, and ensures a free flow of information between countries and UNCTAD in Geneva. It also increases operational efficiency. The Programme rely on Resident Advisers and National Coordinators to be based in the regions where UNCTAD works, and establish Regional Centers to support technical assistance activities.
World-class technical expertise. The Competition and Consumer Policies Programme provides high quality advice to counterparts, to those in countries with young and more advanced enforcement agencies. CCPB has hired senior staff to the Programme as well as highly experienced and respected Resident Advisers.