In 2011, UNCTAD's COMPAL Programme and Ecuador organized the 1st International Consumer Protection held in Guayaquil. This three day Forum explored the interplay between competition and consumer protection, and between the latter and human rights. Further, cooperation avenues with and within Latin America were discussed in depth. During the event, consensus emerged about the need to hold regular annual meetings among consumer protection agencies from Latin America and beyond to address emerging issues concerning various jurisdictions, while complementing the work of other international fora.
UNCTAD's COMPAL Programme and Peru organized the 2nd International Consumer Protection Forum in Lima gathering consumer protection agencies from 11 countries of the Latin American, North American and Caribbean regions, along with the OAS and the Andean Community. In order to avoid overlaps, the agenda of the Forum was closely coordinated with that of the Iberoamerican Forum of Consumer Protection Agencies. Participants engaged in a fruitful discussion on the United Nations Guidelines on Consumer Protection, which are currently being revised under the auspices of UNCTAD. Other issues of regional and international relevance were also addressed, namely: educational programmes for young consumers; cooperation in e-commerce issues; implementation of recall systems; and consumer protection and tourism. The event was enriched with the participation of civil society organizations, whose active engagement provided food for thought for all national agencies. Best practices were shared among all participants, spotting possible synergies between the COMPAL Programme and other regional initiatives.
Outcomes of the meeting included:
• Consumer Protection Agencies from the COMPAL member countries along with special guests such as USA FTC, Panama ACODECO and Mexico Profeco participated at the II International Consumer Protection Forum.
• Deliberations as regards the progress report of the UNCTAD Project to revise UNGCP took place with the participation of GAE members, Mr. Gustavo Valbuena and Ricardo Maguiña.
• UNCTAD and GAE members clarified to the COMPAL members the scope and deadlines of the ambitious UNGCP project towards next years' international meetings in Geneva (July 2013)
• Substantive deliberations for each of the agreed topics of the meetings took place with active participation of COMPAL members countries and Mexico/Panama/US (see attached agreed conclusions of the meeting in Spanish version)
• Much interest was shown on the Revision of UNGCP in the VI FIAGC. It was agreed that FIAGC would actively participate by channelling its members' contributions. (see attached conclusions of the Conference in Spanish version)
The 3rd Consumer Protection Forum will take place in 2013, most likely in the Caribbean Region.
Participants: Consumer Protection Agencies from Latin America, North America and the Caribbean Region.
• Ms. Anahí Chavez, INDECOPI, Peru
• Ms. Altagracia Paulino, ProConsumidor, Dominican Republic
• Ms. Carmen Ligia Valderrama, SIC, Colombia
• Ms. Cynthia Zapata, DAC, Costa Rica
• Mr. Carlos Martinez, Profeco, Mexico
• Mr. Crisólogo Cáceres, ASPEC, Peru
• Ms. Deon Woods-Bell, FTC, USA
• Mr. Michael Panzera, FTC, USA
• Pierre Horna, Officer in Charge of the COMPAL Programme, Competition and Consumer Policies Branch (CCPB)
• Arnau Izaguerri, Legal Officer, COMPAL Programme, Competition and Consumer Policies Branch (CCPB)
• Ricardo Maguiña, AGE/COMPAL, CCPB
• Gustavo Valbuena, AGE/COMPAL, CCPB