unctad.org | Commission on Trade in Goods and Services and Commodities, 10th session
Commission on Trade in Goods and Services and Commodities, 10th session
06 - 10 February 2006
Palais des Nations, Room XXVI

Key Issues

Climbing the trade and development ladder: UNCTAD´s new Trade and Development Index

Moving up the trade and development ladder is a key development challenge facing developing countries in their effort to integrate effectively into the trading system and accelerate development. In helping developing countries address this challenge, UNCTAD´s pioneering work on the Trade and Development Index (TDI) and benchmarks, tries to provide a quantitative indication of how trade is integrated with human development. It combines 29 indicators representing structural and institutional factors, trade policies and processes, and human development. The TDI, gives a special focus on Africa and LDCs. It not only provides country rankings in terms of trade and development performance of countries, but also offers a diagnostic and policy tool by systematically identifying factors explaining such performance. It should, therefore, prove useful to policy-makers formulating development strategies, as well as development cooperation with a view to helping developing countries climb up the development ladder. The High level segment will involve Eminent Panelists that will comment on the TDI as a tool in assessing the contribution of trade to promoting development and alleviating poverty, and identifying related national and international policy issues.

Commodities and development

The Commission will examine the relationship between development and commodity production and trade, focusing particularly on how projects and programmes to enhance the capacity to trade in commodities can contribute to poverty reduction. Institutional and other constraints and bottlenecks in several aspects of the commodity economy will be considered, and the relevance of remedying such constraints and bottlenecks in ensuring that broad segments of the population benefit from commodities trade will be analysed. The discussion will cover possible actions for the improvement of supply capacity, the reduction of transaction costs, improved integration of developing country producers into international supply chains, and better management of commodity sector revenues. International cooperation to support commodity sector development will also be discussed, including cooperation through the International Task Force on Commodities.

Market access, market entry and competitiveness

The Commission will examine the market access, market entry and competitiveness of selected dynamic and new sectors of world trade. In addition, since non-tariff measures can act as important market entry barriers to developing country exports, the Commission may wish to consider how to take forward international policy dialogue, research and analysis and disciplining of non-tariff barriers that affect developing countries´ exports.

Trade in services and development implications

The Commission will examine the increasing role of developing countries in international trade in services, as well as their experiences, challenges and opportunities in the ongoing negotiations on services. Most developing countries have embarked on reform processes, recognizing the positive effects that can accrue from progressive liberalization of trade in services in terms of generating jobs, technology and investment. Trade liberalization by itself, however, may not produce the expected results without necessary complementary policies. Thus, the Commission will address the importance of establishing adequate policy and regulatory frameworks as necessary conditions for trade liberalization in order to generate beneficial results.

Trade, environment and development

The Commission will address selected trade and environment issues that have received considerable attention in recent international debates, as well as in UNCTAD activities. These will include considerations in the field of environmental requirements and market access for developing countries, trade liberalization in environmental goods and services, the promotion of production and use of renewable energy, and the protection, preservation and sustainable use of traditional knowledge.

A distinct area of consideration includes opportunities for promoting trade in products derived from the sustainable use of biodiversity, in particular through the BioTrade Initiative, as well as the BioFuels Initiative.



The tenth session of the Commission on Trade in Goods and Services, and Commodities will be held from 6 to 10 February 2006. The session will open at the Palais des Nations, Geneva, at 10 a.m. on Monday, 6 February 2006.

The substantive items for the provisional agenda (to be circulated as document TD/B/COM.1/74) were approved at the ninth session of the Commission on Trade in Goods and Services, and Commodities (14-18 March 2005). The main agenda items are:

  • Item 3. Commodities and development

  • Item 4. Market access, market entry and competitiveness

  • Item 5. Trade in services and development implications

  • Item 6. Trade, environment and development

  • Item 7. Implementation of agreed conclusions and recommendations of the Commission, including the post-Doha follow-up.

Membership of the Commission is open to all States members of UNCTAD. States members of UNCTAD wishing to attend the session are requested to provide the Secretary-General of UNCTAD with the credentials of their representatives and the names of their alternate representatives and advisers by 16 January 2006. States that are not members of the Commission are entitled to be represented by observers. Other participants (i.e. the specialized agencies and intergovernmental bodies, as well as non-governmental organizations in the general and special categories wishing to participate as observers) are requested to indicate the names of their representatives by the same date.

Upon arrival, participants are requested, before entering the Palais des Nations, to collect their badge at the UN Security Service, Villa Les Feuillantines, 13 Avenue de la Paix (close to the main entrance to the Palais at the Place des Nations, on the opposite side of the road). The Security Service is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. (non-stop). Because of the security measures in force, participants are strongly advised to arrive before 8.30 a.m. in order to complete procedures and reach the Meeting in good time. Walking from Villa Les Feuillantines to the E-Building (Bâtiment E) of the Palais takes about 10 minutes. Participants are requested to carry a passport or similar national identity card with them. Taxis are not allowed to enter the grounds of the Palais des Nations, and visitors will therefore be dropped off at the requested entrance gates. Furthermore, luggage may not be brought into the buildings unless the Security Service gives special clearance.

All communications concerning representation should be sent to the UNCTAD secretariat, Intergovernmental Affairs and Outreach Service, Palais des Nations, CH-1211 Geneva 10, fax: +41(0)22 917 0056; e-mail: correspondence@unctad.org.

All other enquiries should be addressed to the substantive officers concerned as follows:

(p.p. signed)

Supachai Panitchpakdi
Secretary-General of UNCTAD
14 December 2005


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