unctad.org | Multi-year expert meeting on commodities and development (second session)
Multi-year expert meeting on commodities and development (second session)
24 - 25 March 2010

Key Issues

  • Developments and challenges in commodity markets: current situation and outlook

  • Review and identification of opportunities for the diversification of the energy matrix, including renewable energies, with awareness of countries’ needs, to ensure a proper balance between food security and energy concerns

  • Trade-related policies and instruments and how to use them for resolving commodity problems

  • Investment and financial policies for accessing financial resources for commodity-based development, including with respect to official development assistance, Aid for Trade and other possibilities

Input from experts: trade and development implications of developments in commodity markets

Experts nominated by member States are encouraged to submit brief papers (approximately five pages) as contributions to the work of the meeting. The papers should be submitted to the UNCTAD secretariat in advance of the meeting and will be made available at the meeting in the form and language in which they are received.

Papers, which should draw on the expert’s experience, may address one or more of the following issues:

  • What have been the drivers of price trends in recent years in commodity markets and what are the opportunities and challenges faced by commodity-dependent developing countries stemming from these trends?

  • What are the pros and the cons of alternative approaches to the development of alternative energy sources, including renewable sources in the future energy matrix? What is the likely impact of the development of some of these renewable energies (e.g. biofuels) on food and energy security?

  • What are the policy measures through which low-income commoditydependent developing countries could enhance their competitiveness, including value addition in the medium to long term? How can these countries utilize the opportunities presented by the MTS to enhance their competitiveness? How can the constraints stemming from the MTS in this regards be addressed?

  • What mechanisms are there for commodity producers and exporters to enhance their access to finance, particularly in times of economic recession? Do these mechanisms meet the commodity finance needs of smaller players in low-income commodity-dependent developing countries?

For more information, contact:

Kwabena Baah-Duodu
OIC, Special Unit on Commodities

Tel.: +41 22 917 2128
Fax.: +41 22 917 0042
E-mail: kwabena.baah-duodu@unctad.org



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The second session of the Multi-year Expert Meeting on Commodities and Development will be held from 24 to 25 March 2010, in room XXVI of the Palais des Nations, Geneva. It will open at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, 24 March.


Member States of UNCTAD are requested to nominate experts no later than 10 March 2010.

Experts, who will participate in the meeting in their personal capacities, are expected to have proven expertise in the subject and may be selected from ministries such as those dealing with trade, agriculture and natural resources (e.g. minerals and metals, oil and gas), as well as from the private sector, including representatives of producer associations or cooperatives and other non-governmental organizations. In addition, experts from international and regional organizations will be invited as resource persons.

Specialized agencies and intergovernmental bodies wishing to participate in the meeting, as well as non-governmental organizations in the general category and those in the special category wishing to participate as observers, are requested to inform the UNCTAD secretariat of the names of their representatives by 10 March 2010.

Financial assistance

Depending on the availability of funding in the Trust Fund for Financing the Participation of Experts at the time, funds may be made available to finance the participation of a limited number of officially nominated experts from developing countries and countries with economies in transition. Governments requiring funding are therefore invited to explicitly request financing in their letters of nomination. The decision as to which experts should receive financing will be based on the principle of equitable geographical representation; needs of beneficiaries, in particular least developed countries; and on the expertise of the experts concerned. Changes in the names of nominees will be considered as new nominations.

Nominations with requests for financing should be received no later than 24 February 2010 and should be accompanied by the following information about the nominee:

  • Curriculum vitae;
  • Mailing address;
  • Telephone and fax number;
  • E-mail address; and
  • Name of a contact person in the country´s permanent mission in Geneva.

It should be noted in this connection that, once the list of experts to be financed has been finalized, all travel arrangements will be made in accordance with United Nations rules and regulations, and use of the least costly fare will be authorized.

Background documents and contributed papers

The provisional agenda for the meeting, together with the secretariat´s annotations thereto, will be circulated as document TD/B/C.I/MEM.2/6. In order to facilitate the discussion, the UNCTAD secretariat has prepared four issues notes, which will be circulated as TD/B/C.I/MEM.2/7, TD/B/C.I/MEM.2/8, TD/B/C.I/MEM.2/9 and TD/B/C.I/MEM.2/10.

Experts are encouraged to prepare and submit brief papers (approximately five pages) related to one or more of the issues contained in the provisional agenda to the meeting, as well as those relating to their country´s experience. These papers will be made available to the meeting in the form and language in which they are received.


The meeting will take place at the United Nations Office at Geneva, Palais des Nations. Simultaneous interpretation will be provided in the six official languages of the United Nations. Upon arrival, participants are requested, before entering the Palais des Nations, to collect their badges at the United Nations Security Service, Pregny Gate entrance, 14 Avenue de la Paix. The Security Service is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Because of the security measures in force, participants are strongly advised to arrive before 9 a.m. in order to complete entry procedures in good time and proceed to the meeting in the E Building (Bâtiment E) of the Palais. 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 entrance gates. Furthermore, luggage may not be brought into the buildings unless the Security Service gives special clearance.

Nominations and enquiries

Nominations and related communications concerning representation at the meeting should be sent to the UNCTAD secretariat, Intergovernmental Support Service, Palais des Nations, CH-1211 Geneva 10; fax: 41 22 917 0214; e mail: meetings@unctad.org.

All other enquiries should be addressed to Mr. Kwabena Baah-Duodu, Senior Adviser to the Secretary-General of UNCTAD, Officer-in-Charge, Special Unit on Commodities, Office No. E-9045, UNCTAD, Palais des Nations, 1211 Geneva 10, tel.: 41 22 917 2128; fax: 41 22 917 0509; e-mail: kwabena.baah-duodu@unctad.org; or Ms. Yvonne Paredes-Ayma, tel.: 41 22 917 5014; fax: 41 22 917 0509; e-mail: yvonne.paredes@unctad.org.


Supachai Panitchpakdi
Secretary-General of UNCTAD
5 February 2010


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