unctad.org | Ad Hoc Expert Meeting on the Green Economy: Trade and Sustainable Development Implications (2010)
Ad Hoc Expert Meeting on the Green Economy: Trade and Sustainable Development Implications (2010)
07 - 08 October 2010
Palais des Nations

Key Issues

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The green economy within the context of sustainable development and poverty eradication is one of the themes of the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20), to be held in Brazil in 2012.

At the first session of the Preparatory Committee, held 17-19 May in New York, UNCTAD, serving as the sustainable trade focal point for Rio+20, was invited to convene an expert meeting to address the trade and sustainable development implications of the green economy.

At the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (Rio de Janeiro, 1992), UNCTAD played an active role in drafting and facilitating negotiations on Chapter 2 of Agenda 21, a comprehensive global plan of action for sustainable development. Chapter 2 proposes that trade, environment and development policies should be mutually supportive. In the face of current pressing needs in addressing poverty reduction, human development and climate change, new impetus is needed for the concept of inclusive sustainable development, while enhancing the sense of ownership by developed and developing countries and the role of multilateral cooperative action.

The green economy has emerged as a new paradigm and an enabling component of sustainable development. In that regard, it may have the potential to provide new trade and investment impetus to developing-country economies, especially if anchored in a mutually supportive approach to sustainable development.

The Ad Hoc Expert Meeting is being organized in close collaboration with the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs and the United Nations Environment Programme. It aims to explore ways in which the green economy, through trade-led growth, could become a pro-development income-generating instrument that will directly contribute to meeting the sustainable development imperative universally adopted at Rio in 1992. The outcome of the meeting will be submitted as a direct input to the Rio+20 preparatory process.

Objectives of the meeting:

  • Enhance clarity on the main elements of a "transition to a green economy" in the context of sustainable development and poverty eradication, including actions to tilt market incentives as well as investment and growth strategies.

  • Identify key conditions for the green economy to become fully supportive of sustainable development.

  • Define the role of trade and trade policy in moving towards a green economy.

  • Initiate an open discussion of the fears that actions to tilt market signals towards a green economy may lead to green protectionism as well as aid and financial conditionalities.

  • Identify mechanisms to ensure that the process of a green economy is broad and inclusive of all countries, especially LDCs.

  • Identify areas in which global action could support a transition towards the green economy while pursuing poverty alleviation and promoting sustainable development at the same time.

  • Provide substantive inputs into the preparations for UNCSD 2012.


27/09/2010 - 4 Pages - 34 KB


An Ad Hoc Expert Meeting on the Green Economy: Trade and Sustainable Development Implications will be held on 7 and 8 October 2010 at the Palais des Nations in Geneva, Switzerland. It will open at 10 a.m. on Thursday, 7 October.


Member States of UNCTAD are requested to nominate experts at an early date and not later than 24 September 2010.

Experts who will be participating in the meeting in their personal capacity are expected to have proven expertise in the subject and may be selected from governmental or non-governmental organizations, private entities or academia.

The meeting may be of particular interest to government officials and representatives of the private sector dealing with the energy, climate change, technology, agriculture and trade sectors. Qualified experts from international organizations will also be invited.

Specialized agencies and intergovernmental bodies wishing to participate in the Ad Hoc Expert 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 24 September 2010.

Background documents and contributed papers

The provisional agenda for the meeting, together with the secretariat´s annotations thereto, is being circulated as document UNCTAD/DITC/TED/5 (English only). In order to facilitate the discussion, the UNCTAD secretariat has prepared a background note, which will be circulated as UNCTAD/DITC/TED/6 (English only).

In addition, all experts are encouraged to prepare and submit brief papers dealing with one or several of the issues contained in the provisional agenda to the meeting, and with issues relating to their country´s experience in transitioning towards a greener and low-carbon economy. These papers will be made available to the meeting in the form and the language in which they are received.


The meeting will take place at the Palais des Nations in Geneva. 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.

Further information and contact details

All 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(0)22 917 0056; e-mail: meetings@unctad.org).

All other enquiries should be addressed to the coordinator in the substantive division, Lucas Assunção (tel: +41 (0) 22 917 5731; fax: +41 (0) 22 917 0247; e-mail: lucas.assuncao@unctad.org).


Supachai Panitchpakdi
Secretary-General of UNCTAD
20 August 2010


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