unctad.org | Commission on Trade in Goods and Services and Commodities, ninth session
Commission on Trade in Goods and Services and Commodities, ninth session
14 - 18 March 2005

Key Issues

The Commission will examine topical issues in the trade agenda, drawing on the priorities from the São Paulo Consensus, the 5-year review of the MDGs, and preparations for the 6th WTO Ministerial Conference.

High-level event on "Trade and MDGs"

An high-level event on "Trade and MDGs" will discuss what role can trade play in helping developing countries achieve the MDGs. It will focus on the goal of building a global partnership for development and poverty eradication, inter alia, through: (a) the development of an open, rule-based, predictable, equitable, non-discriminatory trading and financial system; (b) provision of tariff and quota-free access for least-developed countries´ exports; (c) provision of access to affordable essential drugs in developing countries; and (d) making available the benefits of new technologies. [Programme of the event in PDF]

Commodity trade finance

The Commission will examine how access to commodity trade finance affects the competitiveness and market entry capacities of developing countries, especially commodity dependent ones. Recent experiences in financing along the agricultural supply chain will be considered. Policy issues and lessons examined at the Expert Meeting on Financing of Commodity-based Trade and Development (Geneva, 16-17 November 2004), will be utilized.

Trade in services

The Commission will examine the increasing role of developing countries and their participation in international trade in services. Issues for developing supply capacity and competitiveness such as in infrastructural services, as well as enhancing market access in those services of export interest to developing countries will be examined. The challenges and opportunities faced by developing countries in multilateral and regional negotiations on services will be examined, including in respect of rules negotiations relating to an emergency safeguard mechanism and subsidies. The debate would also be informed by the outcome of the Expert Meeting on Trade and Development Aspects of Professional Services and Regulatory Frameworks (17 to 19 January 2005).

Issues in the Doha negotiations

The Commission will address issues in the Doha negotiations on environmental goods and services; market access; and UNCTAD´s support including through the Consultative Task Force (CTF) on Environmental Requirements and Market Access for Developing Countries. Innovative ways of making trade work for sustainable development will also be examined, such as the BioTrade Initiative; trade and investment opportunities arising from the Kyoto Protocol; and renewable energy and bio-fuels.

New and dynamic sectors in world trade

Fifth, the Commission will also interact on policy issues arising from the first series of sectoral reviews of new and dynamic sectors in world trade, conducted by the Expert Meeting on New and Dynamic Sectors, held from 7 to 9 February 2005. The three sectors considered were outsourcing of IT-enabled services, textiles and clothing, and renewable energy products, including bio-fuel.

Finally, the Commission will review the extensive range of activities implemented by the Secretariat.


The ninth session of the Commission on Trade in Goods and Services, and Commodities will be held from 14 to 18 March 2005. The session will open at the Palais des Nations, Geneva, at 10 a.m. on Monday, 14 March 2005. Documents concerning this session of the Commission and other UNCTAD meetings can be found on the website (www.unctad.org).

The substantive items for the provisional agenda (to be circulated as document TD/B/COM.1/68) were approved at the eighth session of the Commission on Trade in Goods and Services, and Commodities (9-13 February 2004). The main agenda items are:

Item 3. Market access, market entry and competitiveness

Item 4. Trade in services and development implications

Item 5. Trade, environment and development

Item 6. Progress report on the 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 UNCTAD Secretariat with the credentials of their representatives and the names of their alternate representatives and advisers by 7 February 2005. 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 des Nations, on the opposite side of the road). The Security Service is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. (non-stop). It is advisable to arrive by 9 a.m. 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 advised to carry a passport or similar identification document 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:

item 3: Mr. Mehmet Arda, tel: +41(0)22 917 5790 fax: +41(0)22 917 0509; e-mail: mehmet.arda@unctad.org,

item 4: Ms. Mina Mashayekhi, tel: +41(0)22 917 5866; fax: +41(0)22 917 0044; e-mail: mina.mashayekhi@unctad.org,

item 5: Mr. Rene Vossenaar, tel. +41(0)22 917 5679; fax: +41(0)22 917 0247; e-mail: rene.vossenaar@unctad.org,

item 6: Mr. Norbert Lebale, tel: +41(0)22 917 5628; fax: +41(0)22 917 0044; e-mail: norbert.lebale@unctad.org.

Carlos Fortin
Officer-in-Charge of UNCTAD
23 December 2004


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