For use of information media - Not an official record
Issued jointly with UNDP

16 April 1998

The Administrator of UNDP, James Gustave Speth, and the Secretary-General of UNCTAD, Rubens Ricupero, will sign a memorandum of understanding today (Friday 17 April) designed to strengthen the capacity of developing countries to become fully integrated in the global economy. The Agreement focuses on collaboration in the areas of trade, enterprise development, investment and capacity building for sustainable human development (SHD). A US$4 million programme to address the impact of globalization on SHD will cement the new working relationship between UNDP and UNCTAD.

The main objectives of the UNDP/UNCTAD memorandum of understanding are to:

  • achieve greater synergy between UNCTAD’s work in trade, investment and related activities and UNDP’s vision of sustainable human development;
  • strengthen links between the organizations’ policy and operational activities, and;
  • improve collaborative programming.

There is strong complementarity between the development activities of UNDP and UNCTAD. UNDP supports anti-poverty initiatives in 170 countries and territories, and has a network of Resident Representatives in more than 130 countries. UNCTAD is the focal point within the United Nations for the integrated treatment of development and interrelated issues in the areas of trade, finance, technology, investment and sustainable development. The priority focus of both organizations is on the needs of the developing world’s poorest communities


Joint Project Launched

The programme on the impact of globalization on SHD will assist a group of 10-12 low-income countries to develop policy and institutional tools necessary for successful integration.

Expanded international trade, increased capital flows and the greater mobility of enterprises and production offer important new opportunities to developing countries. But they can also cause short-term shocks and instability, accompanied by social and economic marginalization. The challenge is to build local capacity to exploit the opportunities and minimize the risks.

Factors inhibiting economic integration include: deficiencies in human and institutional capacity; a lack of clarity and coherence in domestic policies; and inadequate information on which to base decision-making.

Countries participating in the programme will be equipped to monitor policy implementation and the impact of policy changes on SHD. A Global Resource Facility will link the relevant UNCTAD and UNDP divisions and provide a basis for more extensive cooperation with other organizations, academia, the business sector and civil society.

At the international level, the programme will, also identify and share best practices in SHD in various countries; monitor economic growth and poverty; help coordinate international technical assistance programmes relevant to globalization; help develop a network of universities, policy think tanks, management schools and other groups to advise the private sectors and governments of the participating countries; and disseminate policy lessons from these countries through workshops and seminars.

For more information, please contact:
Mr. George Chapelier
UNDP, New York
T: +1 212 906 6634
Press Officer, Ms. Muriel Scibilia
Press Service UNCTAD
T: +41 22 917 5725/5828
F: +41 22 907 0043


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