UNCTAD is the focal point on all work related to competition policy and consumer protection within the United Nations system which, in turn, is part of its work on trade and development.
For the more than two decades, the UNCTAD secretariat has conducted a capacity-building programme and technical assistance activities. These are funded principally by donor countries and agencies for the benefit of developing and least developed countries (LDCs) and their competition agencies, when they exist.
Only during the last four years (2004-2007) have the capacity-building and technical assistance activities concerned the 54 developing countries in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean, as well as economies in transition.
There have been six main features of the programmes:
- competition advocacy activities
- preparation of competition legislation
- training of case handlers
- consumer protection
- peer reviews and follow-up
In addition, many countries benefited from activities provided within the framework of regional cooperation.