05 May 10 - Delivering Aid for Trade: Special Session on UN Trade-related Assistance to Belarus

Delivering Aid for TradeFocusing on Belarus as a case study, a special session of UNCTAD's Investment, Enterprise and Development Commission heard how the UN Interagency Cluster on Trade and Productive Capacity is operationalizing the UN system's efforts to deliver Aid for Trade.

A meeting on "Delivering Aid for Trade: Special Session on UN Trade-related Assistance in Belarus" was held in Geneva on 28 April during UNCTAD's Investment, Enterprise and Development Commission.

The United Nations Resident Coordinator in Belarus, along with representatives of UNECE, UNIDO and ITC, which are also members of the Cluster, described how this interagency grouping operates at the country level and contributes to UN systemwide coherence.

The CEB Interagency Cluster on Trade and Productive Capacity was established in 2007 with the main goal of advancing the Aid-for-Trade initiative and is now recognized as an efficient mechanism for delivering tailor-made, country-specific assistance in responding to governments' development priorities. The Cluster, part of the UN's Chief Executives Board, is coordinated by UNCTAD and includes UNIDO, UNDP, ITC, FAO, WTO, the five UN regional commissions, UNEP, and UNOPS.

Speakers described how the United Nations Development Assistance Framework 2011-2015 for Belarus, formulated jointly by the Government and the Resident Coordinator's office, benefited from the Cluster's broad areas of expertise. The Framework document focuses largely on trade, and in particular on the implications of international trade for the national economy.

To be undertaken in close coordination with other Cluster members, UNCTAD's operations in Belarus will consist mainly of implementing the recommendations of UNCTAD's Investment Policy Review of Belarus, published in 2009. These recommendations involve:

  • Assistance in revising key laws and regulations;

  • Strengthening the institutional capacity of Belarus to attract foreign investment;

  • Assistance in WTO accession through strengthened national policies, institutional capacity and expertise, and strengthened national capacity for border-crossing facilitation.

The 28 April meeting was co-chaired by Mr. Andrei Kobyakov, Deputy Prime Minister of Belarus, and Mr. Supachai Panitchpakdi, Secretary-General of UNCTAD. Belarus's Minister of Economy and Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, along with the country's Ambassador in Geneva, also took part.

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