The two-day session will feature extended debate on recent developments and new challenges in commodity markets, and on policy options for commodity-based inclusive growth and sustainable development.
The subject will be considered as it applies to (a) minerals, ores and metals; (b) oil, gas and coal; (c) agricultural commodities; and (d) the challenges of sustainable commodity production, climate change, and developing renewable energies.
In addition, a special session will be held from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. on 20 March entitled 50 years of research and analysis in commodities and development, in anticipation of the 50th anniversary of UNCTAD in 2014.
The objectives of the multi-year gathering are to help commodity-dependent developing countries (CDDCs) devise effective strategies to ensure adequate access to food and energy for their populations, to enable them to use revenues from commodity exports to promote economic growth and poverty reduction, and to help them reduce vulnerability to volatile prices for commodities on international markets.
Special attention is to be given to the situations of African countries and the least developed countries (LDCs), and to steps that can promote economic diversification and hence reduce CDDCs' reliance on commodity sales and exports.