The Forum is intended to foster dialogue between trade experts based in Geneva and national officials in charge of development planning. It will focus on linkages between trade and development policies, and on the technical assistance that is needed in order to address those linkages and to ensure a positive impact from trade on development processes.
Accordingly, a number of government officials from capitals have been invited to take part in the Forum.
Generally speaking, these government officials are in charge of, or involved in, development planning processes. They are not necessarily trade experts.
The officials were selected from among those who have taken part in UNCTAD's regional and national workshops on Integrating the Trade Dimension in United Nations Development Assistance Frameworks that have been held in Guatemala, Lebanon, Lesotho, Mali and Nepal over the last two years.
The Forum will be open to Geneva-based delegates, and to participants from civil society and the private sector.