New York Office 2021

In 2021, the UNCTAD office in New York continued to connect Geneva and New York intergovernmental and inter-agency processes, in addition to those focused on coordinating UN responses to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Support to intergovernmental processes

UNCTAD supported the 76th President of the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), Munir Akram, in carrying out his mandates and priorities on financing for development (FfD), technology and innovation. The New York office mobilized UNCTAD’s expertise and substantive support, including for the new resolution on open-source technologies for sustainable development adopted by ECOSOC.

In the Economic and Financial Committee (Second Committee) of the General Assembly, UNCTAD provided substantive secretariat support for the resolutions on: international trade and development; external debt sustainability and development; commodities; promoting investments for sustainable development; information and communications technologies for sustainable development (ICT); and science, technology and innovation for sustainable development (STI).

UNCTAD also provided support for resolutions on: development cooperation with middle-income countries, the promotion of international cooperation to combat illicit financial flows and strengthen good practices on assets return to foster sustainable development, among others.

The office facilitated briefings for the Group of 77 and China on these agenda items, as well as on Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) indicator 17.3.1 to measure the contribution of South-South cooperation to mobilizing additional financial resources for developing countries, as mandated by the Statistical Commission.

UNCTAD also participated in the joint ECOSOC-Second Committee event on productive capacities.

New York office

UNCTAD Secretary-General Rebeca Grynspan (second left) poses with some of organization's staff members in New York

Support to member states

UNCTAD intensified interaction and cooperation with member states in New York. It collaborated closely with the President of the 75th General Assembly (PGA) Volkan Bozkir and his team, contributing to four of his high-level events. The organization contributed inputs on macroeconomics and trade to the agenda and discourse on middle-income countries and the digital divide and culture. UNCTAD also highlighted its work on the creative economy and on oceans.

Mr. Bozkir appointed the chief of UNCTAD’s office in New York, Chantal Line Carpentier, to serve on his Board of Advisers for least developed countries (LDCs), landlocked developing countries and small island developing states. His successor, Abdulla Shahid, reappointed her for an additional year. 

UNCTAD contributed to preparatory processes for the Fifth UN Conference on LDCs (LDC5) and co-organized briefings with the co-chairs of LDC5 on building productive capacities for sustainable development in LDCs, including at a side event of the Asia-Pacific review.

Contributions to inter-agency work

The New York office supported UNCTAD’s participation in the meetings of the Chief Executives Board for Coordination, High-Level Committee on Programmes, Fifth Committee and UN Sustainable Development Group focal points.

New York office

An online meeting between representatives of the European Union and UNCTAD staff in New York

UNCTAD continued co-chairing the Inter-Agency Task Team on STI for the SDGs (IATT) and participating in the STI Forum, the Inter-Agency task forces on FfD, social and solidarity economy (SSE) and the UN Economists Network (UNEN).

The office coordinated UNCTAD’s contribution to the 2021 ECOSOC Youth Forum and partnered with the International Labour Organization (ILO) and the UN Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) to organize two FfD forum side events.

UNCTAD also collaborated with the UN Development Programme (UNDP) and ILO on a High-Level Political Forum (HLPF) side event on financing the COVID-19 recovery for a green, purple and digital transition that leaves no one behind.

After successfully proposing to the UNEN to focus on new economics for sustainable development, UNCTAD led the production of policy briefs on the green, purple, orange and yellow economies, SSE and frugal innovation. The organization’s experts contributed to the development of briefs on the circular and blue economies.

Implementing Development Account projects

UNCTAD continued to serve on the Development Account advisory committee, including under the UN socioeconomic response to COVID-19 framework, for which the organization implemented three of four joint COVID-19 projects. The projects funded at $9 million focused on micro-, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs), transport and finance.

Support to the office of the UN Secretary-General

The New York office strengthened its communication and cooperation with the Executive Office of the UN Secretary-General (EOSG), especially the Sustainable Development Unit, in the lead-up to the UNCTAD15 conference, providing timely information on UNCTAD’s products and findings to strengthen the economic narrative of the EOSG’s products and speeches.


The office helped to organize press and member states’ briefings on UNCTAD15 and facilitated engagement by UNCTAD Secretary-General Rebeca Grynspan with UN and member states’ officials. Ms. Carpentier supported the UNCTAD15 team on the ground in Barbados.

Media, partnerships and awareness-raising

Also, the office helped to organize launches in New York of UNCTAD flagship reports, including the Technology and Innovation Report in the UNEN, the Digital Economy Report in partnership with the PGA, the Economic Development in Africa Report with the Office of the Special Adviser on Africa, and the LDC Report to the Resident Coordinators’ network.

It distributed more than 1,000 copies of UNCTAD reports and publications to delegates, UN colleagues and external partners. It also created opportunities to present or co-present the reports’ findings at various academic, private sector and civil society forums, and sent 40 welcoming letters to all new ambassadors, offering UNCTAD’s support.  

The office also promoted events organized by UNCTAD in Geneva to increase online attendance from New York, including UNCTAD15 and the 2021 World Investment Forum, to which it facilitated three panels on capital as a force for good.

In addition, the office promoted the work of the eTrade for Women initiative by facilitating its advocates’ participation at an HLPF session entitled “Building resilience against future shocks through structural changes and investment in sustainable infrastructure” and the Foundation-Lab 1st Annual Summit on Social Entrepreneurship for Economic Empowerment.


Chief of UNCTAD's office in New York, Chantal Line Carpentier, speaks at a briefing during UNCTAD15 in Barbados

The office also popularized UNCTAD’s findings through publications, articles and book chapters on the impact of COVID-19 on the SDGs and FfD. Office chief, Ms. Carpentier, served as a special editor for “Liaison Énergie” of the Francophonie on COVID-19 and the SDGs, and for the Journal of International Council for Small Business’s special issue on social entrepreneurship.