Non-governmental organizations wishing to establish close working relations and a firm basis for cooperation with UNCTAD are advised to apply for observer status.
UNCTAD's Trade and Development Board has established consultative relations with civil society organizations in order to secure information or advice from organizations with a special competence and to enable stakeholders representing important elements of public opinion to express their views.
Organizations that are granted observer status are invited to attend the public sessions of UNCTAD inter-governmental meetings and conferences, including UNCTAD ministerial conferences, meetings of the Trade and Development Board and its commissions.
They can make oral statements on matters within the scope of their activities, as well as circulate written material on matters related to the agenda of the meeting and use facilities provided for civil society organizations.
Organizations with observer status also receive substantive material on UNCTAD's on-going work programmes and projects. This includes studies, publications, documentation and notifications of intergovernmental meetings that they can attend. The documents are usually available in English as well as in other UN official languages (Arabic, Chinese, French, Russian and Spanish).