Vision Mission Mandate


‘Developed creative economies, everywhere.'


‘Promote development through creativity.’

Quality, Openness, Innovation, Collaboration, Sustainability


  • Generate and analyze statistics on the trade in creative goods and services.
  • Develop better understanding of creative trade at global, country and city level.
  • Build a network of people, governments and organizations working to promote development through creativity.
  • Create platforms for the promotion of the creative economy as a tool for economic diversification and sustainable, equitable and inclusive livelihoods.


Under the instruction of the UNCTAD Secretary-General, the Creative Economy Programme was established in 2004 as an action programme to deliver projects and interventions aligned with UNCTAD’s three pillars, focusing on key areas for delivery of the UNCTAD Mandate. After being incorporated into the mandate, the Creative Economy Programme was reconfirmed and expanded at the Ministerial Conferences between 2004 and 2016.

The creative economy and its many intersections continue to demonstrate value for economic development. As a result, UNCTAD’s mandate to conduct research and policy analysis, consensus building, and technical cooperation remains as valid and important today as it was over a decade ago. 

Mandate: UNCTAD XIV, Nairobi Maafikiano (2016)

In line with UNCTAD’s Nairobi Maafikiano mandate (TD/519), the Creative Economy Programme will contribute to a more balanced and inclusive trade in new dynamic sectors and will take a multi-stakeholder consultation approach. National stakeholders - from government ministries and specialized agencies, the private sector and civil society, including creative industries associations, businesses, academia and workers - are key players in this process. Through national studies, surveys, databases and deliberations of national workshops, stakeholders will examine different policy domains - including the interface between competition and industrial policies, consumer protection, fiscal policy, trade policy, tariff and non-tariff measures, intellectual property regimes, education policy, financial schemes, institutions and international cooperation - to promote promising creative industries sectors. 

Mandate: UNCTAD XII, Accra (2008)

The panel recognized that UNCTAD’s work in the area of the creative economy and the creative industries should be pursued and enhanced. It was felt that UNCTAD should continue to fulfil its mandates and assist Governments on issues related to the development dimension of the creative economy, in line with the three pillars of UNCTAD´s work: (a) consensus-building, by providing a platform for intergovernmental debates; (b) policy-oriented analysis, by identifying key issues underlying the creative economy and the dynamics of creative industries in world markets; and (c) technical cooperation, by assisting developing countries to enhance their creative economies for trade and development gains.

(Secretary-General´s high-level panel on the creative economy and industries for development)

Mandate: UNCTAD XI, São Paulo (2004)


 The international community should support national efforts of developing countries to increase their participation in and benefit from dynamic sectors and to foster, protect and promote their creative industries.

(São Paulo Consensus, para.91)

Creative industries can help foster positive externalities while preserving and promoting cultural heritages and diversity. Enhancing developing countries´ participation in and benefit from new and dynamic growth opportunities in world trade is important in realizing development gains from international trade and trade negotiations and represents a positive sum game for developed and developing countries.
(São Paulo Consensus, para. 65)


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