UNCTAD's mandate on services

UN Member States recognize the importance of the services economy. Accra Accord paragraph 55 states that "the services economy is the new frontier for the expansion of trade, productivity and competitiveness, and for the provision of essential services and universal access."

The recently approved Doha Mandate, which reaffirms and builds upon the Accra Accord, instructs UNCTAD to continue its work on services (para. 56(c)) while once again recognizing the importance of the sector: "development of, and access to, services, supported by adequate regulatory and institutional frameworks, are important for sound socio-economic development" (para. 44).

The relevance of the services sector for the generation of opportunities for greater income, productivity, employment, investment and trade, as well as to the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals was also recognized in the first edition of the Global Services Forum (GSF), held in Doha, Qatar, the 19th of April 2012, as a pre-event of UNCTAD XIII.

UNCTAD's work on services includes:

  • Enhancing its analysis of the capacity of developing countries and countries with economies in transition to increase their participation in global services production and trade.

  • Assisting developing countries and countries with economies in transition in establishing regulatory and institutional frameworks and cooperative mechanisms to support strengthening of their domestic services capacity and its efficiency and competitiveness.

  • Providing support in national services assessment and policy reviews.

  • Examining issues relating to the liberalization of trade in services and its development impact, including at the regional level.

  • Giving attention to multilateral rule·making in services, taking into account the interests and concerns of developing countries.

  • Fostering recognition of qualifications and standards.

  • Providing support to multilateral and regional negotiations on services.

  • Strengthening services data and statistics.




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