unctad.org | Geneva Dialogue: Trade in Crisis - Headwinds or Maelstrom?
Geneva Dialogue: Trade in Crisis - Headwinds or Maelstrom?
19 February 2018
Room XIX, Building E, Palais des Nations
Geneva, Switzerland

Key Issues

It is clear that the multilateral trading system is in crisis, as indicated by the results - or lack thereof - of the last WTO Ministerial conference.

While some major players are opting for economic nationalism, and while the trade negotiation track is stalling, how can we ensure that the achievement of the ambitious goals set in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development is not held back?

In this context, business as usual is not an option. In today’s global, interconnected, deregulated, and fast changing environment, the consequences of the status quo would be detrimental, in particular for the most vulnerable countries.

In order for trade not to be lost as an enabler for development, the international trade community needs to work together to urgently address issues such as fisheries subsidies (SDG 14) or food security (SDG 2).

  • What role can the United Nations and its Member States play in finding consensus on trade and development issues?

  • Where does the international trade community go from here, at this uncertain time for multilateralism?

In line with its mandate to create a better and more effective system of international economic cooperation, UNCTAD can provide a platform for collective action.

Palais des nations
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The Geneva dialogue will bring together global thought leaders to tackle these questions in a thought-provoking and open discussion.

Convened by:

  • Dr. Mukhisa Kituyi, Secretary-General, UNCTAD


  • Baroness Valerie Amos, Director of SOAS University of London

  • Ms. Anabel Gonzalez, former Senior Director, Global Practice on Trade and Competitiveness, World Bank Group 

  • Mr. Pascal Lamy, President Emeritus, Jacques Delors Institute and former Director General, World Trade Organization

Language(s):English; French; Spanish; Chinese; Russian; Arabic;
Covid-19 Advisory
In view of the current situation concerning the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), it has been decided in the public interest to postpone all UNCTAD meetings scheduled in May 2020, including those listed below. New dates will be communicated in due time.
  • Multi-year Expert Meeting on Trade, Services and Development (5 to 6 May 2020)
  • Short course for Geneva-based delegates - Para 166 (8 May 2020)
  • Multi-year Expert Meeting on Investment, Innovation and Entrepreneurship for Productive Capacity-building and Sustainable Development (13 May 2020)
  • UNCTAD ad-hoc meetings
Please consult the information on COVID-19 for meeting participants here.

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