unctad.org | Signing Ceremony of MoU between UNCTAD and Stockholm Environment Institute
Signing Ceremony of MoU between UNCTAD and Stockholm Environment Institute
10 May 2019
SEI Headquarters
Stockholm, Sweden

Key Issues

SEI and UNCTAD to cooperate on trade and environment

Stockholm Environment Institute and the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU). The agreement is an overarching mechanism to foster cooperation on trade and environment, backed up by the research and convening capacities of SEI and UNCTAD.

The main purpose of collaboration between SEI and UNCTAD is to:

  • Enable the full utilization of our respective comparative advantages and initiatives in promoting sustainable development.
  • Ensure a more equitable distribution of benefits and risks among the various actors in the global circular economy arena.

“SEI is looking forward to collaborating around high-level, relevant issues, including commodity trade, international finance flows and pollution,” said Måns Nilsson, SEI Executive Director. ”Our joint project to map pollution hotspots in Africa and Asia is already mobilising research expertise from across SEI. We look forward to working more closely with UNCTAD to provide relevant knowledge and actionable tools, and as the convener of change makers that we have in common.”

UNCTAD is the focal point within the United Nations for the integrated treatment of trade and development and the interrelated issues in the areas of international trade, commodities, technology, investment and sustainable development.

 Lucas Assunção, Head of the Trade and Environment Branch at UNCTAD said: “This agreement with Stockholm Environment Institute is already off to a flying start with a breakthrough research programme to understand better pollution from manufacturing processes in Africa and Asia. The programme is supported by UK-DFID and the initial research is being led by SEI at the University of York. We’re looking forward to the results, which will be discussed at UNCTAD and inform decision-making process on trade and development.”

“SEI and the University of York are excited to be starting this project on the impact of small and medium scale industry and manufacturing processes in sub-Saharan African and South Asia. We will assess the extent of pollution, environmental degradation and the impacts on human health, with the aim of reducing such impacts in the future,” said Lisa Emberson, Centre Director, SEI York.

UNCTAD is part of the core UN secretariat and its deliberations feed into the UN General Assembly. Based on rigorous research, technical cooperation and consensus building, UNCTAD has strong contacts with most governments in Africa and Asia.

“We are the trade department of the United Nations, which focuses on enabling a fairer and just integration of developing countries in the global economy. We’re a think tank and a platform where issues can be discussed before they enter the decision-making process, drawing on experiences of developing and developed countries,” said Lucas Assunção.

Among possible areas for future collaboration, SEI’s work on supply chain transparency, international finance, bioeconomy, and transnational climate impact is of particular relevance for UNCTAD.

”Transnational climate impact rests on four pillars; trade, people, finance and biophysical aspects. Understanding relationships of these flows among countries is very important, especially in the increasingly interconnected world we are living,” said Georgia Savvidou, a researcher at SEI.

Photo credits: Henrique Pacini.

Co-organized with:Stockholm Environment Institute
Mr. Henrique Pacini Henrique.Pacini@un.org>
Related Sites:

Trade and Environment, Climate Change and Sustainable Development Branch

DFID-UNCTAD Sustainable Manufacturing and Environmental Pollution (SMEP) programme

Stockholm Environment Institute
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.

Please wait....