Relationship with other agencies

As the focal point for the integrated treatment of trade and development, UNCTAD interacts and cooperates with a variety of other organizations within and outside the United Nations system. These include the following:

World Trade Organization
UNCTAD and WTO have been joining forces to ensure a better functioning of the multilateral trading system. In April 2003, the organizations signed a Memorandum of Understanding providing for cooperation and consultations on their technical assistance activities and for the conduct of joint studies on selected issues. UNCTAD and WTO interact frequently, and the intergovernmental processes in both organizations are often attended by the same Government representatives.

International Trade Centre
The ITC is jointly sponsored by UNCTAD and WTO for operational, enterprise-oriented aspects of trade development, with an emphasis on trade promotion. In contrast to UNCTAD, whose technical assistance is primarily tailored to Governments, ITC’s technical assistance focuses on assisting businesses in developing countries. Both UNCTAD and WTO are represented in the Joint Advisory Group supervising ITC’s work, and UNCTAD has a number of joint technical assistance activities with ITC.

UN Regional Commissions and UNDP

UNCTAD cooperates with these international entities on a project-by-project basis, be it in relation to research projects, joint workshops and seminars, or technical assistance. Since UNCTAD has no representatives in the field, the UNDP country offices are also used to support UNCTAD activities in various countries.

Quick links: | ECA | ECLAC | ESCAP | ESCWA | UNECE | UNDP |


UN Inter-Agency Cluster on trade and productive capacity

The CEB Inter-Agency Cluster on Trade and Productive Capacity is an interagency mechanism dedicated to the coordination of trade and development operations at the national and regional levels within the UN system.

The Cluster, makes a concrete and direct contribution to the UN system-wide coherence reform by coordinating its participation in the:

The Cluster is led by UNCTAD and includes 15 agencies : UNIDO | UNDP | ITC | FAO | WTO | UNEP | ILO | UNCITRAL | UNOPS | the five UN Regional Commissions.

Bretton Woods institutions (International Monetary Fund and World Bank)

The World Bank and UNCTAD cooperate in the delivery of some technical assistance and capacity-building programmes. The UNCTAD secretariat, through the Debt Management–DMFAS programme, is also an active member of the Inter-Agency Task Force on Finance Statistics, which is chaired by the IMF. The three agencies also cooperate in organizing seminars. UNCTAD attends the biannual meetings of the IMF and the World Bank, and both institutions participate in UNCTAD’s intergovernmental meetings.

Quick Links: | IMF | World Bank |

Other intergovernmental bodies

In addition to the organizations of the UN system, a total of 111 other intergovernmental bodies have gained accreditation as observers to UNCTAD’s Trade and Development Board.


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