1st Illicit Trade Forum

03 - 04 February 2020
, Switzerland

Due to the overwhelmingly positive response by member States and stakeholders to the Dialogue on Illicit Trade and the Sustainable Development Goals, UNCTAD will host the Illicit Trade Forum in February 2020.

This event will be organised in collaboration with the Transnational Alliance to Combat Illicit Trade (TRACIT).

Sessions of the two-day event will address:

The impacts of illicit trade on achieving the SDGs

Illicit trade significantly endangers all aspects of the SDGs. It creates a triple threat to the financing of development: crowding out legitimate economic activity, depriving governments of revenues for investment in vital public services and increasing the costs of achieving the SDGs by eroding the progress already made.

This session sets out the main reasons why governments should prioritize actions to combat illicit trade and conveys the importance of intergovernmental leadership to coordinate resources, share expertise, establish guidelines and promote international enforcement cooperation among United Nations Member States.

Understanding the size and shape of illicit trade

By its very nature, illicit trade is difficult to both identify and quantify. However without this information it is difficult for appropriate policies to be designed and implemented to tackle this scourge. Further, gathering and sharing data under appropriate frameworks requires the investment of significant resources by member States and stakeholders

This session will discuss the different ways in which illicit trade is measured and shared by different countries and stakeholders. Particularly, discussion will address the commonalities in terms of methodologies and challenges.

The role of the private sector in combatting illicit trade

To safeguard the SDGs from the negative impacts of illicit trade, it is incumbent on governments to regulate against these unscrupulous trade practices and to penalize the associated illegal activities. At the same time, the private sector has a vital interest to ensure that illicit trade does not compromise the integrity of legitimate markets or jeopardize the well-being of its consumers.

This session explores the commitment of the private sector to achieving the SDGs. It presents examples of business’ own efforts to deter illegal trade across industrial sectors, addressing vulnerabilities in the supply chain, reporting criminal activity, promoting sustainable resource management and protecting against forced labor and other human rights abuses.

Illicit trade and illicit financial flows

The risks and the harmful impact of IFFs have been recognized in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, especially in SDG target 16.4 that calls for, “[b]y 2030, significantly reduce illicit financial flows and arms flows, strengthen the recovery and return of stolen assets and combat all forms of organised crime“. UNCTAD and UNODC are joint custodians of SDG indicator 16.4.1, which aims at monitoring the “total value of inward and outward illicit financial flows”.

This panel will present the general framework used by UNCTAD and UNODC to define and classify illicit financial flows, including illegal trade. It will present the latest developments in relation to the SDG indicator and the different methodologies available to measure and monitor illicit financial flows and their economic and institutional impact.

Presentation on global recommendations for illicit trade

The Forum will also host a presentation from the Siracusa International Institute for Criminal Justice and Human Rights, on the results from their latest work, the Mechanism for Combating Illicit Trade. This project intends to help shape international benchmarks and track global action in the fight against illicit trade

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03 Feb 2020
Sort by:  Symbol  |  Title  |  Date  |  Agenda item

03 Feb 2020

The Transnational Alliance to Combat Illicit Trade (TRACIT)

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Graham Mott, Ph.D.
Economic Affairs Officer
Office of the Director
Division on International Trade and Commodities 
Tel:  +41 22 917 4573