Cross-border trade has expanded significantly in the last few decades, underwriting rising living standards across the globe.
However, this rapid growth in trade has been accompanied by significant growth in illicit trade, with various estimates by trade councils, business associations and think-tanks quantifying the size of global illicit trade between $650 billion and nearly $3 trillion annually.
Given this phenomenon, UNCTAD will organize, in collaboration with the Transnational Alliance to Combat Illicit Trade (TRACIT), a forum to discuss the role of illicit trade in inhibiting positive development outcomes and in particular, the implications for the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals.
The event will see the launch of TRACIT's new report, Mapping the Impact of Illicit Trade on the UN Sustainable Development Goals, which investigates illicit trade in 12 key sectors that participate significantly in international trade and maps these against the 17 United Nations SDGs.
These sectors include agri-foods, alcohol, fisheries, forestry, petroleum, pharmaceuticals, precious metals and gemstones, pesticides, tobacco, and wildlife, as well as trafficking in persons and counterfeiting and piracy.
Findings show that illicit trading activities significantly compromise achievement of the SDGs by crowding out legitimate economic activity, depriving governments of revenues for investment in vital public services, dislocating hundreds of thousands of legitimate jobs and causing irreversible damage to ecosystems and human lives.
Presentation of the report will be followed by a dialogue involving a wide range of stakeholders, including member States and representatives from IGOs, NGOs and the private sector.
Delegates will be encouraged to share their own experiences as they relate to the issues raised by the report.
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