The Accra Accord, in paragraph 208, gave a mandate to the Trade and Development Board of UNCTAD to establish a multi-year expert meeting on commodities. The mandate was reaffirmed in paragraph 17 of the Doha Mandate, which extended it to 2016, and in paragraph 100 (s) of the Nairobi Maafikiano, which extended it to 2020. The mandate has been further extended in line with paragraphs 123 and 127 (m) and (kk) of the Bridgetown Covenant.
In this regard, the meeting will provide a forum for sharing national experiences on pathways to economic diversification. The UNCTAD Commodities Branch has reviewed issues related to diversification in commodity-dependent developing countries and net food-importing developing countries.
The urgent need for diversification is highlighted in the context of recent crises, including the pandemic, the war in Ukraine and the climate crisis.
Commodity dependence is associated with a range of negative impacts and heightened risks; diversification can not only reduce volatility emanating from international commodity markets but also act as a driver of growth and development.
Successful examples of diversification show that strong political leadership is required to escape the “commodity dependence trap”. In this regard, a range of broad-based enabling conditions and targeted policy measures are discussed in the background note prepared by the secretariat. In addition, strategies need to be tailored to country-specific conditions; and regional integration and international cooperation can help remove obstacles to diversification and value upgrading.
Commodity-dependent developing countries benefiting from a recent period of high commodity prices could use the opportunity to promote diversification and value upgrading and thereby reduce commodity dependence in future.
Resilience in net food-importing developing countries could be strengthened through the diversification of food import sources, including through regional trade and the promotion of the productivity and diversity of domestic food production and by building food stocks to absorb short-term shocks.
This session is open to all member States of UNCTAD. Other organizations, including specialized agencies, intergovernmental bodies and non-governmental organizations in the general and special categories, as well as academia and the private sector, may participate as observers.
Experts will participate in the meeting in their personal capacities and are expected to have proven expertise in the subject matter. They may be selected from government ministries such as those dealing with trade, industry, agriculture, minerals and metals and oil and gas and may also be selected from the private sector, including representatives of producer associations or cooperatives, and non-governmental organizations.
Experts wishing to participate as panellists should contact the UNCTAD secretariat by 1 September 2022 at firstname.lastname@example.org
Online registration is mandatory for all those wishing to attend the meeting and is required in order to be included in the list of participants.
Experts are encouraged to prepare and submit to the meeting brief papers (of about five pages) related to one or more of the issues contained in the provisional agenda and to the experiences of their countries.
Presentations will be uploaded in the format received. The views expressed in these documents are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of UNCTAD.
The session will be held with physical participation, in room XVII of the Palais des Nations, and remote participation, through a simultaneous interpretation platform in the six official languages of the United Nations.
A link to the formal virtual meeting will be sent to registered participants, at the email address used for registration, one day in advance of the start of the session.
Intergovernmental Support Service
Palais des Nations
CH-1211 Geneva 10
Fax: 41 22 917 0214
Officer-in-Charge, Commodities Branch
T.: 41 22 917 1648 or 41 22 917 6286