United Nations member States to review the "UN Set" on competition for the seventh time

03 July 2015

United Nations member States are meeting from 6-10 July 2015 in Geneva to reaffirm the validity of the only multilateral instrument adopted by the UN General Assembly in the area of Competition Policy, the so-called UN Set on competition. This instrument was adopted in 1980 and member States have reaffirmed its validity six times.

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The General Assembly of the United Nations adopted this set of norms and principles and has been the source of inspiration for many developing countries and countries in transition in adopting competition laws and regulations.

Back in 1980, there were no more than 20 countries that had competition laws in place in the world. Today, there are more than 130 countries that have adopted competition laws with corresponding agencies to enforce them.

The UN set on competition has been the main mandate of UNCTAD's work on competition law and policy, which includes an annual intergovernmental group of experts (IGE) meetings that takes place within the five year period between the UN review conferences.

During the course of the week, member States will meet in Geneva to consider once again the validity of the UN Set on competition; and consider the extension of the mandate to UNCTAD in order to strengthen work on competition law and policy for the next five years.

In particular, member States will decide to adopt the main cluster of issues that UNCTAD Secretariat will be addressing at the IGE deliberations until the Eighth Review Conference to be held in 2020.

The novelty of this review conference is that member States will also decide to revise the UN Guidelines on Consumer Protection adopted in 1985 and reviewed in 1999.

This review will include important updates related to consumer protection issues in e-commerce and financial services.