For use of information media - Not an official record
UNCTAD/PRESS/MA/2020/015
UN conference set to focus on protecting consumers amid and beyond COVID-19

8th United Nations Conference on Competition and Consumer Protection

19 – 23 October 2020

Palais des Nations, Room XIX

Geneva, Switzerland


Geneva, Switzerland, 14 October 2020

Ministers, senior government officials, heads of competition and consumer protection authorities and civil society representatives will examine how to safeguard consumers’ welfare amid and after the COVID-19 pandemic during the 8th United Nations Conference on Competition and Consumer Protection to be held from 19 to 23 October.

In the wake of the pandemic, governments have fought unfair practices such as price gouging and non-respect of refunds, and defended competition to protect consumers, prevent the distortion of markets and promote a healthy economic recovery.

The quinquennial conference is the highest-level meeting on competition and consumer protection within the UN and UNCTAD is the only international organization with quasi-universal membership dealing with these issues at the multilateral level.

The conference will focus on how to strengthen consumer protection and competition in the digital economy, the new frontier for these issues due to the surge of e-commerce during the pandemic.

In addition, the participants will discuss how to combat cross-border cartels and improve consumer product safety around the world, among other emerging and pressing concerns.

The participants will also deliberate on how to implement UN guidelines for consumer protection and competition, the only multilateral frameworks on these issues, to foster international cooperation, as most related challenges transcend borders. 

The sessions will be held both in person and virtually. More information on the sessions is available on the programme of the conference.

The event will be livestreamed on UN Web TV and via Webex. Those wishing to participate in person must register.