The United Nations set of principles on competition (The UN Set)

In 1980, the United Nations Conference on Restrictive Business Practices approved the Set of Multilaterally Agreed Equitable Principles and Rules for the Control of Restrictive Business Practices (The UN Set) for adoption as a resolution.


The UN Set is a multilateral agreement on competition policy that:

  • Provides a set of equitable rules for the control of anti-competitive practices.

  • Recognizes the development dimension of competition law and policy.

  • Provides a framework for international operation and exchange of best practices.

This framework also provides vital technical assistance and capacity-building for interested member States so that they are better equipped to use competition law and policy for development.

Each year, an Intergovernmental Group of Experts on Competition Law and Policy meets to monitor the application and implementation of the UN set.

The UN Set
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Every five years since the adoption of the United Nations Set, a Review Conference has been held, providing an occasion for heads of competition authorities and senior officials of developed and developing countries, including least developed countries (LDCs) and economies in transition, to establish direct contacts and networking among themselves for voluntary cooperation and the exchange of best practices.

The Review Conferences are also forums for the discussion of UNCTAD´s capacity-building and technical assistance programmes, which seek to promote effective enforcement of national competition laws and bilateral and regional cooperation. They also create sustainable national capacity.