Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
United Nations Conference on Trade and Development
The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) was established in 1964 as a permanent intergovernmental body, UNCTAD is the principal organ of the United Nations General Assembly dealing with trade, investment and development issues.
The organizations goals are to "maximize the trade, investment and development opportunities of developing countries and assist them in their efforts to integrate into the world economy on an equitable basis." (from official website).
Currently, UNCTAD has 191 member States and is headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland. UNCTAD has 400 staff members and an annual regular budget of approximately US$50 million and US$25 million of extrabudgetary technical assistance funds.
The inter-governmental work is done at 4 levels of meetings :
- The UNCTAD Conference - held every 4 years, the last one was UNCTAD XI in Sao Paulo in June 2004 ;
- The UNCTAD Trade and Development Board - the Board manages the work of UNCTAD in between two Conferences and meets up to three times every year;
- Four UNCTAD Commissions and one Working Party - these meet more often than the Board in order to take up policy, programme and budgetary issues;
- Expert Meetings - the Commissions will convene expert meetings on selected topics in order to provide substantive and expert input for Commission policy discussions.
UNCTAD produces a number of topical reports, including:
- The Trade and Development Report 
- The World Investment Report 
- The Economic Development in Africa Report 
- The Least Developed Countries Report 
- UNCTAD Statistics 
- The E-commerce and Development Report 
- The Review of Maritime Transport 
In addition, UNCTAD conducts certain technical cooperation in collaboration with the World Trade Organization through the joint International Trade Centre (ITC), a technical cooperation agency targeting operational and enterprise-oriented aspects of trade development.
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