Topic outline

  • Short Course

    Short Courses for Geneva-based Diplomats - 2022 series

    The UNCTAD secretariat is pleased to announce another series of short courses in 2022 on key international economic issues for delegates from permanent missions to the United Nations Office at Geneva and the World Trade Organization.

    The aim of the courses is to give delegates from permanent missions an opportunity to become better acquainted with topical issues and developments in the international economic agenda as they are reflected in the work of UNCTAD. More detailed information on the content of individual courses may be found below.

    In the second semester, three courses will be provided at Palais des Nations - on 15 September, 10 November, 13 December 2022 respectively. 

    The second semester in 2022 includes:

    • Thursday 15 September 2022, 10 a.m. (Room XXVI) - Trade Facilitation and Non-Tariff Measures
    • Thursday 10 November 2022, 10 a.m. (Room XXI) - Commodity dependence and recent events on commodity markets
    • Tuesday 13 December 2022, 10 a.m. (Room XXVI) - Trade Facilitation and Development through Greater Digitalization and Enhanced Connectivity
  • Tuesday 3 May 2022, 10 a.m. (Hybrid) - LDCs development challenges and policies in the 2020s

    The international community in December 2021 agreed to recommend for adoption the Programme of Action (PoA) for the Least Developed Countries for the Decade 2022-2031. It should provide a framework for policy action on LDC development during the 2020s, to be undertaken both by LDCs themselves and by LDC development partners. The course will analyse the priorities set out in the new PoA, compare it with the SDGs and evaluate its likely contribution to LDCs’ weathering their current and emerging development challenges.

    The objectives of the course are as follows:

    • Provide an overall picture of the major development challenges of the LDCs in the 2020s. These challenges include: 1. the lingering structural vulnerabilities typical of LDC underdevelopment, and 2. emerging challenges such as the ongoing effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, the acceleration of climate change, the restructuring of global value chains, and the digital transformation.
    • Critically analyse the likely contribution of the new PoA to LDCs’ weathering the major challenges with which they will be confronted in the present decade.
    • Provide a clear picture of the policy priorities for LDCs, in view of the process of negotiation and adoption of the new PoA.
  • Tuesday 5 April 2022, 10 a.m. (Hybrid) - Women and the pandemic: Building back better for them including through trade

    The COVID-19 pandemic is threatening to reverse decades of progress on gender equality and women's empowerment, notably in the areas of poverty eradication, educational attainment, labor market participation, and trade. These areas are closely linked to the 2030 Development Agenda and its Sustainable Development Goals. Economic downturns, such as the present one, tend to affect men and women differently, mainly because of gender-segmentation into different economic sectors, the structure of markets and institutions and the inequalities within them, and the different roles women and men play in society. Women's shrinking participation in the economy may have negative longer-term effect not only on gender equality. Phenomena linked to unemployment, such as skill erosion, discouragement, loss of business networks, and discrimination, may lead women to permanently exit the labour market with high risks of productivity losses for the broader economy.

    The course will update delegates on the impact of the pandemic on women and on the rescue measures that countries, especially developing and least developed countries, have put in place to help people and companies to shoulder the pandemic-induced economic shock. Among the various initiatives, the presentations will focus on those that, directly or indirectly, by design or by coincidence, have the potential to benefit in particular women. The discussion will then respond to the question: What does "building back better" mean for women? Trade policy is one of the important tools that can be used to provide new economic opportunities for women. Devising measures that promote women’s participation in trade and ensuring that the benefits from trade reach women and men equally can be an effective way for all countries to step up their efforts towards a more inclusive and gender-equal order after the pandemic.


  • Wednesday 23 February 2022, 10 a.m. (Hybrid) - Maritime transport for sustainable development: key insights and projections from the UNCTAD Review of Maritime Transport

    Maritime transport is the backbone of international trade and the global economy. Over 80% of the volume of international trade in goods is carried by sea, and the percentage is even higher for most developing countries. The Review of Maritime Transport is an UNCTAD flagship report, published annually since 1968. It provides an analysis of structural and cyclical changes affecting seaborne trade, ports, and shipping, as well as an extensive collection of statistics from maritime trade and transport. The latest edition of the report has a special focus on the COVID-19 pandemic's impact on the industry and includes a special chapter on the challenges seafarers face in view of the crewing crisis.

    The course will update delegates on key developments in seaborne trade, maritime and port business, freight rates, key performance indicators, seafarers’ concerns, and the necessary legal and regulatory framework to facilitate international maritime trade and transport. Delegates will learn about policy option to keep ships moving, ports open, and trade flowing in times of pandemic, and when confronted with the future challenge of the decarbonization of maritime transport.