Topic outline

  • General

    Short Courses for Geneva-based Diplomats - 2015 series

    The UNCTAD secretariat is pleased to announce another series of short courses in the first semester of 2015 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 in the attached programme.


    • 8 December 2015 - Promoting investment in sustainable development goals

      Delivered by the Division on Investment and Enterprise. The sustainable development goals to be defined this year by the international community to face common global economic, social and environmental challenges in the next 15 years will have great resource implications, especially for developing countries. According to UNCTAD estimates, developing countries will require another US$2.5 trillion annually over and above current investment levels in key sustainable development goals sectors. Private investment, including foreign direct investment, could be important in filling this gap. Investment promotion agencies will be critical for this to succeed, but this will require a shift from business-as-usual. This course will look into the new role that investment promotion agencies can play in mobilizing foreign direct investment for sustainable development goals, including changes required in their strategic and operational approaches, new partnerships with national and international stakeholders, and involvement by diplomats. Participants will also be briefed on UNCTAD's programme to support investment promotion agencies in attracting foreign direct investment for sustainable development.

    • 2 November 2015 - Trade logistics, transport, trade facilitation and customs automation: Issues and UNCTAD’s role

      Delivered by the Division on Technology and Logistics. With the Agreement on Trade Facilitation of the World Trade Organization now in place, and building on the mandate of UNCTAD in trade and transport logistics, the Trade Logistics Branch will address some of the most compelling issues that developing countries face in improving their participation in international trade. Such issues may affect in various ways the different categories of developing countries. In addition, challenges vary in their nature and possible responses vary depending on geographical situation and circumstances as well as the development stage of a given country. The Branch has actively carried out work under the three pillars of UNCTAD over the past 12 years and developed analytical and technical assistance capacities along with experience to understand and deal with some of the key related questions. This course will include the presentation and discussion of the following topics:

      •      Current trends in trade logistics and implications for participation in global value chains.
      •      Emerging and persisting challenges for developing countries: Climate change impacts, trade and transport security, market-access costs, institutional efficiency, etc.
      •      The role of technology and innovation in improving trade, transit and transport operations.
      •      Customs automation and administrative culture reform.
      •      Implementation of trade facilitation reform at national and regional levels, including the Agreement on Trade Facilitation of the World Trade Organization. 
      •      Transport infrastructure development: Long-term sustainability and ownership.

      The above issues will also be discussed from the perspective of landlocked developing countries, small island developing States, countries with economies in transition and least developed countries.

    • 1 October 2015 – UNCTAD programme on non-tariff measures in world trade

      Delivered by the Division on International Trade in Goods and Services, and Commodities. In a context where tariffs have significantly decreased over the last few decades, non-tariff measures have become major determinants in restricting market entry, particularly for developing countries. UNCTAD research shows that the ability to gain and benefit from market access increasingly depends on compliance with trade regulatory measures such as sanitary requirements and goods standards. This is why they have become a major challenge for exporters, importers and policymakers. Understanding the uses and implications of such trade policy instruments is essential for the formulation and implementation of effective trade policies and development strategies. Non-tariff measures are closely linked to the post-2015 development agenda and sustainable development goals. They are important instruments for all countries to achieve such goals and thus it is likely that their use will increase. This session will explore the findings of UNCTAD's work on non-tariff measures, which includes their definition and classification, collection of data and analysis of trade impacts, and links to sustainable development goals.

    • 15 May 2015 (room XXVI) - Finance for development and the post-2015 agenda

      The international development community is currently engaged in discussions that will have profound implications regarding financing needs and modes over the next 30 years. Both sustainable development goals and negotiations on a global agreement to curb climate change imply economic and structural transformations, for which the financing gap is huge. The Third International Conference on Financing for Development, to be held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, in July 2015, is expected to provide ideas on how to bridge this gap, in developing countries in particular. This course will address related issues, recognizing that new ideas will be needed that are flexible enough to meet the financing challenges of countries with very different circumstances, in an increasingly multipolar world. The course will provide a brief historical overview of critical trends, including the establishment of the Bretton Woods system, its breakdown and its replacement by finance-driven globalization, which has been characterized by shocks, crises, speculation and debt-driven growth. The second part of the course will focus on policy reforms that can help to finance the transformations envisaged under sustainable development goals and in the negotiations on climate change, in order to create a more stable and equitable global new deal. Participants will be encouraged to share their experiences and views.

      Delivered by the Division on Globalization and Development Strategies

    • 9 April 2015 (room XXVI) - Promoting innovation policies for industrial development

      Issues of science, technology and innovation remain endemic to development and furthering understanding of these issues is a core challenge for policy research. Some of the most relevant results on science, technology and innovation and development from the series of reports on technology and innovation will be presented. In particular, course material will draw upon work done for the Technology and Innovation Report 2014 and the role of innovation policies in promoting industrial development will be discussed. The main linkages between innovation policies and industrial policies at the national level will be reviewed and results from various African countries will be presented in this regard, based on primary surveys conducted for the report.

      Delivered by the Division on Technology and Logistics

      • 17 March 2015 (room XXVI) - The contribution of structural transformation to meeting sustainable development goals

        This course will focus on the linkages between structural transformation, economic growth and the attainment of internationally agreed development goals. It will offer an analysis of recent progress in these three areas, using examples from developing countries and least developed countries, and present some concrete policy tools for accelerating the process of structural transformation. In the first session, the interdependence between economic and human development will be discussed, and some recent evidence on the critical role of structural transformation and labour productivity growth in effecting this nexus will be presented. The course will then address more practical industrial policy concerns and present an innovative policy tool designed to guide the evolution of an economy towards the production of progressively higher value-added goods. The final session will focus on the central contribution of agricultural upgrading and rural diversification to the entire process of structural transformation in developing countries.

        Delivered by the Division on Africa, Least Developed Countries and Special Programmes