United Nations International Trade and Development
In the early 1960s, growing concerns about the place of developing countries in International Trade led many of these countries to call for the convening of a full-fledged conference specifically devoted to tackling these problems and identifying appropriate international actions.
The first United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) was held in Geneva in 1964. Given the magnitude of the problems at stake and the need to address them, the conference was institutionalized to meet every four years, with intergovernmental bodies meeting between sessions and a permanent secretariat providing the necessary substantive and logistical support.
Simultaneously, the developing countries established the Group of 77 to voice their concerns. (Today, the G77 has 131 members.)
The prominent Argentinian economist Raúl Prebisch, who had headed the United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean, became the organization’s first Secretary-General.
[PDF] The Regional Dimension of Development and the UN System
International Trade and Development
International Trade Centre (ITC)
The International Trade Centre is the technical cooperation agency of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) and the World Trade Organization (WTO) for operational, enterprise-oriented aspects of trade development.
ITC supports developing and transition economies, and particularly their business sector, in their efforts to realize their full potential for developing exports and improving import operations.
According to the data available in UN Monthly Comtrade, world trade in July 2012 showed a year-to-year decrease of 4.1 percent as measured by total exports, and of 4.4 percent as measured by total imports, based on an estimated coverage of 63.5 percent of world trade. In June 2012, world trade showed a year-to-year decrease of 3.8 percent as measured by total exports, and of 5.5 percent as measured by total imports, based on an estimated coverage of 66.9 percent of world trade. Data for August 2012 have been already included for multiple countries.
Established in 1964, UNCTAD promotes the development-friendly integration of developing countries into the world economy. UNCTAD has progressively evolved into an authoritative knowledge-based institution whose work aims to help shape current policy debates and thinking on development, with a particular focus on ensuring that domestic policies and international action are mutually supportive in bringing about sustainable development.
United Nations Global Compact
The Global Compact is a framework for businesses that are committed to aligning their operations and strategies with ten universally accepted principles in the areas of human rights, labour, the environment and anti-corruption. As the world’s largest, global corporate citizenship initiative, the Global Compact is first and foremost concerned with exhibiting and building the social legitimacy of business and markets.
UN Regional Commissions
The Regional Commissions are the regional outposts of the United Nations in their respective regions. They are also an integral part of their regional institutional landscape. Stationed in five regions of the world, United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE), United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP), Economic Commission for Latin America (ECLAC), United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) and United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (UNESCWA) share key objectives aiming to foster economic integration at the subregional and regional levels, to promote the regional implementation of internationally agreed development goals, including the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), and to support regional sustainable development by contributing to bridging economic, social and environmental gaps among their member countries and subregions. To achieve these objectives, the five Regional Commissions promote multilateral dialogue, knowledge sharing and networking at the regional level, and work together to promote intra- regional and inter-regional cooperation, both among themselves and through collaboration with other regional organisations.