Building capacity to help Africa trade better

14th Session of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development: Resource box


14th Session of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development: Resource box

14th Session of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development: Resource box

The fourteenth session of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD 14) was held in Nairobi, Kenya, from 17 to 22 July 2016. The theme of the event was From decision to action: moving toward an inclusive and equitable global economic environment for trade and development.

The Conference brought together Heads of State and Government, ministers and other prominent players from the business world, civil society and academia to tackle global trade and economic development issues. The Conference featured ministerial debates, high-level round tables, thematic events, a World Investment Forum, a Global Commodities Forum, a Youth Forum and a Civil Society Forum, among other events.

The Conference saw concrete progress including the launch of a new e-trade initiative, the first UN statistical report on the SDG indicators, the launch of a multi-donor trust fund on trade and productive capacity, and the commitment of more than 90 countries for a roadmap on fisheries subsidies. It also saw the launch of this year’s Economic Development in Africa Report and the highlighting of issues around non-tariff measures, debt, and illicit financial flows.

In the news

Nairobi Consensus

UNCTAD14 banner

From decision to action: Moving towards an inclusive and equitable global economic environment for trade and development

The Conference ended on Friday, 22 July 2016 with the adoption of two crucial documents aimed at strengthening the mandate of UNCTAD to effectively deal with matters affecting trade, foreign investments and the fight against poverty.

Prepared under the responsibility of the Kenyan government, the first document agreed by negotiators, the political declaration called the ‘Nairobi Azimio’ by its Swahili translation, represents a broad expression of the social and economic state of the world and calls for increasing financial, infrastructure and development support to the world’s least developed countries and vulnerable nations. The second document, the Nairobi Consensus or ‘Nairobi Maafikiano’, proposes a way forward for trade and investments.

Ministerial documents

Civil society statements

Summaries prepared by the UNCTAD Secretariat

Featured publications

Economic Development in Africa Report 2016: Debt Dynamics and Development Finance in Africa

Africa has major development aspirations in the broader context of a global and continental economic development agenda. This calls for substantial financial resources at a time when the global development finance landscape is changing, from a model centred on official development assistance and the coverage of remaining financing needs through external debt, to a framework with greater emphasis on the mobilization of domestic resources. This report examines some of the key policy issues that underlie Africa’s domestic and external debt, and provides policy guidance on the delicate balance required between financing development alternatives and overall debt sustainability.

Development and Globalization: Facts and Figures 2016

The 2016 edition of the UNCTAD Development and Globalization: Facts and Figures is dedicated to the Sustainable Development Goals that were adopted by the United Nations in September 2015. The indicators for measuring progress towards these Goals that have been proposed by the Inter-agency Expert Group on Sustainable Development Goal Indicators (IAEG-SDG) and accepted by the United Nations Statistical Commission have not yet been endorsed by the General Assembly. Nevertheless, it is useful to give an early or preliminary assessment of progress for a selection of the 17 SDGs and 169 targets.

Trade Misinvoicing in Primary Commodities in Developing Countries: The cases of Chile, Côte d’Ivoire, Nigeria, South Africa and Zambia

The problem of trade misinvoicing has generated increasing attention in the research and policy communities. It is an issue that has gained particular traction through the current debates on illicit financial flows, since trade misinvoicing continues to be used as a key mechanism of capital flight and illicit financial flows from developing countries. This study aims to contribute to research and policy debates by providing empirical evidence on the magnitude of trade misinvoicing in the particular case of primary commodity exports from five natural-resource-rich developing countries.

Background documents

Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon’s Report for UNCTAD 14: From Decisions to Actions

As the first United Nations ministerial conference of the post-2015 era, the fourteenth session of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD XIV) will represent a starting point to translate the heightened ambitions and commitments of the international community into concrete plans of action. This report underscores four action lines needed to fulfil the ambitions of the post-2015 development agenda: building productive capacity to transform economies; more effective States and more efficient markets; tackling vulnerabilities, building resilience; and strengthening multilateralism, finding common solutions.

UNCTAD Toolbox for LDCs: Specializing Smartly

Least Developed Countries official requests for UNCTAD technical assistance: Requiring funding 2013-2016

Thematic Note on Trade and Employment | UN Inter-Agency Cluster Multi-partner Trust Fund

Thematic Note on Trade and Value Chain | UN Inter-Agency Cluster Multi-partner Trust Fund

Thematic Note on Trade Facilitation | UN Inter-Agency Cluster Multi-partner Trust Fund

Breaking the Chains of Commodity Dependence | Background note for the Seventh Global Commodities Forum

Evidence-informed development cooperation and management of South-South and Triangular Cooperation in the context of the Sustainable Development Goals | Background document

The Trillion Dollar Question: How to Kick-Start Trade and Output Growth? | Policy Note

Collaborative Strategies for In-Country Shared Value Creation framework for Extractive Projects | OECD Development Policy Tools

Good Governance Guidelines – Independence and Transparency | UNCTAD MENA Programme

Competition Guidelines – Leniency Programmes | UNCTAD MENA Programme


Servicification, Trade Facilitation: A Policy Agenda for Africa | Dominique Njinkeu and Sekou Doumbouya, African Trade and Sustainable Development (AFTSD)

The development of commodity derivatives markets in Africa | Government of Kenya

Impact of Cotton GVC on Africa and Farm Gate Activities | Government of Kenya

The economic lives of smallholder farmers: An analysis based on household data from nine countries | UN Food and Agriculture Organization

The Role of Green Energy in Achieving Sustainable Energy for All in Africa | Government of Kenya

How can international trade in services be made more efficient? | Dr. Vidal Ibarra-Puig, University of Cancun, Mexico

Trade Implications of Climate Policy after the Paris Outcome | The Commonwealth Secretariat

The Paris Climate Agreement: What Implications for Trade? | The Commonwealth Secretariat

A methodological framework to capture the various economic impacts of competition enforcement (Draft Report) | Steve Davies and Peter Ormosi, University of East Anglia, United Kingdom

Conference statements

Statement by International Lawyers Organization | 21 July 2016

Statement by World Bank Group | 21 July 2016

Statement by Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) | 21 July 2016

Statement by Botswana | 20 July 2016

Statement by Zimbabwe | 20 July 2016

Statement by Swaziland | 20 July 2016

Statement by Mauritius | 20 July 2016

Statement by Uganda | 19 July 2016

Statement by Bangladesh on behalf of the LDCs | 19 July 2016

High-level Event on Promoting a Global Environment for Prosperity for All | Statement by Mr. Joakim Reiter, Deputy Secretary-General of UNCTAD

High-level Event on Looking Beyond Emergencies: Creating Opportunities in Migrant Sourcing and Transiting Countries | Statement by Joakim Reiter

Round Table on Lowering Hurdles for Trade: Trade Costs, Regulatory Convergence and Regional Integration | Statement by Joakim Reiter

Round Table on Building Economic Resilience for the Most Vulnerable | Statement by Joakim Reiter

Delivering as one: Launch of Multi-Donor Trust Fund for UN Inter-Agency Cluster on Trade and Productive Capacity | Statement by SECO

World Investment Forum 2016: High-Level Tripartite Conference on Investment Promotion in SDGs | Statement by Joakim Reiter

2016 Development and Globalization – Facts and Figures | Presentation by Steve MacFeely, UNCTAD

Developing natural ingredients sectors in nine Southern African countries | Presentation by Cyril Lombard, CEO, PhytoTrade Africa

Breaking new ground for biodiversity-based products | Presentation by Martha K Kangandjo, Eudafano Women’s Co-operative in Namibia

Innovative business models to connect farmers to markets | Presentation by Maarten van der Kamp

Global Services Forum: 21 July 2016

Leveraging infrastructure services as key enablers of the 2030 Agenda focus on Transport Services | Statement from Fatima Haram Acyl, Commissioner for the Department of Trade and Industry, AUC

Facilitating Trade in Services | Statement from Dongwei Shi, Vice President, Alibaba Group, China

Promoting tourism as an engine of inclusive growth and sustainable development in Africa

Statement from Vincent Oparah, Senior Adviser, Climate Change and Tourism, NEPAD

Statement from Najib Balala, Cabinet Secretary for Tourism, Kenya

Statement from Márcio Favilla, Executive Director for Operational Programmes and Institutional Relations, World Tourism Organization (UNWTO)

Global Commodities Forum: 15-16 July 2016

Keynote session: Trade misinvoicing in commodity dependent developing countries | Presentation by Léonce Ndikumana, Professor of Economics, University of Massachusetts

Keynote session: Breaking the Chains of Commodity Dependence: Exploiting the Agriculture Value Chain in Africa | Speech by Dr. Agnes Kalibata, President, Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA)

Building Productive Capacity to Transform Economies | Talking points for Hon. Minister of Trade and Industry, Joshua Setipa

Export Diversification and Linking into Global Value Chains: Tangible Solutions and Strategies | Presentation by Rashmi Banga, Head and Advisor, Trade Competitiveness Section, Trade Division, Commonwealth Secretariat

Local Content Realities in Extractive Industries | Presentation by Mwendia Nyaga, CEO, Oil and Energy Services, Nairobi

The Role of Natural Gas in the Transition to Achieving Sustainable Energy for All in Africa | Presentation by Taylor V. Ruggles, Regional Energy Counselor for Africa, U.S. Department of State Bureau of Energy Resources

Energy Challenge for Africa | Presentation by Thierry Bros, Senior European Gas and LNG Analyst, Société Générale

The Transformational initiative of Africa’s Leather Sector Dependence from Commodity to Value Created Agro-based Products | Presentation by Prof. Mwinyikione Mwinyihija, Executive Director, COMESA – Leather and Leather Products Institute (LLPI)


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