The Conference

The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) is a subsidiary organ of the United Nations General Assembly, established in 1964 to promote trade, investment, and development in developing countries. Headquartered in Geneva, UNCTAD has 194 member States as well as numerous intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations and other observers.

The quadrennial ministerial Conference is the highest decision-making body of UNCTAD. It is widely attended by stakeholders in development including Heads of State and Government, Ministers and representatives of governments, international institutions, non-governmental organizations, academic institutions and the private sector.


From decision to action: moving toward an inclusive and equitable global economic environment for trade and development

 Civil Society Forum

A Civil Society Forum will be organized from 14 to 21 July 2016, as part of the official programme of UNCTAD 14.

UNCTAD will organize the forum in partnership with the host civil society network, an international group of civil society representatives, and the United Nations Non-Governmental Liaison Service.

Plenary (14-16 July 2016)

The plenary sessions of the Civil Society Forum will precede the official opening of UNCTAD 14 to provide an opportunity for representatives of participating organizations to discuss and share their views on issues related to the Conference agenda, build consensus and finalize a Civil Society Declaration, which will be presented at the opening plenary of UNCTAD 14.


Continuation of the forum (19-21 July 2016)

The Civil Society Forum will continue its activities in parallel to the Conference. To bring forward the views of their constituencies to the debate on delivering the post-2015 development agenda, representatives from civil society will contribute to the opening and closing plenaries of UNCTAD 14, as well as the round tables and thematic sessions. As at previous UNCTAD ministerial conferences held in São Paulo (Brazil, 2004), Accra (Ghana, 2008) and Doha (Qatar, 2012), participants will have the opportunity to interact and exchange views with leading experts and high-level representatives, such as the United Nations and UNCTAD Secretaries-General, Governmental officials, policymakers and leaders in the private sector. Participating organizations will also have the opportunity to organize workshops, seminars and other events on issues related to the theme and sub-themes of UNCTAD 14, and to promote the activities of their organizations to the media and policymakers.

Civil society organizations, which do not have observer status with UNCTAD and wish to take part in the Conference must apply for accreditation here.

To find out more about the CSO Forum, contact Tax Justice Network Africa who have been nominated to host the forum.