United Nations Conference on Trade and Development

Globalization, including a phenomenal expansion of trade, has helped lift millions out of poverty. But not nearly enough people have benefited. And tremendous challenges remain.

We support developing countries to access the benefits of a globalized economy more fairly and effectively. And we help equip them to deal with the potential drawbacks of greater economic integration. To do this, we provide analysis, consensus-building, and technical assistance. This helps them to use trade, investment, finance, and technology as vehicles for inclusive and sustainable development.

Working at the national, regional, and global level, our efforts help countries to:

Diversify economies to make them less dependent on commodities

Limit their exposure to financial volatility and debt

Attract investment and make it more development friendly

Increase access to digital technologies

Promote entrepreneurship and innovation

Help local firms move up value chains

Speed up the flow of goods across borders

Protect consumers from abuse

Curb regulations that stifle competition

Adapt to climate change and use natural resources more effectively

Together with other UN departments and agencies, we measure progress by the Sustainable Development Goals, as set out in Agenda 2030.

We also support implementation of Financing for Development, as mandated by the global community in the 2015 Addis Ababa Agenda, together with four other major institutional stakeholders: the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, the World Trade Organization, and the United Nations Development Programme.

While we work mainly with governments, to effectively deal with the magnitude and complexity of meeting the Sustainable Development Goals, we believe that partnerships and closer cooperation with the private sector and civil society are essential.

Ultimately, we are serving the citizens of the 194 countries that make up our organization. Our goal is prosperity for all.

Year of establishment: 
1964