United NationsДепартамент по экономическим и социальным вопросам Sustainable Development

Trade and Development Report, 2014

Publication Year: 2014 Publisher: United Nations


Related Goals


Fifty years ago this year, and twenty years after a new multilatera lframework for governing the post-war global economy was agreed at Bretton Woods, a confident South gathered in Geneva to advance its demands for a more inclusive world economic order.

The first United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) added a permanent institutional fixture to the multilateral landscape, with the responsibility “to formulate principles and policies on international trade and related problems of economic development”.

Moreover, and moving beyond the principles that framed the Bretton Woods institutions (and later the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT)), it was agreed that “Economic development and social progress should be the common concern of the whole international community, and should, by increasing economic
prosperity and well-being, help strengthen peaceful relations and cooperation among nations”.

UNCTAD’s 50th anniversary falls at a time when, once again, there are calls for changes in the way the global economy is ordered and managed. Few would doubt that, during the five intervening decades, new technologies have broken down traditional borders between nations and opened up new areas of economic opportunity, and that a less polarized political landscape has provided new possibilities for constructive international engagement.

In addition, economic power has become more dispersed, mostly due to industrialization and rapid growth in East Asia, with corresponding changes in the workings of the international trading system.
However the links between these technological, political and economic shifts and a more prosperous, peaceful and sustainable world are not automatic.