Monday, August 11, 2014

50th Birthday of UNCTAD

By: Verónica Velásquez Zuluaga * (
Law student at Universidad EAFIT, Colombia

In its half-century, UNCTAD has made a book about its history. As we know, this organ of the UN was created after the Second World War because an international rebuilding in the economy was a necessity, and the spirit that motivated the group that worked at that attempt of changing the world was a sense of devotion which was very enhancing of the quality of relationships and the quality of the work itself, that’s why it builds something, UNCTAD.

For the creation of this organ, they have to perform many meetings to organize and decide how was going to work. At this time, 1964, there were 120 countries that decided to join the organization, then they establish some rules and 3 central elements that Raul Prebisch, the executive secretary at that time, laid out for UNCTAD. There were: general framework for international commodity agreements, new forms of financing – supplementary and the demand for temporary preferences for the industrial exports that developing countries exported to developed country markets.

The Trade and Development Report have maintained a continuing focus on the interaction of the international economic environment with the development prospects of developing countries. Its policies have been implemented by other institutions that want follow the same principles. UNCTAD became a new international order for the economy and trade.

Nowadays, besides others function that UNCTAD has, it is responsible manly for design policies for international trade and development of the economy. In this globalized world where we live, this organ has a very important role in the trade and development: it looks for increasing the opportunities for the developing countries and integrate them to the world trade. UNCTAD has already constructed a new investment policy framework, and its technical assistance capacity is already strong through the Investment Policy Review mechanism. Other international bodies recognize its expertise on investment, trade and development.


Toye, John (2014) Unctad at 50: A Short History. Available online at:

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