The convening power of UNCTAD

SDG indicators

SDG 17: Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development
SDG target 17.16: Enhance the global partnership for sustainable development, complemented by multi-stakeholder partnerships that mobilize and share knowledge, expertise, technology and financial resources, to support the achievement of the sustainable development goals in all countries, in particular developing countries.
SDG target 17.17: Encourage and promote effective public, public-private and civil society partnerships, building on the experience and resourcing strategies of partnerships.

The UN brings the world together to advance sustainable development and inclusive trade and economy for all important for a better future for people and the planet, cannot be realized without
increased and effective cooperation of all stakeholders at all levels (Sustainability Knowledge Group, 2020). UNCTAD uses its convening power to bring together governments, businesses, civil society, academia and other international organizations. Together they debate, exchange experiences, identify best practices, and develop global standards on the most pressing issues of the day. Most of these meetings and events take place at UNCTAD headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland.1

Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much
Helen Keller

Meetings include intergovernmental meetings, such as the TDB and its subsidiary bodies, and the Commission on Science and Technology for Development, and fora, such as the Global Commodities Forum and e-Commerce Week. But included are also study visits, seminars, short courses for diplomats and bilateral government visits.

In 2019, UNCTAD hosted 290 meetings (as registered on the INDICO conference management system), up from 219 in 2017. For roughly 60 - 65 per cent of meetings, detailed participant information has been recorded, allowing more detailed analyses to be undertaken (see tables 2, 3 and 4). Of the meetings where no detailed participant information was recorded, more than a third were internal UNCTAD meetings, including the UNCTAD Research Seminar Series, the UNCTAD Crossing the Line: Research in Motion series, the Secretary General’s Town Hall meetings, and so forth. See table 1.2

Table 1. Number of meetings registered on INDICO conference management system, 2017-2019
YearTotal number of meetings registered on INDICONumber of meetings with detailsNumber of meetings without detailsOf which number of meetings without details of which externalOf which number of meetings without details of which internal
20192901891016041
20182641571076839
2017219136835033
Total773482291178113
Source: UNCTAD calculations based on data from UNOG-Indico (2020).
Note: The data do not include meetings related to the World Investment Forum.

In 2019, 189 meetings were held for which detailed information is available. More than 12,000 delegates attended, of which almost 40 per cent (5,000) were female. Intergovernmental meetings, such as the TDB, and topics like e-commerce drew the largest numbers of participants, together accounting for more than 40 per cent of all participants. Both total and female participation numbers were up in 2019 compared with previous years. Investment (including the multi-year expert meeting on investment, innovation and entrepreneurship for productive capacity-building and sustainable development) and trade meetings (including the multi-year expert meetings on transport, trade logistics and trade facilitation and on trade, services and development) also attracted high participant numbers (see table 2).

Table 2. Number of registered meetings and participants, by broad meeting category and sex, 2017 - 2019
ThemeNumber of eventsNumber of participantsNumber of female participantsNumber of female participants (%)
201918912 2774 87140
Academic501 22872559
ASYCUDA18731723
Commodities437026070
CSTD46836510
Debt/Finance1475921829
Development/Climate1436624667
E-Commerce72 62799338
Intergovernmental122 63289634
Investment121 16347941
Legal/Competition444215736
Maritime2611728
Other2953426850
Trade191 33953040
20181579 6313 64338
Academic3280751063
ASYCUDA222044221
Commodities693327830
CSTD11033130
Debt/Finance7973637
Development/Climate1238010828
E-Commerce102 51098939
Intergovernmental192 12366831
Investment960025342
Legal/Competition458322038
Maritime428610436
Other1625211646
Trade1575328838
20171369627335935
Academic2557032257
ASYCUDA15581322
Commodities256117030
CSTD652315530
Debt/Finance967322734
Development/Climate81755833
E-Commerce81 44657740
Intergovernmental172 31271431
Investment788032337
Legal/Competition446617938
Maritime63079431
Other2083826632
Trade981826132
2017 - 201948231 53511 87338
Source: UNCTAD calculations based on data from UNOG-Indico (2020).

Representatives from national governments are the single largest group attending UNCTAD meetings, accounting for between 44 and 52 per cent, depending on the year. Academia, the private sector and non-governmental organizations together account for between 30 and 39 per cent. In 2019, more than 5,400 participants representing national governments attended UNCTAD meetings. This is an underestimate because, as noted in table 1, a further 60 external meetings were registered that year on the INDICO system, for which no participant details are available.

Table 3. Number of participants by broad meeting category, 2017 - 2019
ThemeGovernmentIGO (Inter Governmental Organizations)United NationsPrivate sectorAcademiaNGO (Non Governmental Organizations)OtherPress / mediaTotal number of participants
20195 43755358312492 2971 2268973512 277
Academic3811291 0951261-1 228
ASYCUDA453102--13-73
Commodities31843348544103551683
CSTD1346733101-164
Debt/Finance555302824373731-742
Development/Climate18868498668112162589
E-Commerce956106215556210346225132 627
Intergovernmental1 881111479119011219822 632
Investment362233416630215911611 163
Legal/Competition288272196325153442
Maritime1952134513-61
Other18816343313078478534
Trade46511410916215122710651 339
20184 1214834879351710965890409 631
Academic43-3777317-807
ASYCUDA105611-77-5-204
Commodities420643712770991133933
CSTD603176233-103
Debt/Finance366141314104-97
Development/Climate203373624263024-380
E-Commerce77210419244621144233582 510
Intergovernmental1 52811643888311214852 123
Investment14591998144541274600
Legal/Competition3514610338732213583
Maritime131223326272720-286
Other451214147772216252
Trade32155775611161711753
20175 0375234996841 481817551359 627
Academic----566-4-570
ASYCUDA423613-3-58
Commodities2462942703191511561
CSTD345122628297211-523
Debt/Finance504261616491646-673
Development/Climate831426811249-175
E-Commerce5525516723319614882131 446
Intergovernmental1 632151678810113313912 312
Investment37155248117287855880
Legal/Competition26232489240253466
Maritime1042624553748103307
Other5043345369676399838
Trade392875260988247-818
2017-201914 5951 5591 5692 8685 4883 0082 33811031 535
Source: UNCTAD calculations based on data from UNOG-Indico (2020).

More than one third of participants did not record which country they represented at the time of registration. Many of these participants represented international organisations, NGOs, academia, or the private sector rather than countries. Of those that represented governments, almost one third came from Africa, with Europe and Asia and Oceania together accounting for half of all participants (see table 4).

Table 4. Number of participants by geographic region, 2017 - 2019
ThemeAfricaEuropeLatin America and the CaribbeanNorth AmericaAsia and OceaniaNot SpecifiedTotal
20192 2591 7121 1861032 2384 77912 277
Academic21164251379441228
ASYCUDA2312--102873
Commodities124497658036370
CSTD1403647767386683
Debt/Finance1731176811156234759
Development/Climate752153-50167366
E-Commerce639493289216245612 627
Intergovernmental611550437236593522 632
Investment122795441567481 163
Legal/Competition886932499150442
Maritime952134161
Other737231-62296534
Trade180939321358361 339
20182 2641 374883701 5153 5259 631
Academic-77--2728807
ASYCUDA5371-4499204
Commodities222527011107458920
CSTD-----2222
Debt/Finance122710638102195
Development/Climate842930-59174376
E-Commerce633521383276193272 510
Intergovernmental757456216123043782 123
Investment763123186383600
Legal/Competition1517050585222583
Maritime543827115151286
Other692012230119252
Trade15346615126362753
20172 1841 5641 2282521 9912 4089 627
Academic02184212336151570
ASYCUDA2963119-58
Commodities182877510101106561
CSTD661036726118143523
Debt/Finance167120823195106673
Development/Climate33172112875175
E-Commerce318205213223513371 446
Intergovernmental678401323385353372 312
Investment1641337010141362880
Legal/Competition7778586102145466
Maritime272332127197307
Other243971218186183838
Trade200761213152266818
2017-20196 7074 6503 2974255 74410 71231 535
Source: UNCTAD calculations based on data from UNOG-Indico (2020).

Reviewing meetings calendar as response to COVID19

Due to COVID-19, all meetings on the UNCTAD premises were put on hold. UNCTAD has been able to react quickly to these novel circumstances, however, already organising and hosting a myriad of online events, consultations and webinars in 2020. The e-Week of online events, for instance, was held from 27 April to 1 May 2020 and attracted more than 2000 registered participants (UNCTAD, 2020a).

Notes

  1. More information about the UNCTAD upcoming events and the UNCTAD meetings calendar are available online (UNCTAD, 2020b, 2020c).
  2. These statistics only cover meetings and events organized by UNCTAD at its headquarters in Geneva. Many other meetings organized by UNCTAD at the regional or national level, outside Geneva, are not counted. The data also do not include meetings co-organized by UNCTAD outside the Palais and do not include the World Investment Forum.

References

Click on a star to rate this page!

Average rating 0 / 5. Vote count 0

We are sorry that this post was not useful for you!

Let us improve this post!

Tell us how we can improve this post?

Share this page: