UNCTAD
United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD)
Headquarter: Geneva, Switzerland
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About UNCTAD


UNCTAD is a permanent intergovernmental body established by the United Nations General Assembly in 1964. Our headquarters are located in Geneva, Switzerland, and we have offices in New York and Addis Ababa.

UNCTAD is part of the UN Secretariat. While UNCTAD reports to the UN General Assembly and the Economic and Social Council, it has our own membership, leadership, and budget. UNCTAD is also part of the United Nations Development Group.

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, facilitate consensus-building, and offer 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, UNCTAD helps countries to:

  • Comprehend options to address macro-level development challenges
  • Achieve beneficial integration into the international trading system
  • 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, UNCTAD measures progress by the Sustainable Development Goals, as set out in Agenda 2030.

As part of the United Nations Secretariat, UNCTAD employs a recruitment process that is governed by the United Nations staff selection system (Inspira), which publishes a compendium of current job openings within the United Nations Secretariat.

With a view to achieving a more equitable gender balance in the organization, UNCTAD encourages the application of qualified women, particularly to senior-level positions.

For the recruitment to entry-level positions in UNCTAD (P-1/P-2), candidates are selected through the United Nations’ annual national competitive recruitment examination process – the United Nations Young Professional Programme (YPP).