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UNCTAD member countries meet every four years at ministerial level to set the organisation's priorities and guidelines for action. The talks for the concluding statement will centre on how trade and investment should be further adapted to the needs of sustainable development and the role newly industrialised countries will play in this. Switzerland will coordinate the position of non-EU industrialised countries in these talks.
The Swiss delegation will be led by Ambassador Beatrice Maser Mallor, Delegate of the Federal Council for Trade Agreements and Head of Economic Cooperation and Development of the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO). As part of its economic development cooperation, SECO works together with UNCTAD, particularly in the areas of competition law/policy, trade and the environment as well as investment promotion and protection. In parallel to the ministerial conference, Switzerland is also participating in separate events on topics such as competition policy, trade and biodiversity and the application of voluntary private sustainability standards.
Headquartered in Geneva, UNCTAD is the focal point of the United Nations system for the integrated treatment of trade, investment and technology issues. It was established in 1964 to promote the integration of developing countries into the world economy.