Geneva, 18 April 2023 (TDI): The third UN Trade Forum will take place from 8-9 May in the UN headquarters in Geneva. UNCTAD will host third iteration of the UN Trade Forum which aims at accelerating SDGs.

Discussions will focus on trading systems in developing countries to clarify the effectiveness and feasibility of a set of trade related “high-impact initiatives” to respond to global challenges and steps to progress towards the SDGs.

This event provides a platform to identify cooperation frameworks to contribute to the 2023 SDG Summit (September, 2023), the UNFCCC COP 28 (November 2023), and the 13th WT0 Ministerial Conference (early 2024). The Forum will also orchestrate for the UNCTAD 60 celebrations in 2024.

The four plenary sessions will be organized by the UN Trade Forum:

Session 1: New South-South Agenda
A unique partnership of trade namely, “The Global System of Trade Preferences among Developing Countries(GSTP),” signed on 13 April 1988, aims at increasing South-South trade primarily through preferential tariff reductions.
The first plenary session will embark on new South-South Trade agenda to accelerate the SDGs achievement. The discussion will determine the role of South-South trade on the path for sustainable development and also the utilization of GSTP to enable further trade and economic integration among developing countries.
The policy areas or sectors that trade cooperation can strengthen to achieve SDGs. The GSTP provides a fresh window to address global challenges.
Session 2: Sustainable ocean economy for development
The Trade and Environment Review 2023: “Building a sustainable ocean economy” will be launched. It examines and provides an analysis of several topics. It identifies the main opportunities, challenges to the ocean economy and concludes by offering list of policy oriented recommendations beyond 2030 for sustainable development.
The UN adopted a road map in 2022 “Our Ocean, Our Future, Our Responsibility” at UN Ocean Conference on July 2022 in Lisbon. At the fourth UN Oceans Forum a call for a Blue Deal was made on April 2022, Geneva.

Also Read: UN calls for SDG stimulus for climate action in developing countries

Session 3: Sustainable Consumption and Production
The new UNCTAD report, “Competition and consumer protection policies for Sustainability highlight the Sustainable Development Goal 12(SDG 12).
The session aims to address the urgent need to advance towards sustainable consumption and will explore the contributions of competition and consumer protection policies in achieving SDG 12.
It will also identify opportunities to proceed toward sustainable consumption and production.
Session 4: Trade, Gender Gap, and Digital Technologies
UNCTAD will launch its new policy review, “E-Commerce from a Gender and Development Perspective.” It has explored the benefits and trade-related e-commerce for women-led small enterprises in developing and least-developed countries.
The potential of digital technologies for enhanced productivity and trade is limited by gender gaps in technology adoption and use.
The launch of the publication will provide the opportunity for the panel discussion to explore desirable interventions which guarantee that the benefits of digital technologies are equally shared and gender inclusive.
It will also search different digital platforms that are more adapted to women’s businesses. The panel will examine the similarities between trade and gender and digitalization and gender. Furthermore, the panel will seek the role UNCTAD should play.