Trade and development

The three most important bodies of the United Nations within trade and development are:


United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) is the principal instrument of the United Nations for trade. UNCTAD works with

  • negotiations
  • international economic cooperation
  • trade and development.


United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) develops the legal framework for international trade.


World Trade Organization (WTO) oversees the rules of international trade.
It is a forum for trade negotiations and the impartial settlement of disputes between governments. Its main objectives are to

  • encourage free trade
  • reduce protectionism.


ITC - International Trade Centre is a developing agency and a joint agency of the WTO and the United Nations. ITC focuses on sustainable economic development in developing countries, including, among other things. women and youth.

More on UN and Trade and development

UN documents and publications in catalogues and databases

  • United Nations Digital Library offers UN documents and open access publications, UN voting data and speeches, UN maps, Content in 6+ languages. Replaces the traditional online catalogue UNBISnet.
  • UN iLibrary UN publications online covering different topics.
  • ODS full-text UN documents published from 1993 onward and scanned documents published between 1946 and 1993 in the official languages of the UN.
  • Daily list of documents (ODS). Documents published for the day, with full text links, can be found in the United Nations full text database ODS.
  • UNBIS Thesaurus a multilingual database of the controlled vocabulary used to describe UN documents.
  • Index to proceedings is an annual bibliographic guide to the proceedings and documentation of the major UN organs. The index includes:
    • a list of all documents
    • a comprehensive subject index
    • an index to speeches
    • a voting chart of resolutions
  • United Nations Documents Index (United Nations Digital Library) References to all documents by subject area are published. A collection of indexes is held by the Dag Hammarskjöld and Law Library, Uppsala, and the Libraries at UN Headquarters in New York and Geneva.
Last modified: 2024-04-18