Inter-Agency Collaborations

Inter-Agency Collaborations

UNCTAD is the secretariat of the United Nations Forum on Sustainability Standards (UNFSS), an initiative of 5 UN Agencies – FAO, UNIDO, UNCTAD, ITC and UN Environment.

UNCTAD supports the facilitation of Voluntary Sustainability Standards (VSS) in developing countries because they can improve access to more profitable markets. In this way, VSS can help grow the economies of developing countries which, in turn, leads to social development and environmental sustainability – as well as positively contributing to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

But complying to Voluntary Sustainability Standards can be a big challenge, especially for smallholder farms and other small-scale businesses. This is because they tend to be costly and complex, and often people don’t know enough about them.

So UNCTAD aims to:

  • Increase the ability of countries to boost green exports, and do so sustainably
  • Establish a platform on Voluntary Sustainability Standards that leads to better communication and coordination among stakeholders
  • Equip countries with better knowledge on Voluntary Sustainability Standards so they can use them strategically

United Nations Forum on Sustainability Standards (UNFSS)

UNFSS helps producers, traders, consumers, standardsetters, certificationbodies, trade diplomats, nongovernmental organizations and researchers to talk to each other, find out more about Sustainability Standards and influence decisionmakers at the intergovernmental level. It aims to provide impartial information, analysis, and discussions on Sustainability Standards. It also spreads the news on how these Standards open markets, strengthen the quality of public goods, and achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Just as importantly, it focuses on the obstacles of trade and development that Sustainability Standards may create, especially regarding their impact on small and mediumsize companies in less developed countries.                                     

National Platforms and Initiative Cooperative (NPIC) Network

The NPIC Network is a call for collaboration among National Platforms and National Initiatives across the globe to drive knowledge-exchange in the governance of sustainability standards systems.

United Nations Conference on Trade and Development

Palais des Nations, 8-14,
Av. de la Paix, 1211 Geneva 10, Switzerland

T: +41 22 917 1234
F: +41 22 917 0057