Since the beginning of the pandemic, the Programme has supported user-countries with countering its economic impact.
UNCTAD’s 15th quadrennial ministerial conference, a virtual event being hosted by Barbados and taking place 3–7 October, will bring together Heads of State and Government, ministers, the business world, and civil society. They will discuss global trade, development, the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, and progress towards the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Focusing on moving “from inequality and vulnerability to prosperity for all”, UNCTAD 15 is a major global event that aims to ensure trade’s positive impact, aligning “the sustainable development agenda with global efforts to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic”. 2021 is a landmark year for ASYCUDA, UNCTAD’s largest technical cooperation programme, as it celebrates its 40th year of improving social and economic conditions in developing countries by facilitating trade. The Programme actively contributes to the delivery of SDGs2 including – but not limited to – securing the collection of customs duties and taxes (SDG 17 “Improve domestic capacity for tax and other revenue collection”), contributing directly to economic growth (Goal 8), and upgrading ICT infrastructure, especially in Africa and Least Developed Countries (Goal 9). Since the beginning of the pandemic, the Programme has supported user-countries with countering its economic impact. In April 2020, ASYCUDA published recommendations for adapting ASYCUDAWorld to COVID-19 enforced restrictions, including adjusting the ICT infrastructure and reviewing organizational arrangements. Experts in the field and headquarters tailored support to each usercountry, using technology to ensure remote assistance. Due to travel restrictions, remote assistance and virtual trainings have temporarily complemented the Programme’s support.