UNCTAD Technical Assistance Programmes and Activities

Some relevant UNCTAD Technical Assistance Programmes and Activities


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UNCTAD implemented the project “Building the Capacities of Developing Countries to Shift Towards Sustainable Freight Transport” under the 9th Tranche of the UN Development Account with UNECLAC and UNECA.

The project aimed at strengthening capacity of policy makers (in transport, infrastructure and finance), transport operators (in rail, road, and ports from public and private sector), and key financial institutions, in East Africa and the Caribbean to promote and finance sustainable freight transport through developing sound transport policy measures and adequate financing actions and mechanisms.

Activities included:

As part of this project, UNCTAD has delivered a capacity-building and training workshop on “Sustainable Freight Transport and Finance” on 14-18 March 2016 in Nairobi, Kenya. The training has benefited close to 85 participants from Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo, Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda, South Sudan and Uganda. These countries are members of East Africa’s Northern and Central Transit and Transport Corridors. UNEP, UNECA, COMESA and EAC have also taken part in this initiative.

Another similar workshop was delivered on 9-13 July 2018 in Barbados which also aimed at enhancing the technical capacities of participants from Caribbean SIDS. Participants from the public and private sectors in transport, infrastructure and finance from 10 CARICOM Member States (Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, St Kitts and Nevis, St Lucia, St Vincent and the Grenadines and Trinidad and Tobago) engaged in a 5-day training workshop and outcome-oriented discussions focusing on Sustainable Freight Transport and Finance.

Through partnership and collaboration, a 3-day training workshop was delivered 31 October – November 2, 2018 in Kingston, Jamaica as an outcome of the regional workshop held in Barbados. Participants engaged in training and outcome-related discussions on the principles and techniques of eco-driving with a view to develop a tailored national eco-driving training curriculum. The training benefited close to 55 participants including, transport policy makers, transport regulating authorities, truck owner-operators and drivers and fleet managers, public passenger bus drivers as well as training and research institutions.  The training workshop was co-organized with the Ministry of Transport and Mining, Jamaica, the Department of Natural Resources Canada and the All Island Truckers Association, Jamaica.

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The project aimed at enhancing the understanding/technical knowledge among policymakers, transport planners and transport infrastructure managers in small island developing States of the impacts of climate change on coastal transport infrastructure, in particular seaports and airports, and building their capacity to develop adequate adaptation response measures.


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UNCTAD provides an intensive professional program for the Secretariat and the members of National Trade Facilitation Committees (NTFCs). The main objective is to help them implement, in a coordinated manner, trade facilitation reforms, including the provisions of the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA).

After successful completion of UNCTAD’s Empowerment Program, members of the National Trade Facilitation Committee will be granted an UNCTAD certification of completion. The empowered NTFCs will be featured in UNCTAD’s online repository on NTFCs.

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UNCTAD in cooperation with UNESCAP has implemented the project “Capacity Building for Control Authorities and Transport Operators to Improve Efficiency of Cross-border Transport in Landlocked and Transit Developing Countries” under the 7th Tranche of the UN Development Account. UNECA was also a partner in the project.

UNCTAD has developed a cluster methodology to use a collaborative structure to bring stakeholders involved in transit transport in landlocked and transit developing countries together to discuss the issues of transit transport and coordinate their facilitation measures. ESCAP has developed the Time/Cost-Distance methodology to find time and costs spent for each segment of transport process, through which to help identify, quantify and isolate bottlenecks to be addressed in transport process. The two methodologies have been combined into the Crossborder and Transit Transport Process Management Toolkit (CT-TPM Toolkit), which has served as a useful tool in the identification and resolving of non-physical barriers in international transport and has enabled countries to identify bottlenecks at national and regional levels.