BAKU, 29 November 2010 - A Ministerial Conference on an Aid-for-Trade road map for the United Nations Special Programme for the Economies of Central Asia countries (UN SPECA) that include Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan, will be held in the capital of Azerbaijan from 1 to 2 December.
The event will bring together over 100 participants. It is being organized by UNIDO together with the Government of Azerbaijan, the UN Development Programme, the UN Economic Commission for Europe, International Trade Centre and the International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation.
The Conference will promote Aid-for-Trade as a priority for national and regional development agendas of SPECA countries, support related projects, encourage donors to develop a response and scale-up trade-related development assistance, and encourage governments to agree on follow-up actions.
The high representatives of the seven SPECA countries are expected to adopt a Baku Ministerial Declaration which would outline areas for trade development in the region, call for raising the competitiveness of the region’s economies, enterprises, products and services, developing cross-border cooperation and supporting the integration of SPECA countries into the multilateral trading system. The Declaration is also expected to call upon specialized international organizations, development partners and donors to support the implementation of initiatives and measures, technical assistance and financing.
A SPECA regional Aid-for-Trade implementing and monitoring council will also be launched at the Conference. The council will bring together beneficiary countries, multi-lateral and bi-lateral donors and UN agencies working on trade issues. It will strengthen the ability of development partners to respond to SPECA countries’ emerging needs, provide leadership for an integrated regional Aid-for-Trade programme that would include all stakeholders, identify bankable projects that meet country priorities and matching resources, revise Aide-for-Trade activities and priorities in line with evolving trade and economic developments, and monitor regional and national action plans to identify gaps where bankable projects need to be developed.
UNIDO’s Trade Capacity Building Branch and Europe and the Newly Independent States Regional Programme will hold a side event on “Standards and Conformity Assessment Challenges and Related Capacity Building”. The side event will be organized in cooperation with the Standards and Trade Development Facility. It will provide a forum for an exchange of views between policymakers, experts, research institutions, representatives of the private sector, international and non-governmental organizations on managing sanitary and phytosanitary measures in trade amongst the SPECA countries and offer recommendations for addressing challenges and opportunities in this respect, and in particular recommendations for external support for raising awareness, needs assessments, action planning and regional cooperation.
The side event will help development partners, such as UNIDO, identify constraints and the capacity-building needs of the SPECA countries at the regional and national levels and discuss ways to address them including through national and regional technical cooperation projects.
To see the programme of the Ministerial Conference, please go to:
The Baku Ministerial Declaration in English
The Baku Ministerial Declaration in Russian
For more information on the Ministerial Conference and UNIDO's involvement, please contact: