The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) was established in 1964 as a permanent intergovernmental body, UNCTAD is the principal organ of the United Nations General Assembly dealing with trade, investment and development issues.

The organizations goals are to "maximize the trade, investment and development opportunities of developing countries and assist them in their efforts to integrate into the world economy on an equitable basis." (from official website).

Currently, UNCTAD has 191 member States and is headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland. Its Secretary-General (as of January 2002) is Rubens Ricupero (Brazil). UNCTAD has 400 staff members and an annual budget of US$ 69 million a year

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