Talk:United Nations Conference on Trade and Development
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There is this insistance of putting in this joke about the acronym ("under no cirumstance take any decisions"). While I personally find it funny, I don't see how it can qualify as an encyclopedic entry. Before re-inserting it, can those that insist on this make a documented reference to one or several news articles, with a url, that attribute the joke to someone that activiely participates in the work of UN organizations. To clarify somewhat, only UN agencies that are keepers of an international regime (such as the WTO - trade regime; WIPO - Intelectual Property regime; World Bank & IMF - international financial regime and the Security Council - Peace and Security Regime) or are funding Agencies (UNDP) actually take any kind of real decisions. UNCTAD is not in this category. --Modi 07:50, 17 Apr 2005 (UTC)
I would like to clarify the last point to add that no UN agency is allowed to take legally binding decisions outside of the Security Council.
The WTO is not a member of the UN system, though the functioned for almost 50 years under UN auspice when the Havana Charter was not ratified by all parties, whereby the would-be Bretton Woods agency called the International Trade Organization came to function as the International Commission for the International Trade Organization (ICITO), which was commonly known as the GATT, or General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade. WTO legal decisions are legally binding, whereas GATT panel decisions were not; most UN resolutions are not legally binding.
The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) is a UN agency, but it has some unique characteristics, stemming from the fact that it, like the International Labour Office (ILO), predated the drafting of the UN Charter in 1945; WIPO origins return to the late 19th century when it operated as a consortia of countries working under the Berne and Paris treaties, which protected copyright, and protected technical designs. More recently, WIPO is one of the few agencies that earns money, by virtue of its business with international patents. A court with legally binding powers was founded in WIPO, to handle domain name site (DNS) disputes; one of the more famous of which was the case of Madonna Ciccone, who won back her name, madonna.com, from a domain name 'squatter'. The ILO also has the power to make legally binding decisions, in the form of the tri-partite court which addresses matters concerning employment of intergovernmental (UN) employees, as well as other matters.
The point is that the UN, even UNDP, does not take binding decisions; UNDP does have greater budgetary discretion, so it may appear that they are more empowered, but in legal terms, they remain subject to the wishes of the UN-member states. In this manner, UNCTAD is, as are the better part of most international organizations, more of an operating organ, than a decision-making entity. UNCTAD does issue recommendations, and it writes reports that are respected and used by many developing countries, most particularly in the areas of trade and investment (foreign direct investment, or FDI). It is a center of competence for development, trade and investment.
As a side point, the tendency to abuse acronyms is not unique to UNCTAD. The GATT used to be called the "General Agreement to Talk and Talk"
Tidy up introduction
Future editors please note: http://unctad.org/en/Pages/About%20UNCTAD/A-Brief-History-of-UNCTAD.aspx Respublicans (talk) 11:04, 4 March 2014 (UTC)