Yearbook of the United Nations, 2001. Part 3, Economic and social questions. Chapter 4, International trade, finance and transport
The collapse in growth of international trade, exacerbated by the disruption caused by the 11 September terrorist attacks in the United States, was the key feature of the economic slowdown of 2001. The international economic environment deteriorated, particularly for many developing countries and countries in transition. Net financial flows to those countries remained at a low level, the external financing conditions for them were more stringent and total flows of foreign direct investment fell. Developments during the year underlined the high degree of interdependence between developed and developing countries, as well as the need for further reforms in the international trade and financial systems. Preparations for the International Conference on Financing for Development gathered momentum. In March, the General Assembly accepted Mexico's offer to host the Conference and, in July, decided that it would be held in Monterrey from 18 to 22 March 2002. Also in July, the Assembly decided that, in addition to States Members and observers of the United Nations and specialized agencies, Conference participation should include all relevant stakeholders, the business sector and civil society. In other action on financial issues, the Assembly, in December, stressed the importance of continued substantive consideration of the international financial system and the external debt crisis in the context of development. The high-level meeting between the Economic and Social Council and the Bretton Woods institutions (the World Bank Group and the International Monetary Fund), which took place in May, considered development financing, in particular poverty eradication, official development assistance and debt; and public and private responsibility in the prevention of financial crises. In November, the Ministerial Conference of the World Trade Organization (WTO) launched a work programme addressing the challenges facing the multilateral trading system. The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) issued a number of publications during the year, including the Trade and Development Report, 2001, which focused on the reform of the international financial architecture. Other major publications included World Investment Report 2001: Promoting Linkages and the E-Commerce and Development Report 2000. The Trade and Development Board, UNCTAD's governing body, reviewed the work of its three subsidiary bodies—the Commission on Trade in Goods and Services, and Commodities; the Commission on Investment, Technology and Related Financial Issues; and the Commission on Enterprise, Business Facilitation and Development. It also carried out a review of UNCTAD's technical cooperation activities. The International Trade Centre, operated jointly by UNCTAD and WTO, increased its technical cooperation activities, providing support to 124 developing countries and transitional economies, including 42 least developed countries. It extended capacity-building to national networks and launched an e-facilitated trade development strategy.
Yearbook of the United Nations, 2001. v. 55; Vol. 55
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