GENEVA, 3 September 2022 (WAM) — As the world loses more than $2 trillion each year to illegal trade, depleting precious resources and hindering sustainable development, UNCTAD announced on 6 September The 2nd Illegal Trade Forum will be held on the 7th and 7th. It provides a platform for countries to work together to tackle this threat to development.

The event, which will take place in Geneva and online, will be held in collaboration with the United Nations Coalition to Combat Illegal Trade (TRACIT).

It brings together a wide range of stakeholders, including representatives from Member States, intergovernmental organizations, NGOs, academia and the private sector.

Forums are open for online or in-person participation, but registration is required.

UNCTAD defines illegal trade as any trade in goods that does not comply with the legislative and regulatory framework, including the manner in which they are manufactured, transported, certified, or sold.

Examples include illicit financial flows related to the trade of endangered species and counterfeit medicines, drug trafficking, terrorist financing, fraudulent billing of trades, and active tax evasion.

“If trade is fair, rules-based and strategic, it is a source of good and a source of development that helps achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. Illegal trade is the opposite of this. Illegal trade is neither fair nor legal, nor intentional,” said UNCTAD Executive Director Rebecca Grinspan.

Grinspan said illicit trade significantly jeopardizes all aspects of sustainable development, and in particular represents a triple threat to its financing. Developing countries are particularly vulnerable to this threat.

“Illegal trade crowds out legitimate economic activity, deprives governments of much-needed fiscal revenue, and increases the costs of achieving the SDGs,” said Grinspan.

UNCTAD will help developing countries meet the challenges of illicit trade by strengthening international cooperation across trade and development networks, as mandated by the 15th Quarterly Ministerial Conference last year. is in a suitable position for

During the forum, UNCTAD will present a work program of potential areas of cooperation and cooperation to combat illicit trade.

This forum will explore ways to curb illegal trade during crises such as pandemics, wars, financial crises and natural disasters. These crises are ripe opportunities for illicit profit and exploitation.

One of its sessions will raise awareness of the growing threat of illegal trade during economic, health, environmental and conflict crises and draw attention to new strategies to combat this phenomenon.

In recent years, illicit trade has moved significantly into the digital economy, increasing its presence on social media and online marketplaces. The COVID-19 pandemic has greatly accelerated this trend.

Participants will also discuss how to close the governance gaps that facilitate illicit trade in maritime shipping.

Containerized maritime transport is the backbone of globalization and accounts for the largest volume and value of illicit goods traded.

The exploitation of containerized maritime shipping in illicit trade is not an isolated problem and requires a coordinated approach to address it.

Another session at the forum will focus on best practices in governance and working with the pharmaceutical industry to ensure the legal and effective distribution of genuine medicines and vaccines.

Substandard and counterfeit medical products are a serious and growing threat to global health.

In 2020, the average value of customs seizures of counterfeit and stolen medicines increased by 5%. In 2021, police operations across Africa have seized over 12 million illegal health products.

It is estimated that up to 169,000 children may die each year from pneumonia after receiving counterfeit drugs, and counterfeit antimalarial drugs are responsible for another 116,000 deaths in sub-Saharan Africa alone. There is a possibility.

Participants will also discuss ways to deal with illicit financial flows. These cover flows related to the drug market, terrorist financing, trade fraud claims and active tax evasion, among others.

Illicit financial flows lead to the loss of desperately needed resources to fund public initiatives and critical investments. Overall, for developing countries, this often amounts to hundreds of millions of dollars in lost revenue.

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