Wednesday, October 14, 2020

UN conference to focus on protecting consumers and beyond Covid-19

 Ministers, senior government officials, heads of competition and consumer protection authorities and civil society representatives will examine how to safeguard consumers’ welfare amid and after the Covid-19 pandemic during the 8th United Nations Conference on Competition and Consumer Protection to be held from October 19 to October 23.

In the wake of the pandemic, governments have fought unfair practices such as price gouging and non-respect of refunds, and defended competition to protect consumers, prevent the distortion of markets and promote a healthy economic recovery. The quinquennial conference is the highest-level meeting on competition and consumer protection within the UN and UNCTAD is the only international organisation with quasi-universal membership dealing with these issues at the multilateral level.

The conference will focus on how to strengthen consumer protection and competition in the digital economy, the new frontier for these issues due to the surge of e-commerce during the pandemic.

In addition, the participants will discuss how to combat cross-border cartels and improve consumer product safety around the world, among other emerging and pressing concerns.

The participants will also deliberate on how to implement UN guidelines for consumer protection and competition, the only multilateral frameworks on these issues, to foster international cooperation, as most related challenges transcend borders. The sessions will be held both in person and virtually. More information on the sessions is available on the programme of the conference.

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