The "Set of Multilaterally Agreed Equitable Principles and Rules for the Control of Restrictive Business Practices", which was unanimously adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in its resolution 35/63 (December 1980), is so far the only fully multilateral code in existence on competition law and policy. UNCTAD, in application of its mandate in the Set, holds the Intergovernmental Group of Experts on Competition Law and Policy (IGE on CLP) annually and organizes a Review Conference at Ministerial level every five years. This year, the Government of Turkey has kindly invited UNCTAD to hold the Fifth Review Conference in Antalya in the south of Turkey.
The Fifth Review Conference, which replaces the IGE on CLP for this year, is open to all member States of UNCTAD, as well as selected civil society and private sector representatives. Country delegations will be invited to be headed by Ministers and to include the heads of their competition authorities.
The Fifth Review Conference will, inter alia, assess the application and implementation of the UN Set on competition in its 25 years of existence, and discuss proposals for its improvement. As decided by the IGE on CLP at its November 2004 session in its agreed conclusions, the Fifth Review Conference will take up the following issues for better implementation of the Set:
- An ad hoc voluntary peer review, to be held during the Conference;
- Techniques for gathering evidence on cartels;
- The role of economic analysis on competition law and policy enforcement;
- The role of the judiciary in competition law enforcement;
- Application of competition law and policy to the informal sector; and
- How to operationalize special and differential treatment for developing countries in competition law and policy.
As has become customary, the Fifth Review Conference is expected to adopt a comprehensive resolution, expressing consensus views on the UN Set and competition law and policy in general and giving guidance to the UNCTAD secretariat as to its activities in this field in the five years ahead.