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Global civil society has issued a declaration at the quadrennial UNCTAD meeting in Doha today, strongly advocating for UNCTAD to move forward on updating the UN Guidelines for Consumer Protection. The statement, which also covers a broad range of other issues ranging from finance to climate change, contains the following paragraph, referencing the eight consumer rights:
UNCTAD should promote consumer rights as part of its mandate over competition and consumer protection issues. Consumers have rights to the satisfaction of basic needs, to safety, to choice, to redress, to information, to consumer education, to representation, and to a healthy environment. It should lead the revision of the United Nations Guidelines for Consumer Protection in light of recent trends including the increased exposure of consumers to new products and marketing strategies, increased cross-border commerce in consumer products, and technological changes that affect consumers.
This is an important endorsement of CI's programme for the amendment of the UN Guidelines. This work continues in July, when CI has been invited to speak at an UNCTAD expert group meeting on competition and consumer protection. Meanwhile, UNCTAD XIII continues, and we await discovery of whether the intergovernmental text will also acknowledge the importance of consumer protection in UNCTAD's work programme.