Within the United Nations system, UNCTAD is the focal point for the integrated treatment of trade and development and the interrelated issues in the areas of finance, technology, investment and sustainable development.

UNCTAD's mandate in the area of technology and innovation is implemented by its Division on Technology and Logistics (DTL). The division aims at enhancing the economic development and competitiveness of developing countries and economies in transition, in the globalized world economy, through (a) strengthened science, technology and innovation capacity; (b) increased access to and sustainable utilization of technology and knowledge - including information and communications technology (ICT); (c) efficient trade logistics services and transit transport systems; and (d) training and capacity-building programmes for local institutions.