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Sustainable and resilient transport and trade facilitation in times of pandemic and beyond: Key challenges and opportunities

Multi-year Expert Meeting on Transport, Trade Logistics and Trade Facilitation [Ninth session]

Sustainable and resilient transport and trade facilitation in times of pandemic and beyond: Key challenges and opportunities

Geneva, 12–14 July 2022

The ninth session of the Multi-year Expert Meeting on Transport, Trade Logistics and Trade Facilitation will be held from 12 to 14 July 2022 in room XVIII of the Palais des Nations in Geneva. The session will commence at 10 am on Tuesday, 12 July 2022.

Background and purpose of the meeting

The disruption from the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) and uncertainty about a lasting recovery are stark reminders of how unprepared transport and logistics are in the face of disruptions. Pandemic-induced shifts in supply, consumption and demand patterns, the rise in logistical bottlenecks, port congestion and delays, the surge in shipping rates and costs, and deterioration in service reliability have all become a constant feature of the current transport and logistics landscape.

The short-term outlook remains one of continued disruption amid emerging virus variants and new waves of infections, as well as a riskier geopolitical landscape. Several trends are making a rapid return to “normal” more challenging, while at the same time generating opportunities for transport and logistics, including trade facilitation. Transport and logistics are facing multiple imperatives spanning digitalization, climate change mitigation and adaptation, transition to low carbon fuels, environmental sustainability, and energy and food security. Addressing the challenges, balancing competing priorities and seizing opportunities call for adequate policies and strategies that prioritize the future proofing of transport and logistics.

The ninth session of the Multi-year Expert Meeting on Transport, Trade Logistics and Trade Facilitation provides a timely opportunity to reflect on the key issues at stake and provide recommendations on the best way forward, identify priority action areas, in particular for the most vulnerable group of countries, among these the least developed countries, small island developing States and landlocked developing countries, and define the role of relevant stakeholders, including from industry, Government, the public and private sectors and development partners and financial institutions.

Nomination and participation

Online registration is mandatory. To register, please use the following link: Multi-year Expert Meeting on Transport, Trade Logistics and Trade Facilitation. Nominations and communications concerning representation should be sent to the UNCTAD secretariat, Intergovernmental Outreach and Support Service, Palais des Nations, CH-1211 Geneva 10; emails: meetings@unctad.org and trade.logistics@unctad.org.

Member States of UNCTAD are requested to nominate experts in the relevant fields by 30 June 2022. Experts, who will participate in the meeting in their personal capacities, are expected to have proven expertise in the subject areas and may be selected from governmental and non-governmental organizations, the private sector or academia. Specialized agencies and intergovernmental bodies that wish to participate in the meeting, as well as non-governmental organizations in the general category and those in the special category that wish to participate as observers, are requested to register by the same date.

Further information and contact details

All enquiries concerning substantive issues should be addressed to the coordinators in the substantive division, Mr. Jan Hoffmann and Ms. Wendy Juan; tel: 41 22 917 2032; fax: 41 22 917 0050; email: trade.logistics@UNCTAD.org.

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CoNGO Notes: For more information on the NGO Committee on Sustainable Development-NY, please visit ngocsd-ny.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on Sustainable Development-Vienna, please visit congocsd.wordpress.com. For more information on the NGO Committee on Financing for Development, please visit ngosonffd.org.

20th YMCA World Council: “Ignite”

On 3 July 2022, the 20th YMCA World Council will begin. For the first time ever, it’s going to be a hybrid event. We will meet in person in Aarhus, Denmark, and online. We continue to monitor the COVID situation, and try and do the right thing. The priority is for as many as possible to meet, one way or the other, at another vital moment for the global YMCA Movement. Why?

Because our world and our YMCA has been turned on its head by this pandemic, and we need to reconnect: we’ve missed each other. We’re ready to respond to new learning, new imperatives, new roles, and new methods in supporting young people and their communities.

Which is why the World Council theme in 2022 is simply ‘IGNITE.’ It’s a moment to provide the spark and light the flame to take us forward. Specifically, we’ll be igniting our vision, our collaboration, and our solutions. The World Council itself is the global YMCA Movement’s highest decision-making body, bringing together all 120 National YMCA Movements. More than that, it’s the biggest and most important shared space we have.

What do we hope to achieve? At least four things:

First, agreeing and adopting a new Movement-wide strategy, as we look towards a 2030 horizon. Imagine: wherever we are in the world, we all agree on a common vision, mission and goals. Our ‘North Star.’

Second, showcasing ‘solutions’, and specifically ‘youth-led solutions, sharing what we’ve done in identifying, supporting and seed-funding young people’s responses to their own challenges in their own communities, in areas like climate, jobs and mental health and working together – ‘collaborating’ in ‘co-labs’ across the generations – to develop and launch new youth solutions in line with Vision 2030.

Third, strengthening our governance as we elect new officers.

And fourth, just enjoying ‘family’ and fun, as we celebrate and enjoy who we are and where we’re from. Imagine: the ‘great global good’ of the YMCA at play. We really do refuel at World Council….before we ‘IGNITE.’

In person, we’ll do all this in Aarhus, Denmark’s second city. A green and beautiful place, an old city with a young population, a port city with a view on the world, and the stunning conference facilities of the city’s world-famous Concert Hall. We’ll keep you posted about all the practical details. Register from 1st November here.

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CoNGO Notes: For more information on CoNGO–the Conference of NGOs in Consultative Relationship with the United Nations, visit www.ngocongo.org. For specific information about how CoNGO and its substantive committees (also known as NGO Committees) work on matters related to the subject of the event on this page, visit NGO Committees

Can Harnessing Blue and Thematic Bonds Build a Sustainable, Regenerative Ocean Economy?

On Wednesday, June 29, at 1pm ET, join the NGO Committee on Financing for Development for an official virtual side event of the 2022 UN Ocean Conference!

A multilateral expert panel will discuss what blue and thematic bonds are, how they’re working in practice, and how to optimize them as building blocks toward a regenerative, sustainable ocean economy.

Register here: us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZEvc–%20%20prD4sG9eXXTtidrPei5J2Xe3tQPb8

Speakers:

  • H.E. Mr. Ian Dereck Joseph Madeleine, Ambassador, Permanent Mission of Seychelles to the United Nations
  • Mr. Stephen M. Liberatore, Head of ESG/Impact – Global Fixed Income for Nuveen, a private investor in the Seychelles blue bond
  • Mr. Greg Fisk, Global Lead – Climate Risk and Resilience, Senior Principal Consultant, BMT
  • Mr. Nicola Mercusa, Sustainable Finance Hub, Debt and Bond issuance expert advisor, UNDP H.E. Leon Kaulahao Siu, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Kingdom of the Hawaiian Islands
  • Dr. Megan Davis, Ph.D., Research Professor, Florida Atlantic University, Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute/ Queen Conch Lab
  • Additional NGO speakers to be confirmed

Moderator:

Ms. Anita Thomas, Chair, NGO Committee on Financing for Development; Representative to the UN, Women First International Fund (formerly Virginia Gildersleeve International Fund)

Co-organizers:  General Board of Church and Society of The United Methodist Church, PEAC Institute, ManUp Campaign, United Religions Initiative, Dominican Leadership Conference, Africa Development Interchange Network, Conference of NGOs in Consultative Relationship with the United Nations (CoNGO), Temple of Understanding

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CoNGO Notes: The NGO Committee on Financing for Development is a Substantive Committee of the Conference of NGOs in Consultative Relationship with the United Nations. For more information on the NGO Committee on Sustainable Development-Vienna, please visit congocsd.wordpress.com. For more information on the NGO Committee on Sustainable Development-NY, please visit ngocsd-ny.org.

UN Ocean Conference

The Ocean Conference, co-hosted by the Governments of Kenya and Portugal, comes at a critical time as the world is seeking to address many of the deep-rooted problems of our societies laid bare by the COVID-19 pandemic and which will require major structural transformations and common shared solutions that are anchored in the SDGs. To mobilize action, the Conference will seek to propel much needed science-based innovative solutions aimed at starting a new chapter of global ocean action.

For all available information on Ocean Conference events taking place both in-person in Lisbon, Portugal, and virtually, visit the official website: un.org/en/conferences/ocean2022/about

Pre-registration for eligible NGOs, civil society, and stakeholder organizations to participate in the 2022 UN Ocean Conference is now open. Deadline is 16 May 2022!

Pre-register here: un.org/en/conferences/ocean2022/participate

About the 2022 UN Ocean Conference

The ocean covers 70 percent of the Earth’s surface, is the planet’s largest biosphere, and is home to up to 80 percent of all life in the world. It generates 50 percent of the oxygen we need, absorbs 25 percent of all carbon dioxide emissions and captures 90 percent of the additional heat generated from those emissions. It is not just ‘the lungs of the planet’ but also its largest carbon sink – a vital buffer against the impacts of climate change.

It nurtures unimaginable biodiversity and produces food, jobs, mineral and energy resources needed for life on the planet to survive and thrive. There is a great deal we still do not know about the ocean but there are many reasons why we need to manage it sustainably – as set out in the targets of Sustainable Development Goal 14: Life Below Water.

The science is clear – the ocean is facing unprecedented threats as a result of human activities. Its health and ability to sustain life will only get worse as the world population grows and human activities increase. If we want to address some of the most defining issues of our time such as climate change, food insecurity, diseases and pandemics, diminishing biodiversity, economic inequality and even conflicts and strife, we must act now to protect the state of our ocean.

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CoNGO Notes: For more information on the NGO Committee on Sustainable Development-NY, please visit ngocsd-ny.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on Sustainable Development-Vienna, please visit congocsd.wordpress.com. For more information on the NGO Committee on Financing for Development, please visit ngosonffd.org

7th Session of the Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction

Seventh Session of the Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction (GP2022)

The Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction is the main global forum to assess and discuss progress on the implementation of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction. The seventh session of the Global Platform (GP2022) will be organized by the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR) from 23 to 28 May 2022, in Bali, Indonesia, hosted by the Government of Indonesia. The event will be co-chaired by the Government of Indonesia and UNDRR.

The Global Platform takes place at a critical time: seven years from the adoption of the Sendai Framework and just over two years since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has exposed how underlying vulnerabilities and inequities have catastrophic consequences for the most exposed across the world. The pandemic has demonstrated just how essential prevention and the risk reduction agenda is if we are to achieve a sustainable future for all. The 2022 Global Platform will provide a unique and timely opportunity to showcase the importance of international solidarity and cooperation, as well as to discuss ways to tackle underlying risk drivers both locally and globally. Additionally, it will explore how to strengthen disaster risk governance and how to build stronger systems for managing all types of risks. GP2022 offers a chance for all stakeholders to recommit, with urgency, to accelerate progress on disaster risk reduction towards the achievement of sustainable development.

How to apply:

Please refer to the GP2022 concept note and GP2022 list of sessions for information on the Global Platform focus and sessions. For information on the Organizing Teams, please refer to the Terms of Reference.

To apply to join an Organizing Team, please fill in the online form by 23 June, 2021. In the form, please indicate if your participation in an Organizing Team requires the provision of disability-related accommodation. For any questions, please reach out to the Global Platform team on globalplatform@un.org

Stakeholder coordination:

The GP2022 will be organized in an inclusive, consultative, and open manner. Wide stakeholder consultation and participation in the Global Platform will be encouraged, ensuring inclusivity and accessibility by all groups. The engagement of stakeholder groups in the GP2022 will be facilitated through the UNDRR Stakeholder Engagement Mechanism, with stakeholder representatives invited to contact their relevant stakeholder focal points for more information.

GP2022 format:

The official programme of the GP2022 will be conducted in all six official UN languages. Additional information on the format of, and participation in, the GP2022 will be made available on a dedicated website as planning progresses and the current global context evolves.

For further information on the GP2022, please contact globalplatform@un.org.

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CoNGO Notes: For more information on the NGO Committee on Disarmament, Peace, and Security, please visit  ngocdps.wordpress.com. For more information on the NGO Committee on Social Development, please visit ngosocdev.org. For more information on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, please visit facebook.com/NGOCoRIP. For more information on the NGO Committee on the NGO Committee on Education, Learning, and Literacy, please visit facebook.com/NGOCELLatUN

Understanding the Impact of SDG Investments by Refining Sustainability Reporting

2022 Financing for Development Forum side event: Understanding the impact of SDG investments by refining sustainability reporting

Thursday, 28 April, 8 am to 9 am (EST)

This event is being held as part of the programme for the SDG Investment Fair. For registration, please visit this link.

For more information about the Fair, visit un.org/development/desa/financing/events/april-2022-sdg-investment-fair.

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CoNGO Notes: For more information on the NGO Committee on Financing for Development, please visit ngosonffd.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on Disarmament, Peace, and Security, please visit ngocdps.wordpress.com

Enhancing MDBs as Catalyzers of Private Finance

2022 FfD Forum side event: Enhancing MDBs as catalyzers of private finance

Wednesday, 27 April, 12:30 pm to 1:30 pm (EDT)

This event is being held as part of the programme for the SDG Investment Fair. For registration, please visit this link.

For more information about the Fair, visit https://www.un.org/development/desa/financing/events/april-2022-sdg-investment-fair.

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CoNGO Notes: For more information on the NGO Committee on Financing for Development, please visit ngosonffd.org

Exploring Digital Finance’s Real Promises and Challenges for Development

Exploring Digital Finance’s Real Promises and Challenges for Development

Join the NGO Committee on Financing for Development on Wednesday, 27 April 2022, 8:00 a.m. – 9:30 a.m. EDT for this official side event to the 2022 ECOSOC Financing for Development Forum.

Register here: https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZ0qc-6orjsuGdFhyWHfljp7ZNxV526Onoc7

Speakers:

  • Ms. Cina Lawson, Minister of Digital Economy and Transformation of the Republic of Togo (TBC)
  • Dr. Purva Khera, Economist, International Monetary Fund
  • Mr. Johannes Ehrentraud, Senior Advisor, Financial Stability Institute, Bank for International Settlements
  • Ms. Sofie Blakstad, CEO of hiveonline and author of Fintech Revolution: Universal Inclusion in the New Financial Ecosystem
  • Ms. Anneleen Vos, Seionr Economic Policy Officer, International Rescue Committee
  • Mr. Prabhat Labh, CEO, Grameen Foundation India
  • Ms. Mercy Buku, Program Leader, Toronto Center

Moderator: Mx. Anita Thomas, Chair, NGO Committee on FfD, Representative to the UN, Women First International Fund

Co-sponsors: ManUp Campaign, Change Management Solutions, Sisters of Charity Foundation, African Development Interchange Network, IBVM

Background:

The UN Secretary General’s task force on digital finance in its report titled “People’s Money: Harnessing Digitalization to Finance a Sustainable Future,” spells out the transformational impact digital finance can have on sustainable development. Providing relief for millions around the world, supporting businesses, and protecting jobs and livelihoods, digital finance served as a lifeline during the COVID-19 pandemic. A World Bank tally of policy responses to the pandemic finds that at least 58 governments in developing countries used digital payments to deliver COVID-19 relief, of which 36 countries made payments into fully transactional accounts that were being used for saving beyond simply withdrawing cash. According to the GSMA, international remittances processed via mobile money increased by 65 percent in 2020.

Proponents of digital finance highlight its strong capabilities to reduce transaction costs, the potential of Artificial Intelligence to provide fair and equitable treatment of credit applicants, and the scalability of cloud technology, through the use of blockchain technology, to allow consumers to transact remotely and seamlessly across multiple platforms.

While the experience of COVID-19 has proven that digitalization can transform economies and lives, it needs to be shaped with both its advantages and potential risks in mind in order to bring everyone into the digital age. For technology to benefit everyone, private sector innovation must be supported by the appropriate public goods such as the public provision of foundational infrastructure, access to electricity, mobile and internet coverage.

As in the case of any disruptive technology, without combining technological advances with sound policy measures, digital technology cannot deliver on its potential to meaningfully advance financial inclusion for everyone, including the more than 2 billion unbanked people globally. Delivering on promises to advance financial inclusion can only be considered meaningful when the account holder has a fully functional account that they utilize to save, make payments, obtain manageable credit, and mitigate economic risks and is simply not utilized to withdraw cash from cash transfers from the government, which is overwhelmingly the case at this time.

By examining successful strategies that maximize digital finance’s potential while minimizing risks to the financial sector, government revenues, and at-risk populations, attendees will gain a better understanding of how digital finance can sustainably advance development objectives.

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CoNGO Notes: The NGO Committee on Financing for Development is a Substantive Committee of the Conference of NGOs in Consultative Relationship with the United Nations.

Financing for Universal and Crisis-Responsive Social Protection and Decent Work: Proposals of 2021 UN Inter-Agency Working Group

Join the NGO Committee on Financing for Development on Tuesday, April 26, from 8 – 9:30am EST for an official side event of the 2022 ECOSOC Financing for Development Forum on Financing for Universal and Crisis-Responsive Social Protection and Decent Work: Proposals of 2021 UN Inter-Agency Working Group

Speakers:

  • H.E. Mr. Phillippe Kridelka, Ambassador, Permanent Representative of Belgium to the United Nations
  • Mr. Helmut Schwarzner, Senior Social Security Specialist for the Americas, Social Protection Department, ILO Geneva
  • Mr. David Stewart, Chief of Child Strategy and Social Protection, UNICEF
  • Dr. Santosh Mehrotra, Research Fellow, IZA Institute of Labor Economics, Bonn, Germany
  • Ms. Tikhala Itaye, Director, Global Movement Building, Women in Global Health

Moderator: Dr. Barry Herman, Member Advisory Board, Social Justice in Global Development

Register here: https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZYsfuqqrjwiHtLVutntuRo0xgsa9K_vEKxP

Co-sponsors: Vivat International, Women First International Fund, Salesian Missions, International Labour Organization, World Vision, Social Justice in Global Development

Background: Social protection refers to assuring a basic income floor and access to basic healthcare throughout the life cycle. It should be provided universally to all people in need, but that is far from current practice. While decent jobs, including self-employment, are mainly in the private economy, meeting the qualifications for most jobs usually requires education and good health, which are primarily public service functions. Thus, programs to promote social protection and decent jobs entail adequate, effective, and fair national systems of taxation, complemented by international assistance, often in the form of technical assistance but also sometimes in aid-financed budget support, as for low-income countries.

The experience of the pandemic laid bare inadequate systems to deliver cash transfers to compensate for the economic costs of the crisis and inadequate public health systems to deliver vaccines, tests, and protective equipment, along with the very limited capacity, especially in developing countries, to maintain employment during the crisis-induced economic contraction. The pandemic experience requires us to think about preparing better “shock responsive” social protection and health systems and stronger counter-cyclical policies. Preparation, in turn, requires consideration of ways to mobilize the necessary domestic and international financial resources on an ongoing basis and with the capacity to meet the higher expenditure needs at times of crisis.

While the inter-agency report concluded with 21 separate proposals, speakers in the side event will be asked to discuss one or more of the proposals. There is no expectation that all 21 proposals would be covered, nor is that necessary. What is necessary is to bring the attention of the FfD Follow-up Forum for consideration by policymakers the work of the 16 cooperating agencies in the task force and the civil society, labor, employer, and youth stakeholders that were consulted in preparing the report.

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CoNGO Notes: The NGO Committee on Financing for Development is a Substantive Committee of the Conference of NGOs in Consultative Relationship with the United Nations.

UN Commission on Population and Development

2022 theme: Population and sustainable development, in particular sustained, inclusive economic growth

For full program, background information, and related links, please visit  https://www.un.org/development/desa/pd/events/CPD55.

Bureau members (fifty-fifth session/2022):

  • H.E. Ambassador Enrique A. Manalo (Republic of the Philippines) – Asia-Pacific Group (Chair)
  • Mr. Andrei Nicolenco (Republic of Moldova) – Eastern European Group (Vice-Chair)
  • Ms. Sara Offermans (Netherlands) – Western European and Others Group (WEOG) (Vice-Chair-designate)
  • Ms. Mayra Lisseth Sorto (El Salvador) – Latin American and Caribbean Group (GRULAC) (Vice-Chair-designate)
  • Mr. Antonin Bieke (Côte d’Ivoire) – African Group (AG) (Vice-Chair-designate)

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CoNGO Notes: For more information on the NGO Committee on Social Development, please visit ngosocdev.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on Sustainable Development-Vienna, please visit congocsd.wordpress.com. For more information on the NGO Committee on Sustainable Development-New York, please visit ngocsd-ny.org

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