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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.

ICTs for Well-Being, Inclusion and Resilience: WSIS Cooperation for Accelerating Progress on the SDGs

Date and Time: 7 July 2022, 08:00-09:00 AM New York time / 14:00-15:00 PM CEST

About: Highlighting the theme of the WSIS Forum 2022, this session will focus on how the ICTs and the WSIS Action Lines can help accelerate the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), learning from the COVID-19 experience to build an inclusive, resilient, and sustainable societies and economies. It is important to strengthen partnerships and digital cooperation towards achieving goals and targets across the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Register herehttps://itu.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_Av6zKxyzTK65UxwzzIXmjQ

Speakers:

  • Mr. Malcolm Johnson, Deputy Secretary-General, ITU (Chair of UNGIS)
  • H.E. Professor Isa Ali Ibrahim (Pantami), Minister, Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy, Nigeria, Government
  • Dr. Tawfik Jelassi, Assistant Director-General for Communication and Information, UNESCO (Vice Chair of UNGIS)
  • Mr. Torbjörn Fredriksson, Head of E-Commerce and Digital Economy Branch, UNCTAD (Vice Chair of UNGIS)
  • Mr. Jean-Paul Adam, Director Technology, Climate Change and Natural Resources Management Division, United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), (Vice Chair of UNGIS)
  • Mr. Moshe Kao, Programme Management Officer, UN Technology Bank for Least Developed Countries
  • Mr. Liberato C. Bautista, President, Conference of Non-Governmental Organizations in Consultative Relationship with the United Nations (CoNGO), Civil Society
  • Ms. Mei Lin Fung, Chair and Co-Founder, People Centered Internet, WSIS Gender Trendsetter
  • Mr. Michael Hodin, CEO, Global Coalition on Aging, Private Sector

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CoNGO Notes: For more information on the NGO Committee on Education, Learning, and Literacy, please visit facebook.com/NGOCELLatUN. 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. For more information on the NGO Committee on Financing for Development, please visit ngosonffd.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on Language and Languages, please contact the co-chairs at tonkin@hartford.edu or fmhult@umbc.edu.

Multi-year Expert Meeting on Trade, Services and Development

The ninth session of the Multi-year Expert Meeting on Trade, Services and Development will be held with physical and remote participation from 4 to 6 July 2022. The substantive topic of the session is the evolving landscape of digital trade in services.

Participation and Registration:

Member States are invited to nominate experts from the public and/or private sectors. Nominated experts are encouraged to participate in all sessions of the Multi-year Expert Meeting on Trade, Services and Development to ensure continuity. Each State is encouraged to nominate up to five experts to participate remotely. This session is open to all member States of UNCTAD. Other organizations, including specialized agencies, intergovernmental bodies and non-governmental organizations in the general and special categories, as well as academia, research institutions and the private sector, may participate as observers.

Online registration is mandatory for all those wishing to attend the meeting and is required in order to be included in the list of participants. Please register for this session at indico.un.org/event/1000971/.

Registration requires uploading an official letter of nomination to represent an organization at this meeting. For government representatives, a note verbale or an email from the permanent mission in Geneva will suffice. Further inquiries regarding registration should be sent to the UNCTAD secretariat, Intergovernmental Outreach and Support Service, Palais des Nations, CH-1211 Geneva 10; email: meetings@unctad.org and tncdb@unctad.org.

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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 Sustainable Development-NY, please visit ngocsd-ny.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on Sustainable Development-Vienna, please visit congocsd.wordpress.com.

[2022 WSIS Forum] Inclusiveness, Access to Information and Knowledge for All / Bridging Digital Divides

WSIS Forum 2022

High-Level Policy Session 7:

Inclusiveness, Access to Information and Knowledge for All / Bridging Digital Divides

Register here for this 7th session of the 2022 WSIS Forum (virtual and in-person participation available): itu.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJIkf-ysqzsuGtMorqFMzRQ1zPPF0GurUgte

About the Session:

The ability for all to access and contribute information, ideas and knowledge is essential in an inclusive Information Society.

The sharing and strengthening of global knowledge for development can be enhanced by removing barriers to equitable access to information for economic, social, political, health, cultural, educational, and scientific activities and by facilitating access to public domain information, including by universal design and the use of assistive technologies.

A rich public domain is an essential element for the growth of the Information Society, creating multiple benefits such as an educated public, new jobs, innovation, business opportunities, and the advancement of sciences. Information in the public domain should be easily accessible to support the Information Society, and protected from misappropriation. Public institutions such as libraries and archives, museums, cultural collections and other community-based access points should be strengthened so as to promote the preservation of documentary records and free and equitable access to information.

Read more about the Geneva Declaration of Principles here: itu.int/net/wsis/docs/geneva/official/dop.html

Speakers:

  • Moderator: Dr. Liberato Bautista (High-Level Track Facilitator), President, Conference of Non-Governmental Organizations in Consultative Relationship with the United Nations (CoNGO), United States of America
  • Mr. Paul Donohoe (WSIS Action Line Facilitator), Digital Economy and Trade Coordinator Universal Postal Union, Switzerland
  • H.E. Mr. Mustafa Jabbar [R], Minister Posts and Telecommunications Division, Ministry of Posts, Telecommunications and ICT, Bangladesh
  • H.E. Mr. Toelupe Poumulinuku Onesemo, Minister, Ministry of Communications and Information Technology, Samoa
  • H.E. Mr. Bogdan Dumea, State Secretary, Ministry of Research, Innovation and Digitalization, Romania
  • Ms. Aichatou Habibou Oumani, President, Niger Regulatory Authority for Electronic Communication and Postal Service, Niger
  • Mr. Dan Sjoblom, Director General, Swedish Post and Telecom Authority, Sweden
  • Mr. Bakhtiyar Mammadov, Deputy Head of Administration, Ministry of Digital Development and Transport, Azerbaijan
  • Dr. Caterina Berbenni-Rehm, Founder & CEO, PROMIS@Service, Italy
  • Ms. Tatyana Kanzaveli, CEO, Open Health Network, United States of America
  • Mr. Ahm Bazlur Rahman [R], Chief Executive Officer, Bangladesh NGOs Network for Radio & Communication (BNNRC), Bangladesh

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CoNGO Notes: For more information on the NGO Committee on Education, Learning and Literacy, please visit facebook.com/NGOCELLatUN. For more information on the NGO Committee on Social Development, please visit ngosocdev.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on Language and Languages, please email the co-chairs at fmhult@umbc.edu or tonkin@hartford.edu. 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. For more information on the NGO Committee on Financing for Development, please visit ngosonffd.org

High-Level Sessions of WSIS Forum 2022

Following the Opening Ceremony, join WSIS for three more high-level sessions

10:30–10:40 Remarks by the Chairman of the WSIS Forum 2022 and Announcement of the High-level Track Facilitators

  • Mr. Houlin Zhao, Secretary-General, ITU
  • Chairman Elect: H.E. Mr. Isa Ali Ibrahim, Minister of Communications and Digital Economy of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy, Nigeria

– Mr. Antonio Vitorino, Director General, IOM (video message)

– Ms. Maimunah Mohd Sharif, Executive Director, UN Habitat (video message)

– Ms. Sima Bahous, Executive Director, UN Women (video message)

 

10:40-11:40 High-level Strategic Dialogue with Partners: ICTs for Well-Being, Inclusion and Resilience: WSIS Cooperation for Accelerating Progress on the SDGs

  • Mr. Malcolm Johnson, Deputy Secretary-General, ITU (Moderator)
  • Ms. Mashael Ali Yousef Al Hammadi, Acting Assistant Undersecretary of Government Information Technology Affairs, Ministry of Communications and Information Technology, Qatar (Gold Partner)
  • Mr. Yoichi Kanda, Director, Global Strategy Division, Global Strategy Bureau, Japan – Partner for Specific Activities
  • Mr. Alpesh Shah, Senior Director of Global Business Strategy & Intelligence Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) – Partner for Specific Activities
  • Dr. Zhong Luo, Chair, ITU-T SG16 VP, Standards & Industry Development, Huawei Technologies Co., Ltd., China, Partner for Specific Activities
  • Ms. Janet Umutesi, Senior Manager, Quality Assurance – RURA & ITU Direct Focal Point, Rwanda – Contributing Partner
  • TBC, Confederation of Switzerland – Contributing Partner
  • Ms. Constance Bommelaer de Leusse, Vice President, Institutional Relations and Empowerment, Internet Society (ISOC) – Contributing Partner
  • EY – Contributing Partner (TBC)

–  Ms. Olga Algayerova, Executive Secretary, UN ECE (video message)

– Ms. Armida Alisjahbana, Executive Secretary, UN ESCAP (video message)

– Mr. Nikhil Seth, Executive Director, UNITAR (video message)

 

11:40-12:40  High-Level Strategic Dialogue – WSIS+20: Multistakeholder Digital Cooperation for global development (WSIS Action Lines to achieve the SDGs)

  • Mr. Mario Maniewicz, BR Director (Moderator)
  • Ms. Maria-Francesca Spatolisano, Acting Envoy on Technology, Office of the Secretary-General’s Envoy on Technology UN Tech Envoy (video message)
  • H.E. Mr. Chris Philp, Minister for Technology and the Digital Economy, United Kingdom – Supporting Partner (video message)
  • H.E. Mr. Kwame McCoy, MP, Minister, Within Office of the Prime Minister of Guyana, Guyana
  • Mrs. Maitseo Ratladi, Director Broadband & Universal Access and Services, Botswana Communications Regulatory Authority (BOCRA)
  • Mr. Mansour Al-Qurashi, Chair, CSTD (TBC)
  • Mr. Michael Hodin, GCOA – Supporting Partner
  • Ms. Moira de Roche, Vice President, IFIP – Supporting Partner

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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 Education, Learning and Literacy, please visit facebook.com/NGOCELLatUN. For more information on the NGO Committee on Language and Languages, please email the co-chairs at tonkin@hartford.edu or fmhult@umbc.edu.

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.

ECOSOC Forum on Financing for Development

The ECOSOC Forum on Financing for Development follow-up (FfD Forum) is an intergovernmental process with universal participation mandated to review the Addis Ababa Action Agenda (Addis Agenda) and other financing for development outcomes and the means of implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The event brings together heads of state and government, ministers and high-level government officials as well as senior officials of international organizations. Civil society organizations, the business sector and local authorities will also be represented.

Additional information on preparations for the Forum, including the programme, outcome, substantive background, stakeholder participation and side events, will be made available here: un.org/development/desa/financing/what-we-do/ECOSOC/financing-development-forum/FFD-forum-home

The UN does not charge a fee for registration and participation. For any questions, please contact the Financing for Sustainable Development Office at ffdforum@un.org.

Register here: un.org/development/desa/financing/what-we-do/ECOSOC/financing-development-forum/registration

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