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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.

Economic Empowerment of Women in Rural India

Join us for this HLPF side event featuring a lively panel discussion followed by an entrepreneurial showcase.

Register here: https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZApcu2tpjoiGdMZpmkCuFutzIkkr9mdBP3N?mc_cid=13e5b4d572&mc_eid=e1bba69d46

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CoNGO Notes: For more information on the NGO Committee on the Status of Women-NY, a Substantive Committee of the Conference of NGOs in Consultative Relationship at the United Nations, please visit  ngocsw.org. Likewise, for more information on the NGO Committee on Social Development, please visit ngosocdev.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on Migration, please visit ngo-migration.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on the Status of Women-Vienna, please visit ngocswvienna.org. For more information on the NGO Committee to Stop Trafficking in Persons, please visit ngocstip.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on the Status of Women-Geneva, please visit  ngocsw-geneva.ch. For more information on the NGO Committee on Financing for Development, please visit ngosonffd.org

2021 SDG Investment Fair

You are invited to the United Nations SDG Investment Fair, 14-15 December 2021.

The SDG Investment Fair brings together top institutional investors with sustainable development projects in developing countries. Out of a pool of applicants, 3 countries are chosen to present their projects as investors of all sizes scout for lucrative investment opportunities across Asia, Africa, and Latin America that advance the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). In September, the Fair was held virtually with Pakistan, Rwanda, and Dominican Republic showcasing their sustainable development projects in manufacturing, infrastructure, and agri-business. The Fair returns this December amidst growing demand for a dedicated space to connect investors with impactful business opportunities. The finalists taking stage at the December fair are Ukraine, Morocco, and Namibia. As the pandemic restrictions begin to lift, the SDG Investment Fair in December 2021 will offer both in-person and virtual spaces for networking, pitches of projects, investor exchanges, knowledge sharing, and informational sessions. The Fair will feature:

  • Presentations of investment opportunities in SDG projects
  • Expert panel discussion on leveraging Public Development Banks to drive financing for the SDGs
  • Informational session on available resources on SDG investments from within the UN ecosystem
  • Direct interaction between countries and investors

To register, please click here or visit our website for more information, including a detailed agenda. Best regards,The SDG Investment Fair team

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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.

UNCTAD Gender and Development Forum

UNCTAD Gender and Development Forum

Participation:

The two events are open to all member States of UNCTAD and to observers from the public. Speakers will include ministers and practitioners and representatives of civil society, the private sector and academia from all regions of the world. Registration for the Forum should be completed online at https://indico.un.org/event/1000156/.

The two UNCTAD-led events of the Forum will be held with remote participation, with simultaneous interpretation in English, French and Spanish. These events will also be streamed live, in English only. Registration for these events should be completed online as follows:

High-level panel: us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_gQjtXzMWQ9KnO9zbBl–Nw

Workshop: us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_BVKquoVASfCy9xqNmKmRbg

High-level panel discussion: Shaping gender-responsive economies and societies – What role for trade?

27 September 2021, 4–6.30 p.m. (CEST)

This high-level panel will be results-oriented. Speakers will share their experiences in dealing with gender and economic issues. They will present the goals achieved and the shortcomings faced during their journeys, whether in policymaking, advocacy, business or research. They will also provide concrete ideas of how the work of UNCTAD with regard to trade and gender may further contribute to the goal of empowering women and creating equal opportunities for all in the current social and economic environment.

Session I: Gender equality and trade policymaking – The role of bilateral, regional and global trade policy initiatives alongside domestic policies

Session II: Essay competition on trade and gender

Session III: Trade as a driver of gender equality in the post-pandemic recovery – Perspectives from civil society, the private sector and academia

Closing: Gender and trade at UNCTAD – Future prospect

Gender and development workshop: Our work makes a difference

28 September 2021, 4–6.30 p.m. (CEST)

This workshop will showcase the impacts of hands-on activities conducted by UNCTAD to advance gender equality and women’s empowerment in the fields of trade and gender, trade facilitation, data and statistics, electronic commerce and entrepreneurship. It will also provide for concrete directions for the future role of UNCTAD in contributing to the goal of empowering women and creating equal opportunities for all, given the current social and economic environment

Session I: UNCTAD capacity-building initiative on trade and gender

Session II: Gender perspectives in trade facilitation reforms

Session III: Better data for gender inclusive trade policy

Session IV: eTrade for Women

Session V: Women’s entrepreneurship

For enquiries related to the programmes, please contact Ms. Simonetta Zarrilli, Chief, Trade, Gender and Development Programme, Division on International Trade and Commodities, email: simonetta.zarrilli@unctad.org. For enquiries related to registration and logistics, please contact gender@unctad.org.

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CoNGO Notes: For more information on the NGO Committee on the Status of Women-NY, please visit ngocsw.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on the Status of Women-Vienna, please visit ngocswvienna.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on the Status of Women-Geneva, please visit  ngocsw-geneva.ch. For more information on the NGO Committee on Social Development, please visit ngosocdev.org

Sixth Annual SDG Business Forum

The sixth annual SDG Business Forum will take place virtually on Wednesday, 22 September 2021 from 7:00 AM to 12:00 PM, EDT in conjunction with Uniting Business LIVE, during the High-Level week of the 76th session of the United Nations General Assembly.

Co-hosted by the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs, and the UN Global Compact, SDG Business Forum is one of the largest annual gatherings of business leaders at the United Nations.

It offers a unique opportunity to drive pivotal momentum towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals and leveraging the power of the private sector in co-creating lasting solutions for some of the most critical issues of our times, such as sustainable and resilient recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic; climate change and nature loss; social inequality and economic exclusion. This year’s event will be closely related to the themes of several United Nations conferences in 2021, including the High-Level Dialogue on Energy, the United Nations Food Systems Summit, the Second United Nations Global Sustainable Transport Conference, while building momentum for the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26).

Confirmed speakers for the 2021 programme include the United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed, Special Representative for Sustainable Energy for All Ms. Damilola Ogunbiyi, Special Envoy for the Food Systems Summit Dr. Agnes Kalibata, HRH Princess Noura Turki Al-Saud of Saudi Arabia, the Honorable Prime Minister of Fiji Mr. Commodore Josaia V. Bainimarama and several senior ministers from Member States, as well as prominent business leaders such as Executive Chairman of Mastercard Mr. Ajay Banga, Executive Director of ITC Ms. Pamela Coke Hamilton, CEO of Alecta Mr. Magnus Billing, Chairperson and CEO of Kokusai Kogyo Ms. Sandra Wu, CEO of GIST Advisory Mr. Pavan Sukhdev, among others.

Registration

Registration for the SDG Business Forum can be accessed through the Uniting Business Live digital venue. One day access to the SDG Business Forum is complimentary. Participants from Governments, UN System, civil society organizations and other stakeholder groups also have the option to sign up for complimentary access to all three days of Uniting Business Live with the code DESAGUEST.

For more information on the event, topics, and confirmed speakers, please visit the SDG Business Forum webpage: http://sdgbusinessforum.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-Vienna, please visit congocsd.wordpress.com. For more information on the NGO Committee on Sustainable Development-NY, please visit ngocsd-ny.org

Intergovernmental Group of Experts on Consumer Protection Law and Policy [5th session]

The fifth session of the Intergovernmental Group of Experts on Consumer Protection Law and Policy will be held on 5 and 6 July 2021. The session will open at 10 am on Monday, 5 July, in room XIX of the Palais des Nations. The extent of physical and/or virtual participation will depend on the prevailing conditions at the time.

Background and purpose of the meeting:

In line with the agreed conclusions adopted by the Eighth United Nations Conference to Review All Aspects of the Set of Multilaterally Agreed Equitable Principles and Rules for the Control of Restrictive Business Practices (TD/RBP/CONF.9/9), held on 19–23 October 2020, the deliberations at the fifth session of the Intergovernmental Group of Experts will focus on the following topics:

a) Report on the implementation of the United Nations guidelines for consumer protection by member States and relevant stakeholders;

b) Latest developments in legal and institutional frameworks: UNCTAD world consumer protection map;

c) Report of the working groups on consumer product safety: modalities for the prevention of cross-border distribution of unsafe consumer products and on consumer protection in electronic commerce;

d) Report of the working group on modalities of UNCTAD voluntary peer reviews of competition and consumer protection law and policy;

e) Consumer protection needs of vulnerable and disadvantaged consumers in connection with public utilities;

f) Consumer law, policy and regulatory actions in response to and in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic;

g) Voluntary peer review on consumer protection law and policy: Chile;

h) Review of capacity-building on and technical assistance in consumer protection law and policy;

i) Provisional agenda for the sixth session of the Intergovernmental Group of Experts on Consumer Protection Law and Policy;

j) Adoption of the report of the fifth session of the Intergovernmental Group of Experts on Consumer Protection Law and Policy

Written contributions In order to facilitate the deliberations and the informal exchange of experiences and best practices on the topics to be discussed, member States and observers are requested to submit written contributions to the UNCTAD secretariat by Friday, 4 June 2021, to allow participants to prepare themselves for the meeting.

Participation:

This meeting is open to all member States of UNCTAD. Other organizations, including specialized agencies, intergovernmental bodies and non-governmental organizations in the general category may participate as observers. Online registration, at Intergovernmental Group of Experts on Consumer Protection Law and Policy, fifth session, is mandatory for all those wishing to attend the meeting and is required for inclusion in the list of participants. Early registration (before 25 June 2021) is advisable so that timely approval may be received for the issuance of a ground pass to the Palais des Nations. 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 concerned in Geneva will suffice. Further enquiries regarding registration should be sent to the UNCTAD secretariat, Intergovernmental Support Service, Palais des Nations, CH-1211 Geneva 10; email: meetings@unctad.org.

Further information and contact details:

Substantive and other inquiries should be addressed to the UNCTAD secretariat, Competition and Consumer Policies Branch; fax: +41 22 917 0044; email: jacqueline.bouvier@unctad.org

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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 ngocsdvienna.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 Financing for Development, please visit ngosonffd.org

Intergovernmental Group of Experts on Consumer Protection Law and Policy

The fifth session of the Intergovernmental Group of Experts on Consumer Protection Law and Policy will be held on 5 and 6 July 2021.

Register here: unctad.org/meeting/intergovernmental-group-experts-consumer-protection-law-and-policy-fifth-session

The session will open at 10 am on Monday, 5 July, in room XIX of the Palais des Nations. The extent of physical and/or virtual participation will depend on the prevailing conditions at the time.

Background and purpose of the meeting

In line with the agreed conclusions adopted by the Eighth United Nations Conference to Review All Aspects of the Set of Multilaterally Agreed Equitable Principles and Rules for the Control of Restrictive Business Practices (TD/RBP/CONF.9/9), held on 19–23 October 2020, the deliberations at the fifth session of the Intergovernmental Group of Experts will focus on the following topics:

  • a) Report on the implementation of the United Nations guidelines for consumer protection by member States and relevant stakeholders;
  • b) Latest developments in legal and institutional frameworks: UNCTAD world consumer protection map;
  • c) Report of the working groups on consumer product safety: modalities for the prevention of cross-border distribution of unsafe consumer products and on consumer protection in electronic commerce;
  • d) Report of the working group on modalities of UNCTAD voluntary peer reviews of competition and consumer protection law and policy;
  • e) Consumer protection needs of vulnerable and disadvantaged consumers in connection with public utilities;
  • f) Consumer law, policy and regulatory actions in response to and in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic;
  • g) Voluntary peer review on consumer protection law and policy: Chile;
  • h) Review of capacity-building on and technical assistance in consumer protection law and policy;
  • i) Provisional agenda for the sixth session of the Intergovernmental Group of Experts on Consumer Protection Law and Policy;
  • j) Adoption of the report of the fifth session of the Intergovernmental Group of Experts on Consumer Protection Law and Policy

This meeting is open to all member States of UNCTAD. Other organizations, including specialized agencies, intergovernmental bodies and non-governmental organizations in the general category may participate as observers.

Online registration, at Intergovernmental Group of Experts on Consumer Protection Law and Policy, fifth session, is mandatory for all those wishing to attend the meeting and is required for inclusion in the list of participants. Early registration (before 25 June 2021) is advisable so that timely approval may be received for the issuance of a ground pass to the Palais des Nations.

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 concerned in Geneva will suffice. Further enquiries regarding registration should be sent to the UNCTAD secretariat, Intergovernmental Support Service, Palais des Nations, CH-1211 Geneva 10; email: meetings@unctad.org.

Substantive and other inquiries should be addressed to the UNCTAD secretariat, Competition and Consumer Policies Branch; fax: +41 22 917 0044; email: jacqueline.bouvier@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 Social Development, please visit ngosocdev.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on Sustainable Development-Vienna, please visit ngocsdvienna.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on Sustainable Development-NY, please visit ngocsd-ny.org

Sustainable Recovery pledge launch

Join the launch of the Sustainable Recovery pledge

COVID-19 continues to have a devastating effect on people and countries across the world. Not only does it take lives and affect livelihoods, economies and societies – it also poses serious threats to the enjoyment of human rights.  And it is hampering progress towards achieving the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

As countries are preparing to build back after the pandemic, it is important that this is done using the 2030 Agenda, grounded in States’ human rights obligations, as well as the Paris Agreement, as the blueprint. But how exactly?

Join the high-level online event on Wednesday 30 June at 2:00-3:00 PM (CEST) and follow the launch of the Sustainable Recovery Pledge which until now has backing from 39 states across the world.

Learn more & register here: humanrights.dk/events/launch-pledge-building-better-future-all-human-rights-its-heart

Among speakers will be senior UN officials and high level members of governments, including:

  • UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Ms. Michelle Bachelet
  • Minister of Foreign Affairs of Denmark, Mr. Jeppe Kofod
  • Minister of Foreign Affairs of Chile, Mr. Andrés Allamand

You will also meet representatives from civil society and business alongside human rights experts. The event will have interpretation to English, Spanish and French. It will be recorded and made publicly available.

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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 ngocsdvienna.org. For more information on the NGO Committee for Rare Diseases, please visit ngocommitteerarediseases.org.

International Day of Families: Family-Friendly Business Enterprises

Dear Colleagues,

It is a pleasure to invite you to a virtual high-level side event organized by the Partnership for Families (Brazil, Hungary, and Poland) on the occasion of the International Day of Families.  The event will take place on Tuesday, 18 May 2021, from 10 am – 11:30 am. New York time.

To attend the event, please register on the following link: https://forms.gle/zmKEqdnLNC1evp1dA. The connection details for the event will be sent by email to registered participants.

Background:

During the 58th Session of the Commission for Social Development (CSocD58), which took place in New York in February 2020, the “Partnership for Families” initiative was launched with the aim of raising awareness and promoting families and family-friendly policies in the international agenda. As we celebrate the 2021 International Day of Families, the Partnership will hold a virtual panel to discuss policies to promote and support family-friendly business enterprises.

In the Side Event to be held on the occasion of the International Day of Families, the members of the Partnership will present a scientific and evidence-based approach on the implementation of policies to support family-friendly business enterprises, and how they can improve the well-being of families, which also translates into the general well-being of the society on a country level. Such practices also promote social and economic development, the enjoyment of human rights and support individuals and their families all over the world. Considering all systemic changes in the world of work caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, we expect a comprehensive debate over this increasingly influential theme during the scheduled event.

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CoNGO Notes: For more information on the NGO Committee on the Family, please visit ngofamilyny.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on Social Development, please visit ngosocdev.org.

UN Webinar on the COVID-19 Impact on Transfer Pricing

The COVID-19 outbreak is not only a health crisis, but a jobs crisis, a humanitarian crisis and a development crisis of unprecedented scale and dimension and it demands unprecedented efforts, including to finance the response and recovery.

The UN Webinar on the COVID-19 Impact on Transfer Pricing will be a 4-hour virtual learning event on the COVID-19 pandemic impact on the policy and administrative aspects of the transfer pricing analyses for developing countries in their efforts to mobilize domestic resources for response and recovery. Given the relevance of the topic to stakeholders from all regions and multiple disciplines, the event will be open to the public. The forthcoming update of the Manual on Transfer Pricing for Developing Countries, approved by UN Committee of Experts on International Cooperation in Tax Matters in its 21st Session, will be considered in light of the COVID-19-related crisis.

Register here!

The webinar is designed to:

• Give participants a better understanding of how the COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted business’ value chains and how the rapid changes and economic downturn have impacted the transfer pricing position of taxpayers and posed a challenge to tax administrations in assessing transfer prices under these circumstances.

• Identify some of the specific issues faced by developing countries on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the transfer pricing position of their taxpayers and suggest practical solutions to these challenges.

• Give particular attention to the issue of the lack of local comparables to undertake the transfer pricing analysis based on the arm’s length principle. It is acknowledged that this issue is not exclusive of the COVID-19 pandemic, but has been exacerbated by it.

• It is acknowledged that while many businesses have incurred losses, some may have experienced extraordinary gains. It is important for developing countries to identify these different circumstances and have a better understanding of how to deal with extraordinary losses, as undue treatment of losses can further erode the tax base.

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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 ngocsdvienna.org

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