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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.

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

UNCTAD15 civil society discussion on frontier technologies, the digital economy and development

Join us for a pre-event on the road to UNCTAD15. This discussion is the second part of a series of online discussions with civil society held in preparation for the UNCTAD15 ministerial conference.

The dialogue aims to raise awareness of civil society representatives on the issues of technology transfer, e-commerce and the digital economy. The outcome of the session will be presented to member states as part of the intergovernmental preparatory process for UNCTAD15. Find out more here.

The event is open to the public, but registration is mandatory. Register here!

Questions for discussion

Technology transfer

  • What would be the elements of an agenda for technology transfer that include civil society’s concerns and aspirations?
  • What are the challenges and opportunities that frontier technologies can bring?
  • What are the mechanisms to accelerate technology transfer and ensure that it benefits the most disadvantaged communities?

E-commerce and digital economy

  • What would be the elements of an agenda for the deployment of e-commerce and digital economy in developing countries that include civil society’s concerns and aspirations?
  • What are the challenges and opportunities that frontier technologies can bring?
  • What are the mechanisms to accelerate the adoption of e-.commerce and digital economy, ensuring that they benefit the most disadvantaged communities?

Programme

Opening remarks:

  • Ms. Shamika Sirimanne, Director, Division on Technology and Logistics, UNCTAD

Keynote address on the agenda for technology transfer that includes civil society’s concerns and aspirations:

  • Ms. Neth Daño, Coordinator and Asia Director ETC Group, the Philippines

Keynote address on mechanisms to accelerate the adoption of e-commerce and the digital economy leaning no one behind:

  • Mr. Parminder Jeet Singh, Executive Director, IT for Change

Followed by an Interactive dialogue with civil society representatives:

  • Moderated by Ms. Chee Yoke Ling, Third World Network

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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 Education, Learning, and Literacy, please visit facebook.com/NGOCELLatUN. 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

[UN observance] World Radio Day

Radio hosts at Gao Community Radio.

Each year on February 13, the United Nations commemorates World Radio Day. To learn why and how, explore un.org/en/observances/radio-day.

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CoNGO Notes: For more information on the NGO Committee on Social Development-New York, please visit ngosocdev.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on Social Development-Vienna, please visit ngocsdvienna.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on Education, Learning, and Literacy, please visit facebook.com/NGOCELLatUN