digital economy

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.

The global debt crisis and the role of private creditors

Sharing responsibilities as well as benefits? The global debt crisis and the role of private creditors

The results of the G20 initiatives to relieve the debt of the Global South, which has been hard hit economically by the pandemic, are sobering. Many eligible countries are reluctant to enter into negotiations. They fear that debt relief will cut off their long-term access to private capital markets and cause them to lose the confidence of private investors. These concerns have been reinforced by creditors, especially from the private sector. And the G20? Despite its commitment to private sector participation in the Common Framework for Debt Treatments, it has so far not found the political will to make such participation mandatory. However, this would be a key step to shield debtor countries from uncooperative creditors and achieve substantial debt relief.

In the run-up to the joint meeting of G20 health and finance ministers this October we have invited international experts from academia, government, and financial institutions to discuss the following questions among others:

  • Is there empirical evidence that debt relief excludes countries from much-needed development finance?
  • On what grounds could the participation from the private sector in official debt relief initiatives, comparable to other creditors, be expected?
  • In what ways can the G20 compel private sector participation and equal burden-sharing?

Further event details will be forthcoming, but please stay apprised of updates here: https://ny.fes.de/

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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-New York, please visit ngocsd-ny.org.

Second UN Global Sustainable Transport Conference

The Second United Nations Global Sustainable Transport Conference will take place from 14 to 16 October 2021, in Beijing, China.  It will bring together representatives of Governments, UN system and other international organizations, the private sector, civil society and other stakeholders to discuss opportunities, challenges and solutions towards achieving sustainable transport worldwide and indicate a way forward for sustainable transport to help achieve the objectives of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Paris Agreement on climate change in the Decade of Action.

The Conference programme, link to registration, related concept notes and other background documentation are available on the Conference website: un.org/en/conferences/transport2021

Due to the ongoing global COVID-19 pandemic, the Conference will be held in a “hybrid format” with virtual and in-person participation. The in-person participation will be limited to delegations and other participants who are already in Beijing. Registration for in-person participation is open from 1 September to 1 October 2021 at the link above.

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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 Migration, please visit ngo-migration.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 Civil Society Forum

The hosting of UNCTAD 15 in October of 2021, by a Small Island Developing State (SIDS) offers a critical opportunity to ground the discussions in the present and future realities and prospects of the most vulnerable countries and their populations.

The theme of UNCTAD 15, From Inequality and Vulnerability to Prosperity for All, provides a platform to re-energize and refocus development efforts and commitments. It also presents a unique opportunity for member states to respond strategically by reinforcing the value of multilateralism and providing a renewed mandate for a strengthened UNCTAD.

This Civil Society Forum is intended to contribute to the transformative discourse that needs to take place to address some of the systemic and structural inequalities in the trade and development space. The Day 3 agenda includes:

Closing

14:45-15:00 (CEST) • 08:45–09:00 (AST)

Speakers:

  • Ms. Kozel Peters-Frazer, Caribbean Policy Development Centre and host country civil society coordinating organization
  • Ms. Arlette Verploegh, UNCTAD
  • Ms. Shantal Munro-Knight, Barbados UNCTAD15 Civil Society Forum Lead

Solidarity and system change are the only way forward to overcome the global economic, health, and human rights crisis: feminist perspectives from Asia and the Pacific

15:05–16:20 (CEST) • 09:05–10:20 (AST) | side event organized by Asia Pacific Forum on Women, Law and Development

Exploring the divide between the global north and south

15:05–16:20 (CEST) • 09:05–10:20 (AST) | side event organized by Tax Justice Network Africa

Sustainable solutions to debt crisis, the role of UNCTAD 

16:25–17:40 (CEST) • 10:25–11:40 (AST) | side event organized by the Global Policy Forum

How do we build a just recovery from the COVID crisis?

16:25–17:40 (CEST) • 10:25–11:40 (AST) | side event organized by Friends of the Earth International

Discussion on the Civil Society Declaration

17:40–19:40 (CEST) • 11:40–13:40 (AST) | The session will provide for discussion and confirmation of the Civil Society Declaration. The Caribbean Policy Development Centre is the host country civil society organization.

Access the sessions here: wtvglobal.6connex.eu/event/UNCTAD15-Barbados/login

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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.

Sustainable Ageing in a Digital World

Objectives:

An increasing number of concerns have been raised regarding the risks of leaving vulnerable groups behind in a hyper-digitalised world which includes older and marginalised populations. Therefore, digital inclusion needs to be a top priority in terms of public policy making from a human rights and from an economic productivity point of view. The latter is of particular importance for countries that do not yet have an adequate social safety net for their citizens and also for countries faced with the challenge of older persons soon outnumbering the younger population. Responsive policies could empower the older population who are not yet digitally proficient to reap the potential benefits of the digital technology and support their participation in an increasingly digitalized economy and society.

An ageing workforce poses a known dilemma to companies. Older employees who hold more manual and less highly skilled jobs tend to be less familiar with ICT and less equipped to participate in today’s digitalised workplace. Excluding older workers and employees from acquiring digital literacy and minimal competence to work in an ICT dense workplace would reduce retraining costs but might jeopardize productivity and externalise social costs. For example, in service sector where companies’ productivity might actually increase with age due to accumulation of tacit knowledge and abilities to network across age groups with clients. This will take younger employees more time, emotional intelligence and social capital. Hence productivity might be higher for a socially skillful older staff. While many routine works continue to be necessary within an ICT integrated work environment, older workers, arguably with greater patience, are better equipped to carry out the more routine data processing tasks with less errors and need for rework.

Inclusion of older workers in the development of digital competence would also make sense since many of the customer services and other more routine type of work connected to data platform interactions will continue to require a human touch for all age groups. A later life work pattern will become the norm in many of the ageing societies. Hence, acquiring digital literacy would enable older workers to remain active and productive longer. The aim of this panel is to broaden the public’s understanding about the impact of digital technology on ageing in the context of the fourth industrial revolution (4IR) which has accelerated the coverage and depth of digitalization in both public and private domains.

The key note speech will be based on the newly published policy brief on “Ageing in the Digital Era” by the UNECE and highlight the barriers to digital technology adoption and the use of digital tools in later life and suggest action areas for policy makers. Panelists will discuss various policy considerations for governments to adopt.

Learn more and register here: https://hopin.com/events/unisa-iasia-hybrid-conference

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CoNGO Notes: For more information on the NGO Committee on Ageing-NY, please visit ngocoa-ny.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on Ageing-Vienna, please visit ngoageingvie.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on Ageing-Geneva, please visit ageingcommitteegeneva.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on Intergenerational Solidarity, please email the vice chair at susanneseperson@gmail.com. 

Build Your House on Your Own Pillars: Key Issues for Developing Countries at the OECD Inclusive Framework Negotiations on the Taxation of the Digital Economy

Key Issues for Developing Countries at the OECD Inclusive Framework Negotiations on the Taxation of the Digital Economy

15 June 2021, 13:00 – 15:00 (CET)

The South Centre and the Global Alliance for Tax Justice invite you to a webinar titled Build Your House on Your Own Pillars: Key Issues for Developing Countries at the OECD Inclusive Framework Negotiations on the Taxation of the Digital EconomyThe webinar will feature prominent voices of the Global South, including negotiators in the Inclusive Framework, who will share their views on the key issues for developing countries in the “Two Pillar Approach” on taxing the digitalized economy. It seeks to introduce a new taxing right in Pillar One focused on reforms to existing nexus and profit allocation rules, while Pillar Two is focused on a global minimum tax. The Two Pillar approach aims to introduce new elements into international taxation, such as limited formulary apportionment, multilateral dispute resolution and the allocation of taxing rights through a multilateral agreement. There are several pending issues which need resolution and are of importance to developing countries.

The webinar will be a panel discussion followed up with a Question-and-Answer session.

Registration: https://zoom.us/meeting/register/tJAlcuGrrDwoE9YjHBEhFvPPgTRl17BO-HtF

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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.

[UNCTAD15 civil society discussion] Frontier technologies, the digital economy and development

#UNCTAD15 Civil Society Discussion Series

This event is part of a series of online discussions with civil society held in preparation for the UNCTAD15 ministerial conference that will take place in the week of 3 October 2021.

Senior officials from UNCTAD and civil society leaders will discuss issues related to frontier technologies, the digital economy and development. The key issues identified will be reported to member states as part of the intergovernmental preparatory process for UNCTAD15.

The event, which will be opened by Shamika Sirimanne, director of UNCTAD’s division on technology and logistics, is open to the public.

Registration is mandatory: unctad.us17.list-manage.com/subscribe?u=69d5b141e8ba277f176908a58&id=856c168864

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

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

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