financial inclusion

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.

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.

Implementing the CSW66 Agreed Conclusions: The Case for Widows, Women’s Land Ownership, and Inheritance

Don’t miss NGO CSW/NY‘s last monthly meeting until September!

Meeting discussion will center on advocacy for the implementation of the CSW66 Agreed Conclusions with a focus on widows, women’s land ownership, and inheritance.

Register here!

Please note that this meeting will be in English. However, the recording will be available with subtitles in the 6 UN languages on our Youtube channel.

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CoNGO Notes: The NGO Committee on the Status of Women-NY is a Substantive Committee of the Conference of NGOs in Consultative Relationship with the United Nations. Likewise, 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 Financing for Development, please visit ngosonffd.org

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.

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

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.

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.

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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