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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.

20th YMCA World Council: “Ignite”

On 3 July 2022, the 20th YMCA World Council will begin. For the first time ever, it’s going to be a hybrid event. We will meet in person in Aarhus, Denmark, and online. We continue to monitor the COVID situation, and try and do the right thing. The priority is for as many as possible to meet, one way or the other, at another vital moment for the global YMCA Movement. Why?

Because our world and our YMCA has been turned on its head by this pandemic, and we need to reconnect: we’ve missed each other. We’re ready to respond to new learning, new imperatives, new roles, and new methods in supporting young people and their communities.

Which is why the World Council theme in 2022 is simply ‘IGNITE.’ It’s a moment to provide the spark and light the flame to take us forward. Specifically, we’ll be igniting our vision, our collaboration, and our solutions. The World Council itself is the global YMCA Movement’s highest decision-making body, bringing together all 120 National YMCA Movements. More than that, it’s the biggest and most important shared space we have.

What do we hope to achieve? At least four things:

First, agreeing and adopting a new Movement-wide strategy, as we look towards a 2030 horizon. Imagine: wherever we are in the world, we all agree on a common vision, mission and goals. Our ‘North Star.’

Second, showcasing ‘solutions’, and specifically ‘youth-led solutions, sharing what we’ve done in identifying, supporting and seed-funding young people’s responses to their own challenges in their own communities, in areas like climate, jobs and mental health and working together – ‘collaborating’ in ‘co-labs’ across the generations – to develop and launch new youth solutions in line with Vision 2030.

Third, strengthening our governance as we elect new officers.

And fourth, just enjoying ‘family’ and fun, as we celebrate and enjoy who we are and where we’re from. Imagine: the ‘great global good’ of the YMCA at play. We really do refuel at World Council….before we ‘IGNITE.’

In person, we’ll do all this in Aarhus, Denmark’s second city. A green and beautiful place, an old city with a young population, a port city with a view on the world, and the stunning conference facilities of the city’s world-famous Concert Hall. We’ll keep you posted about all the practical details. Register from 1st November here.

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CoNGO Notes: For more information on CoNGO–the Conference of NGOs in Consultative Relationship with the United Nations, visit www.ngocongo.org. For specific information about how CoNGO and its substantive committees (also known as NGO Committees) work on matters related to the subject of the event on this page, visit NGO Committees

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.

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.

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.

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

Understanding Public Attitudes towards Migrants Beyond Polarization

Dear GMPA network,

To mark the 2021 International Migrants Day, the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) – the Office of the Co-ordinator of OSCE Economic and Environmental Activities (OCEEA) – in cooperation with the International Labour Organization (ILO) and the European University Institute (EUI) are glad to invite you to participate to the event Understanding Public Attitudes towards Migrants Beyond Polarization, taking place on Friday 17 December from 14:30 to 17:30.

By discussing the challenges related to an increasing polarized debate about migration and migrants, the event will offer the opportunity to illustrate the E-MINDFUL project that OCEEA, ILO and EUI are implementing jointly. Concept Note and draft programme herewith enclosed for further information.

Addressed to delegations of the OSCE participating States and Partners for Co-operation, the ILO’s constituents, key stakeholders, experts, civil society representatives and academia, the event will be organized in blended format, combining online participation via VTC Zoom with limited in-person access to the OSCE Hofburg premises in Heldenplatz, Vienna, Neuer Saal.

The working language will be English. 

Kindly register by sending an email to Magda Jugheli: Magda.Jugheli@osce.org before Wednesday 15 December. When registering, participants are requested to indicate if they will participate at the Hofburg in Vienna, or virtually via zoom.

Looking forward to your participation.

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CoNGO Notes: For more information on the NGO Committee on Migration, please visit ngo-migration.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on Disarmament, Peace, and Security, please visit ngocdps.wordpress.com. For more information on the NGO Committee on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, please visit facebook.com/NGOCoRIP.

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.

Democracy for Human Rights Through CEDAW

Date: Thursday, 9 December 2021Time: 11:00am EST Find your timezone here.On Thursday, 9 December, NGO CSW/NY will be hosting an official side event of The Summit for Democracy convened by the U.S. Department of State, Democracy for Human Rights Through CEDAW. The interactive panel will bring together human rights experts, political leaders, and grass-roots women’s groups to showcase a Cities for CEDAW (Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women) campaign.

Register here!

Speakers:
  • Soon-Young Yoon, UN Representative for the International Alliance of Women
  • Houry Geudelekian, Chair, NGO CSW/NY
  • Dubravka Simonovic, Former Member of the CEDAW Committee & Former Special Rapporteur on Violence Against Women
  • Rangita de Silva de Alwas, Assistant Dean of International Affairs, University of Pennsylvania Law School
  • Alda Facio, Former Member of the UN Working Group on Discrimination against Women and Girls
  • Krishanti Dharmaraj, Executive Director, Center for Women’s Global Leadership, Rutgers University
  • Moderated by Terry Dale Ince, CEDAW Committee of Trinidad/Tobago

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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-Geneva, please visit ngocsw-geneva.ch. For more information on the NGO Committee on the Status of Women-Vienna, please visit ngocswvienna.org

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