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COVID-19 has significantly changed the way UN/CEFACT works. As the focal point within the United Nations Economic and Social Council for trade facilitation recommendations and electronic business standards, UN/CEFACT typically convenes experts twice per year to a week-long Forum to discuss current
Supporting countries in the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) is UNECE’s key priority. The SDGs are embedded in all UNECE workstreams, including trade. Sustainable trade reforms can promote inclusive growth, job creation and poverty reduction, thus contributing to the
With the consequences of COVID-19 still unfolding, one area of major disruption has been to global food systems, resulting in significant increases in food loss and waste. Today, the first ever International Day of Awareness of Food Loss and Waste, is a wake-up call. We must access and make
The countries of the UN Special Programme for the Economies of Central Asia (SPECA) - Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan - gathered for a virtual session of the SPECA Working Group on Innovation and Technology for Sustainable Development (WG on
In this time of economic slowdown, border closures and unemployment caused by COVID-19, transformative technologies can offer solutions to the public and private sectors in reviving international trade. Digital products and platforms, based on the world-wide standards and interoperability, can
Risk is a part of our everyday lives. When we wear a helmet to ride a bike, for example, we accept a small inconvenience to reduce the risk of a fall or an accident. When a homeowner decides to retrofit their house, they incur a cost to shield against an earthquake or a flood. Faced with the COVID-
Implementation of the Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) of the World Trade Organization (WTO) can play a key role in restoring global trade disrupted during the COVID-19 crisis and can assist in preventing future disruptions. This multilateral agreement consists of a range of provisions from
Over the past few years, Tajikistan has strengthened its efforts to boost its economy and improve its competitiveness in global markets. As a result of wide-ranging regulatory and economic reforms, the country has succeeded in improving its ranking in the Trading Across Borders Index, from
The COVID-19 pandemic crisis will cost governments trillions of dollars, creating substantial burdens on taxpayers, together with huge macroeconomic imbalances and risks. This situation is likely to significantly constrain the investment in public infrastructure and services needed for the
Accelerating the transition to more sustainable and transparent global value chains needs to be at the heart of the fashion industry’s response to the severe socio-economic challenges and supply chain disruptions caused by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. According to the
The automation of information flows along digital trade and transport corridors has the potential to strengthen supply chains and help countries deal with the COVID-19 pandemic. Since May 2019, UNECE and its partners promoting trade facilitation in Ukraine, as well as Azerbaijan, Belarus, and
In the global fight against COVID-19, how can we reconcile reducing physical interactions to limit virus transmission with the need to keep supply chains operating efficiently? This is particularly important for essential products like medical supplies and food. However, keeping goods moving
We live in a world designed by men, for men. Women are widely under-represented in the committees that develop standards that lay out the specifications for products that we consume every day, for personal protective equipment and for the infrastructure on which economies depend upon.
The global garment and footwear industry is at a crossroads. Faced with growing economic uncertainty linked to global trade trends, the industry must also urgently become more sustainable and face up to its responsibility for the climate crisis. Total greenhouse gas emissions from textiles
Fisheries provide highly important social and economic benefits: global fish production is estimated at over 170 million tonnes, supplying around 21 kg per capita and year. As such fish and seafood consumption accounts for 20% of humans’ animal protein intake.Yet global fish stocks are under
Every year we lose about 14% of the food produced before it is sold, and this does not even include the food never harvested. Even more is wasted at retail and consumer levels. At the same time, over 800 million people worldwide suffer from hunger, while food loss is a major contributor to CO2
The ability to manage technology-driven structural changes is crucial for sustainable development. One important area is how advanced technologies such as Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) including Blockchain, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Internet of Things (IoT) will shape the future of
By aligning with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the ambitious Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) spearheaded by the government of China has the potential to enhance connectivity as a catalyst for trade and development from Asia to Europe, stretching down to Africa. To make the most of
Quality infrastructure, while often taken for granted, is the foundation of our modern life. It is a complex system of norms, regulations, and institutions that are designed to ensure that when we buy something – as businesses or consumers – we get exactly what we expect. Without it, we would not
In the garment and footwear industry, worth 2.4 trillion USD, brands are increasingly confronted with the rise of the “conscious consumer”, who questions the environmental footprint of clothes and the
The world’s 32 Landlocked Developing Countries (LLDCs) face high transport and trade costs due to challenges including the lack of direct access to sea ports, multiple border crossings, complex administrative transit and border
USD 1.5 billion – that’s the annual saving in logistics costs in Thailand following an investment of USD 7.5 million in setting up a national Single Window, based on UN/CEFACT Recommendations.Speeding up border crossing for trade with tools like Single Windows – which make it easier to input all
Gender imbalance in the development and implementation of standards hampers progress towards the achievement of the Agenda 2030 and undermines their potential as powerful instruments for sustainable development. To address the fundamental lack of representation of women in standardization, UNECE
In recent years, UNECE’s Working Party on Agricultural Quality Standards (WP.7) has worked on gender equality and diversity, with advances and tangible results achieved in many areas including the dried fruit industry in Central Asia,
UNECE, the World Bank and the European Commission have joined forces with the Customs service of North Macedonia and the other Western Balkan countries to improve the region’s trade connectivity with the European Union. Six Western Balkan countries have requested a World Bank project in support