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Complex global value chains include production facilities scattered all over the world. Sometimes, they may also involve practices of illegitimate subcontracting and undeclared informal work.  In fact, their complexity and opacity make it very hard to gain accurate information about how and where…
As all eyes turn to Glasgow where world leaders have gathered at COP26 for crucial negotiations to cut greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and limit global warming, UNECE experts highlight how improved transparency and traceability could be part of the solution. The private sector has a vital role to…
The Group of 7 nations (G7), six of which are UNECE member States (Canada, France, Germany, Italy, the UK and the US), took bold step towards reducing barriers to trade by agreeing on the principles to govern cross-border data use and digital trade. At their meeting in London on 22 October,…
The progress of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable development hinges on the availability of natural resources and a transition to sustainable means of their production and use. Minerals and petroleum provide the raw materials needed for the economy. While a low-carbon economy requires a wide variety …
The COVID-19 pandemic restrictions have brought the benefits of paperless trading to the forefront of attention. Many countries are considering issuing, accepting and exchanging electronic documents for paperless trading. Issues related to paperless trading are also at the core of World Trade…
Realization of the Sustainable Development Goals will require massive inputs of low-carbon energy, critical raw materials, and other natural resources, including land and water. These demands are aggravated by rapid urbanization of the world’s population, which stresses grid-based power,…
Sustainable development depends on optimal and responsible production and use of natural resources. Today's resource patterns are unsustainable in terms of their environmental and societal impact and ensuring resource availability now and in the future. Developments in sustainable resource…
The need to digitalize information flows in international supply chains became clearer than ever during the pandemic, thanks to the reduced person-to-person contact this allows, on top of important efficiency gains. However, efforts to date have been fragmented. UNECE and its subsidiary body UN/…
With the UN Food Systems Summit taking place next week under the auspices of the UN General Assembly (23 September 2021), we must recognize that the food systems we have built over recent decades are unsustainable. The food choices we make…
A coordinated response is necessary for promoting and implementing the circular economy agenda globally. Concrete commitments from governments, businesses, international organizations, civil society and other stakeholders will be key to building the sustainable, resilient and low-carbon economy…
Countries of Central Asia, the Caucasus and Eastern Europe have been hit hard by the socioeconomic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, which threatens to derail sustainable development progress in the region. However, there is also a stronger momentum towards regional cooperation, and countries can…
Overfishing threatens the sustainability of maritime resources and endangers food security. In the last few years, the share of fish stocks that are within biologically sustainable levels has reached its lowest point in history, down …
World Ocean Day is a reminder of the growing depletion of maritime resources. Currently, FAO reports that 34.2% of all maritime stock is…
The economic and sanitary crisis caused by the pandemic calls for new ways of doing business. We need to digitalize data and document exchange in cross-border transport and supply chains to avoid person-to-person contacts, while increasing the efficiency of trade and transport operations. However,…
In 2021, the volume of world merchandise trade is expected to increase by 8 per cent  after falling 5.3 per cent in 2020. How UN/CEFACT recommendations and e-business standards can help boost trade and e-commerce was one of the…
Between 1999 and 2018, nearly 6,000 different species of illegally-traded fauna and flora were seized worldwide. The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild…
While consumer demand for sustainable goods is an important driver for change, regulation and policy change are essential if the world is to side-step a climate catastrophe and bend traditional linear economic models towards a circular economy and sustainable future. Until recently it wasn’t clear…
The days of voluntary measures to improve sustainability in the garment and footwear sector appear to be numbered, according to speakers at a recent event. With regulation and smart policy implementation, the sector has the potential to build back better post-COVID-19, prioritising the environment …
A circular economy is a paradigm which can contribute to reducing the economic, environmental and social costs of resource use, while at the same time strengthening economic competitiveness, reducing poverty, and providing better quality of life, in line with the United Nations 2030 Agenda for…
Waste has turned into one of humanity’s predominant challenges. The generation of hazardous waste increased from an estimated 259 metric tonnes in 2007 to 394 metric tonnes in 2015; the most…
Consumers are increasingly interested in making more environmentally and ethically aware choices when it comes to the clothes and shoes they wear, according to a series of recent studies. But the sector is awash with complex language and misleading labelling that makes it difficult for consumers to…
The current patterns of raw material consumption are unstainable and are becoming an existential threat to the planet.  The United Nations Framework Classification for Resources (UNFC) offers a solution to support a total…
The risk that advances in digital technology benefit those who are already online and could contribute to greater inequality within and among countries needs to be addressed by effective policies, leaving no one behind.    The United Nations system is engaged to help address these challenges.…
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…
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-…