Skip to main content

First Session – Advisory Group on Advanced Technologies

30 January 2020
Room XXVI Palais des Nations Geneva Switzerland




Technology is evolving faster than ever before in human history. We are at the intersection of several cutting-edge technologies that are redefining interactions between the physical and virtual world, driving disruption and enabling new business modes. The importance of technology innovation is recognized by the international community in Sustainable Development Goal 17: Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development. These trends such as Distributed Ledger Technology (e.g. Blockchain) , Artificial Intelligence, Internet of Things, Big Data, Application Programming interfaces (APIs) hold significant promise in trade facilitation. Given these developments in technology, it becomes important to keep up to date with the latest trends to evaluate which trends and approaches may be viable for future developments, investments and practical implementation. The United Nations Centre for Trade Facilitation and Electronic Business (UN/CEFACT) has proposed the establishment of an Advisory Group in order to advise and support the UNECE secretariat and UN/CEFACT on advanced technologies in trade facilitation and electronic business. The technologies in question include Blockchain, Internet of Things (IoT), and Artificial Intelligence (AI) - the most recent areas of rapid development in the international supply chain.

The first session of the Advanced Technology Advisory Group is scheduled to take place in Geneva on 30 January 2020. Participation in this session will be a key opportunity to be involved in ongoing work and setting the Group’s future agenda.


The purpose of the Advisory Group is to advise on advanced technologies such as Blockchain and IoT, as well as implementation challenges (such as regulatory obstacles). This includes the potential impact of these technologies on standards, services and everyday operations.  

The morning session is open to all interested stakeholders. This session will be centred on the need to register and identify technology “areas”, trends changing international trade and logistics, as well as practical use cases in the industry. The session will highlight potential new technologies of relevance.

The afternoon session shall focus on the recent work of UN/CEFACT in selected technology areas and their results. During this session, the participants will be invited to discuss the Vision and Mission Statement of the Advisory Group and the Programme of Work to define the framework in which the Advisory Group will operate. 


We are encouraging participation from all interested particies having the knowledge and experience from governmental institutions, business, civil society, consumer organizations, international organizations, UN/CEFACT experts and representatives from the Missions.

Speakers & Presentations

10:00 – 10:15
Opening Session: Welcome addresses

Ms. Olga Algayerova, Executive Secretary of the UNECE
H.E. Ms. Katrin Saarsalu-Layachi, Ambassador, Permanent Representative of the Republic of Estonia to the UN
Ms. Sue Probert, Chair of UN/CEFACT  BIO

10:15 – 10:20
Adoption of the agenda

The secretariat will present the draft agenda for adoption

10:20 – 10:50
Appointment of Chair and Vice Chairs

The Chair and Vice Chairs will introduce themselves and present the objectives for the meeting

10:50 – 11:00
Keynote - Creating Ecosystems That Can Benefit from Transformative Technologies

Mr. Jerome Duberry, Global Studies Institute – University of Geneva

11:00 – 12:00
Session 1: The role of technology in reimagining the future supply chains.

How can technology innovations change supply chain? What are the benefits of distributed ledgers, digital identities and traceability? And how will industry 4.0 change the World around us?

Mr. Jorge Alvarado Flores, – Swisscom Blockchain AG   BIO    PPT
Mr. Josip Maricevic,   BIO    PPT
Ms. Michaela Puddu, Haelixa Ltd   BIO
Mr. Pedro Fuentes, Wisekey    PPT

Moderator: Ms. Virginia Cram-Martos   BIO

12:00 – 13:00
Session 2: How to handle digital information and technologies for value chain?

What is the potential of specific technologies in value chain? What new use cases the current advancements in technology can bring us?

Mr. Rauno Lember, DevSecIntel    PPT
Mr. Riaz Jogiyat, Amplifi Sarl.   BIO     PPT
Ms. Xiaoya Yang, ITU   BIO     PPT
Mr. Rait Raal, Rech-U    PPT

Moderator: Ms. Maria Rosaria Ceccarelli  BIO

13:00 – 14:30 Lunch Break

14:30 – 15:30
Session 3: Obstacles, challenges and lessons learned

What are the principle challenges, applications obstacles, and lessons learned from the implementation of new technologies?

Ms. Hanane Becha, Traxens   BIO    PPT
Mr. Jean-Christophe Finidori, HODL NG   BIO     PPT
Mr. Raghu Kiran Nallabotula, WFP     PPT
Mr. Hannes Plinte, GoSwift     PPT

Moderator: Ms. Sue Probert  BIO

15:30 – 16:30
Impact and how to get there

The draft Vision and Mission statement, summarizing the overall goals and methods by which to achieve them will be presented, discussed, amended and approved.
The draft Programme of Work of the Advisory Group on Advanced Technologies in Trade and Logistics for 2020-2021, which was prepared by the secretariat, will be presented to the Group for discussion and approval.

16:30 – 17:00
Future work

The Group will discuss its future work, including the specific activities to be undertaken during the coming year

17:00 – 17:05
Other Business

Experts will be invited to raise other issues not previously addressed during the session

17:05 – 17:25
Adoption of decisions and the report

17:25 – 17:30   Closing


Item 1: Adoption of the agenda

Agenda - AGAT/2020/INF.1

Item 2: Appointment of the Officers

Mandate and Terms of Reference - ECE/TRADE/C/CEFACT/2019/22/Rev.1

Guidelines for the establishment and functioning of Teams of Specialists within UNECE -  ECE/EX/2/Rev.1

Item 3: Panel on Transformative Technologies in Trade and Logistics

White Paper on technical application of Blockchain to UN/CEFACT deliverables - ECE/TRADE/C/CEFACT/2019/8  ENG   FRE   RUS

White Paper overview of Blockchain for Trade - ECE/TRADE/C/CEFACT/2019/9  ENG   FRE   RUS

White Paper on real-time Smart Container data for supply chain excellence - ECE/TRADE/C/CEFACT/2019/10   ENG   FRE   RUS

Briefing note on the importance of Semantics within Trade Facilitation and Electronic Business for SDG17 - ECE/TRADE/C/CEFACT/2019/27  ENG  FRE  RUS

Blockchain in Trade Facilitation: Sectoral challenges and example - ECE/TRADE/C/CEFACT/2019/INF.3

White Paper on Technical Application of Blockchain to United Nations Centre for Trade Facilitation and Electronic Business (UN/CEFACT) Deliverables - ECE/TRADE/C/CEFACT/2018/9

Briefing note on Blockchain for SDG - ECE/TRADE/C/CEFACT/2018/25

UN/CEFACT Conference on "Impact of new technologies on Accounting and Audit: Harmonizing Interoperability of Standards and Specifications"

UN/CEFACT Conference on "Latest technology trends impacting eBusiness, internet trading and trade facilitation: Anticipating the fourth industrial revolution"

Item 4: Panel discussion on obstacles and challenges

Item 5: Vision, mission and Programme of Work

Mandate and Terms of Reference - ECE/TRADE/C/CEFACT/2019/22/Rev.1

Proposed vision and mission and statement - AGAT/2020/INF.3

Programme of Work - AGAT/2020/INF.4

Item 6: Future work

Item 7: Other business

Item 8: Adoption of the decisions and draft report

Report of Advisory Group on Advanced Technologies in Trade and Logistics on its first meeting - ECE/TRADE/C/CEFACT/2020/19 ENG FRE RUS


Secretariat Contacts 

Mr. Tomas Malik 
Secretary of the Advisory Group on Advanced Technologies
[email protected]

Mrs. Aruna Vivekanantham
[email protected]