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Advisory Group on Advanced Technologies (AGAT)


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 in by the international community in Sustainable Development Goal 17: Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development.

These technologies such as Distributed Ledger Technology, Artificial Intelligence, Internet of Things, Quantum Computing, Edge computing, 5G and connectivity related ones, hold significant promise in trade facilitation. Given these cutting-edge 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.

Our Focus

To address this, The United Nations Centre for Trade Facilitation and Electronic Business (UN/CEFACT) has proposed the establishment of an Advisory Group on Advanced Technologies in Trade and Logistics (AGAT), 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:

  • Distributed Ledger Technologies (DLT) including blockchain
  • Internet of Things (IoT)
  • Artificial Intelligence (AI)
  • Autonomous devices
  • New computational models - Cloud/Fog/Edge computing
  • Quantum computing
  • Connectivity of new generations (5G)
About us

The Advisory Group on Advanced Technologies in Trade and Logistics was formed in 2020, and comprises of experts, working in private sector, government, intergovernmental organizations, non-governmental organizations, and academia.

The Group is lead by the Chair, Mr. Stefano Quintarelli of the Italy, Vice Chair, Ms. Nena Dokuzov of the Slovenia, and supported by the Secretariat of UNECE.

The Group’s current focus is to monitor, study and analyze the latest development and use cases of advanced technology applications as well as challenges and obstacles they face while applying such a new technologies, and the lessons learned to overcome them.


Working Areas

Here you may find Advisory Group's Working Areas (WAs) as defined in the Programme of work - ECE/TRADE/C/CEFACT/2020/18 (English, French, Russian)

WA1: Technical monitoring, assessment and advice.

  • This Work Area involves monitoring and analyzing current and emerging technologies used in the trade and logistics areas. This Work Area encompasses active engagement with technology leaders, developers and early adopters on a global scale, by contributing to events on technology developments related to trade and by contacting authorities, standardization organizations and academia.

WA2: Implementation challenges and good practices.

  • The Work Area on implementation challenges and advice facilitates and supports the implementation of relevant advanced technologies on business, interoperability, legal and technical levels. The Advisory Group shall contribute by identifying and advising on business, legal and technical implementation issues related to technology and sharing best practices, with a specific focus on support to decision making.

WA3: Support strategic dialogue with key external stakeholders.

  • Creating the content for UNECE website of the Advisory Group (maintenance, content and design, including possible use of social media and videos);
  • Contribution to relevant events within the UN and in other organizations to disseminate the work of UN/CEFACT and the Advisory Group (in line with the internal UN/CEFACT Representation Guidelines);
  • By sharing knowledge and expertise through partnerships, the Work Area will reach out to trade and logistics management organisations and technical communities to exploit the benefits and to minimise the chance of working separately on the same issues;
  • Capacity building in the use of such advanced technologies in Trade and Logistics.

WA4: Proposals for new development.

  • The Advisory Group shall identify areas where new standards or guidance material are necessary and propose such work items to be launched within UN/CEFACT under the Open Development Process (ECE/TRADE/C/CEFACT/2016/17) procedure for project development.
Key Documents

Here you may find documents relating to the Group's work, mandate, and the main outputs

  • Artificial Intelligence Demystified - Background, principles and the main applications of Artificial Intelligence and related concepts
    - ECE/TRADE/C/CEFACT/2021/19 English Brochure
  • Overview of Activities Related to the Advisory Group on Advanced Technologies in 2020
    - ECE/TRADE/C/CEFACT/2021/INF.10 English
  • Report of Advisory Group on Advanced Technologies in Trade and Logistics on its second meeting
    - ECE/TRADE/C/CEFACT/2021/18 English  French Russian
  • Report of the online Conference on the "Role of Advanced Technologies in overcoming COVID-19 disruptions in international trade
    - ECE/AGAT/2020/INF.6 English
  • Report on the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak on international trade and logistics and the ways advanced technologies can help overcome such disruptions
    - AGAT/2020/INF.5 English
  • Programme of Work
    - ECE/TRADE/C/CEFACT/2020/18 English  French  Russian
  • Vision and Mission statement
    - AGAT/2020/INF.3 English
  • Report of Advisory Group on Advanced Technologies in Trade and Logistics on its first meeting
    - ECE/TRADE/C/CEFACT/2018/21 English  French  Russian
  • Mandate and Terms of Reference of the Advisory Group on Advanced Technologies in Trade and Logistics
    - ECE/TRADE/C/CEFACT/2019/22/ English  French  Russian
  • Revised Mandate and Terms of Reference of the Advisory Group on Advanced Technologies in Trade and Logistics
    - ECE/TRADE/C/CEFACT/2019/22/Rev.1 English

Background documents

  • Report of the Conference on Latest Technology Trends Impacting eBusiness Internet Trading and Trade Facilitation: Anticipating the Fourth Industrial Revolution
    - ECE/TRADE/C/CEFACT/2020/INF.7 English
  • White Paper Overview of Blockchain for Trade
    - ECE/TRADE/C/CEFACT/2019/9/Rev.1 English
  • White Paper on Technical Application of Blockchain to UN/CEFACT Deliverables
    - ECE/TRADE/C/CEFACT/2019/8 English
  • Briefing note on Blockchain for SDG
    - ECE/TRADE/C/CEFACT/2018/25 English
  • White Paper on Smart Containers
    - ECE/TRADE/446 English  French  Russian

Here you may find links to previous and upcoming meetings, by clicking on the meeting’s link you may access related documents and materials, such as agendas and presentations and event's video recording when available.

Contact us

To participate, register as expert on our online registration form. Under Areas of Interest, kindly check “Advisory Group on Advanced Technologies”.

For more information please contact:

Mr. Tomas Malik
Secretary to the UNECE Advisory Group on Advanced Technologies
Tel n°.: +41-22-917 2405
e-mail:  [email protected]       [email protected]