Within the United Nations framework of the Economic and Social Council, the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) serves as the focal point for trade facilitation recommendations and electronic business standards, covering both commercial and government business processes that can foster growth in international trade and related services. In this context, the United Nations Centre for Trade Facilitation and Electronic Business (UN/CEFACT) was established, as a subsidiary, intergovernmental body of the UNECE Committee on Trade, mandated to develop a programme of work of global relevance to achieve improved worldwide coordination and cooperation in these areas. UN/CEFACT regularly reports on its activities to the UNECE Committee on Trade and, when invited, also reports to the UNECE Executive Committee.
UN/CEFACT supports activities dedicated to improving the ability of business, trade and administrative organizations, from developed, developing and transition economies, to exchange products and relevant services effectively. Its principal focus is on facilitating national and international transactions, through the simplification and harmonization of processes, procedures and information flows, and so contributing to the growth of global commerce. This is achieved by:
The original document entitled “Mandate, Terms of Reference and Procedures for UN/CEFACT” (TRADE/R.650) was approved by WP.4, the predecessor to the United Nations Centre for Trade Facilitation and Electronic Business' (UN/CEFACT), at its final meeting in September 1996 and was later approved by the Committee on the Development of Trade in December 1996. Subsequently, organizational changes, a change in organization name and experience gained from operating the Centre resulted in revisions to the original document, the last being Revision 4 which was approved by the UN/CEFACT Plenary in June 2006.
A document Draft revised mandate, terms of reference and rules of procedure for UN/CEFACT (ECE/TRADE/C/CEFACT/2010/15) was submitted to the 16th UN/CEFACT Plenary (8-10 December 2010).It was revised in the light of comments received and the revised text (ECE/TRADE/C/CEFACT/2010/15Rev. 1) was submitted for review and intersessional approval by Heads of Delegation by 28 March 2011. A few editorial changes were made through the intersessional approval process.
The present document ECE/TRADE/C/CEFACT/2010/15/Rev. 2 has been developed by the Bureau, after consultation with the secretariat of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) and Heads of Delegation (HODs), and it incorporates changes arising out of the foregoing consultations
The web site provides:
for the three pillars - processes, information and technology - that are vital in the development of world trade.
UN/CEFACT, a subsidiary intergovernmental body of the UNECE Committee on Trade, is mandated to develop a programme of work of global relevance to achieve improved worldwide coordination and cooperation in the areas of trade facilitation and electronic business, covering both commercial and government business processes that can foster growth in international trade and related services. It encourages close collaboration between governments and private business to secure the interoperability for the exchange of information between the public and private sector. UN/CEFACT and its predecessor have developed such instruments as: