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Trade Programme

Introduction

The trade programme works to develop closer economic relations among member States, as well as to better integrate their economies into the world economy. The trade programme's inter-governmental bodies make policy recommendations, develop standards for use in trade and assist member States in implementing them. These bodies also suggest ways and means of creating legal and administrative frameworks for fostering trade. Work includes a range of activities to assist member States with: trade facilitation; regulatory and standards policy; commercial agricultural standards; and e-business standards.

Key areas of work

In focus

Overfishing and Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated Fishing (IUU) are destructive fishing practices that have a negative impact on sustainable fisheries, livelihoods, and world fish stocks. In recent years, IUU fishing has accounted for a staggering 25% of fish of the annual ocean harvest and was valued at up to $23 billion. This value is lost each year to legitimate fishers. In addition to economic damage, such practices threaten local biodiversity and food security in many countries. An essential step for an effective management of fish resources is the timely acquisition of information on vessels, stocks and catches as well as the exchange of such information between stakeholders.   For more information......

In focus

Food loss and waste:  We are currently wasting the unimaginable amount of over 1.6 billion tons of food worth 1.2 trillion USD every year. This number will increase hugely by the year 2030 to 2.1 billion tons wasted and a value of 1.5 trillion USD (source Boston Consulting Group, 2018), if we do not take immediate action. Food loss and waste does not only mean being unable to feed the many hungry or losing money and income, it also means maintaining a food production and distribution system where natural resources are used for food that is never eaten while being responsible for 8% of the greenhouse gas emissions. Can we really afford this and neglect the wide-reaching implications of billions of tons of food lost and wasted? For more information, please consult the brand new UNECE resource page on the food loss and waste challenge.

Highlights

  • UN/CEFACT has recently published several White Papers, Guidelines and Executive Guides which are available on the website
  • UN/CEFACT has over a dozen active projects ranging from Single Window recommendations to eQuality Certificates and Sustainable tourism to Blockchain. If you are interested in joining our work, please contact us at cefact@un.org 
  • UNECE’s recent Symposium on nuts and dried fruit highlighted how for many communities around the world, the sustainable trade in nuts and dried fruit is the key to improved food security, rural development and sustainable livelihoods for all including women, youth and the elderly
  • UNECE’s work on meat-cut descriptions is an important element for the growing international electronic trade in meat worldwide, the recent UNECE symposium for e-trade in meat underlined.
  • The 16th MARS Group meeting in Geneva showcased technical research on initiatives to improve market surveillance across the EU and examined the experience of participants in the use of WP.6 Recommendation S, when applying predictive risk management tools for targeted market surveillance.
  • Working Party 6, in collaboration with the Kyrgyz Economic University, organized a Workshop on Women Entrepreneurship which raised awareness regarding the challenges faced by women in business, when trading internationally, and identify measures to build capacity for increased female entrepreneurship.

Events

18 to 19 March 2019
Room VIII, Palais des Nations, Geneva, Switzerland

01 to 05 April 2019

08 to 09 April 2019

01 May to 30 June 2019
Moscow, Russia