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International standards and policy guidance help to harness digital technologies for sustainability

How can the digital revolution in technologies help to overcome challenges in implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development?

This was at the heart of debates at the 33rd UN/CEFACT Forum (United Nations Centre for Trade Facilitation and Electronic Business) held in Geneva on 1-5 April. About 200 experts and delegates from 34 countries met and advanced multiple projects that supports the cross-border exchange of electronic information in the era for industrialization 4.0. At the same time, there is greater need for making these systems more inclusive to allow developing countries or actors like smaller businesses to participate in global trade.

During the conference on MSMEs and e-services, it was agreed that standards and innovative approaches in e-services could reduce many international trade barriers for Micro Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises. The ‘Integrated Services for the MSMEs in International Trade (ISMIT)’ project of the United Nations Centre for Trade Facilitation and Electronic Business (UN/CEFACT) provides a comprehensive framework for the establishment of such e-services.

Experts at the latest technology trends conference, presented a set of examples on new emerging technologies - new trends in device autonomy, connectivity and computation.

The conference on international accounting and audit data standardization, called for all the actors to come together for harmonization of relevant standards.

In addition, the Forum deliberated on projects related to Single Window, disaster recovery relief importation, sustainable textiles and leather products, e-quality certificate for agriculture, agri-food or fisheries products, smart containers and more.

The Spring Forum, as it is popularly called among the experts, noted the increasing role of these activities towards the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The Forum is followed by the 25th Session of the UN/CEFACT Plenary on 8 and 9 April, when a number of standards, recommendations and projects related to trade facilitation and electronic business are expected to be approved by this inter-governmental body.

For more  information, please visit the UN/CEFACT website: http://www.unece.org/cefact