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21 November to 25 November 2022
In Focus
New UNECE standards will boost international trade for dried persimmon, peanuts and certain small fruits 
International trade is a key enabler for sustainable food systems, allowing for production to take place where it is most efficient, thus increasing productivity and reducing prices. Last week, UNECE adopted four new quality standards to boost trade in certain small fruits, such as dried persimmons, raw and roasted in-shell peanuts, and peanut kernels. The standards were adopted at the annual meeting of the UNECE Working Party on Agricultural Quality Standards - a UN body with global membership that sets agricultural quality standards for fresh fruit and vegetables, dried fruit and nuts, meat, and seed potatoes.
 
Aarhus Convention
UN Special Rapporteur on Environmental Defenders presents his vision for mandate to ensure protection under the Aarhus Convention 
“Environmental defenders continue to be exposed to significant risks of penalisation, persecution, harassment and even killings. And these risks do not spare the geographical area of the Aarhus Convention, where environmental defenders are facing reprisals, a shrinking civic space, restrictive legal frameworks and strong attacks from companies”, warned Mr. Michel Forst as he met with parties to the convention, other Member States, civil society and international partners on 23 November 2022 to present his vision for implementing his mandate following his election in June 2022.
Trade
UN/CEFACT develops a new international standard to improve tracking of goods across complex supply chains
In today’s globalized economy, goods move through complex supply chains and cross multiple borders, which involves multifaceted interactions among a variety of suppliers and trade actors. The COVID-19 pandemic and the war in Ukraine have brought to light the challenges of supply chain disruptions. To help locate goods and bridge the communication gap between the trade and transport sectors, UN/CEFACT has produced the international standard “Integrated Track and Trace for Multi-Modal Transportation Business Requirements Specification (BRS)”.
 
Road Safety
UN Road Safety Fund launches global campaign on the #1 cause of death for children 
On World Children’s Day, the UN Road Safety Fund launched the second edition of its #moments2live4 global campaign to inform citizens worldwide about the devastating impact of unsafe roads for children and to call for individual donations in support of its $40 million dollar replenishment target. One person dies on the road every 24 seconds across the world and every 24 hours, 500 children die on the roads globally. Moreover, 93% of the 1.3 million global road traffic deaths and 50 million serious road traffic injuries occur in low- and middle-income countries.
 

Trade 
Revised UNECE recommendation to improve trade data exchange in response to growing digitalization 

Effective data exchange is instrumental to reducing the cost and time of trade transactions, especially in the context of growing digitalization of global trade. If semantically aligned and harmonized with international standards, it can enable trade actors to exchange and use information received both within the company and from third parties. To ensure such interoperability and harmonization, UN/CEFACT adopted the revised Recommendation No. 2 on ECE Layout Key: semantic information and codes in international trade data exchange at its recent 28th plenary session.
 

Economic Cooperation and Integration 
New UNECE network to help countries accelerate transformative innovation 

The focus on innovation as an instrument to achieve the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) is rapidly gaining momentum across the UNECE region. To take stock of its true transformative potential, UNECE and the German Federal Agency for Disruptive innovation (SPRIND) implemented the project “Reinforcing the innovation ecosystem in the UNECE region to promote innovation and digital technologies for sustainable development and for the circular economy transition”. Funded by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action, the centerpiece of this project is the UN-ECE Transformative Innovation Network (ETIN).
 

Upcoming Events
12th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on the Transboundary Effects of Industrial Accidents
Geneva, 29 November – 1 December 2022

As this year marks the 30th anniversary of the convention, parties will take stock of progress made and highlight ongoing and emerging challenges in preventing, preparing for and responding to industrial accidents. Given the increasing frequency and intensity of extreme weather events due to climate change, UNECE and OECD will also hold a seminar on the link between natural hazards and technological risks in a transboundary context.
 

6th session of the Working Party on Public-Private Partnerships
Geneva and online, 1-2 December 2022

In the current global context of economic and social instability, the session will aim to increase knowledge on the extent to which PPPs can be used for reconstruction and economic recovery; consider how the increasing digital transformation of PPPs can improve the delivery of PPP projects for sustainable development; chart a path for the Working Party towards the development and use of new and existing tools, guidelines standards and capacity building activities that promote high-quality projects that contribute to accelerate the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals in the UNECE region through PPPs.
 
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