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UNIDO to support e-commerce in Brazil

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UNIDO’s Brazil Office has participated in the 10th Brazil E-Commerce Forum. This three-day event is the most important Latin American e-commerce conference and gathers regional and global e-commerce stakeholders to discuss how digital trade expand their access to consumer markets and industrial production sales.

During the event, UNIDO’s representative in Brazil, Alessandro Amadio, held discussions with participants which focused on the organization’s potential to support e-commerce development by developing capacity building tools to support e-commerce skills development; publishing detailed studies on the global trends of e-commerce; advocating the importance of complying with international quality standards on digital platforms; and convening the establishment of new partnerships between private and public stakeholders.

Amadio provided participants with an overview of UNIDO’s successful pilot BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) e-commerce project that was initiated in 2016 and completed in 2018. The core objective of this endeavour was to support the development of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) through e-commerce. He noted the key outputs of this project were the development of an online e-commerce training course; preparation of a comprehensive report highlighting the current e-commerce trends in the BRICS and select additional countries; and the development of governance framework to guide digital businesses among criteria and proceedings of sustainable and inclusive growth.

Amadio stressed that the success of this BRICS E-commerce project has resulted in other Member States requesting UNIDO for assistance in developing their e-commerce sector. He noted that UNIDO will be supporting the e-commerce sector in Morocco and Cambodia through its flagship Programme for Country Partnership programme. He further stated that UNIDO is currently in discussions with the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) to explore the possibility of developing a joint and more detailed e-commerce training course.

During the conference, UNIDO’s Brazilian e-commerce partners, ENext Consulting, SEBRAE and e-commerce Brasil, elaborated on their co-operation with the organization and provided visitors to the UNIDO booth with insights on how UNIDO can support e-commerce development in Brazil and the wider Latin American continent. 

Participants expressed their interest in working with UNIDO in developing the organization’s existing e-commerce training in Portuguese and initiating new capacity building exercises to assist Brazilian businesses enhance their presence online. UNIDO will be exploring new technical co-operation initiatives and partnerships to support e-commerce development in the region.

EU Politics

EU and 16 WTO members agree to work together on an interim appeal arbitration arrangement

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EU and Ministers from 16 Members of the World Trade Organization (WTO) have agreed to develop a multi-party interim appeal arrangement that will allow the participating WTO members to preserve a functioning and two-step dispute settlement system at the WTO in disputes among them. This initiative was launched in mid-December 2019 by the EU and a number of other WTO members following the effective paralysis of the WTO Appellate Body, due to the blockage of any new appointments since 2017.

Commissioner for Trade Phil Hogan said: “This statement testifies to the high importance that the EU and the participating WTO members attach to retaining a two-step dispute settlement process in WTO trade matters. The multiparty appeal arbitration arrangement will guarantee that the participating WTO members continue to have access to a binding, impartial and high-quality dispute settlement system among them. Let me underline again that this remains a contingency measure needed because of the paralysis of the WTO Appellate Body. We will continue our efforts to seek a lasting solution to the Appellate Body impasse, including through necessary reforms and improvements.”

The multi-party interim arrangement will be based on Article 25 of the WTO Dispute Settlement Understanding (DSU). It will secure the participating WTO members (Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, the European Union, Guatemala, Republic of Korea, Mexico, New Zealand, Norway, Panama, Singapore, Switzerland, and Uruguay) an effective and binding dispute settlement process for potential trade disputes among them.

The arrangement is a contingency measure and it will only apply until the WTO Appellate Body becomes operational again. The EU believes that an independent and impartial appeal stage, giving the necessary guarantees of rulings of the highest quality, must continue to be one of the essential features of the WTO dispute settlement system.

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CTCN publication explores role of technology transfer in raising climate ambition

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The Climate Technology Centre and Network (CTCN) has published a report titled, ‘Climate Change Strategies 2020′, which highlights the role of technology transfer in the fight against climate change. The publication includes contributions from Patricia Espinosa, Executive Secretary, United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), as well as a foreword by CTCN Director, Rose Mwebaza, on how CTCN connects countries with the know-how, technology and finance to achieve their climate goals.There are different sections introducing best practices and cases stories regarding the action, technology, systematic change and making it happen.

The publication outlines the organizational structure and operating modalities of the CTCN in fulfilling its technology support and financing mandate for Parties to the UNFCCC. It explains how CTCN interventions help to build country capacities to adopt and use climate technology,  including through engaging local partners to develop context-specific solutions that are implemented through the global network of more than 500 specialized technical partners. 

It discusses the role of CTCN members in disseminating knowledge products, such as technology assessments, and information on new technologies and approaches, through the ctc-n.org online portal, which also serves as a clearinghouse for information on technical assistance interventions undertaken by the CTCN and its partners.

The United Nations Environment Programme (UN Environment) hosts the CTCN in collaboration with the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) and the support of a consortium of partners that are engaged in some 1,500 activities related to climate technologies in over 150 countries.

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Mongolia, ADB Sign Grant to Develop Participatory Food Waste Recycling

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The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Government of Mongolia have signed a $3 million grant agreement to improve food waste recycling in local communities in the capital city, helping to keep Ulaanbaatar cleaner.

“Discarded food waste sullies the city and can be unhealthy for the people living here,” said ADB Country Director for Mongolia Mr. Pavit Ramachandran. “Implemented jointly with the government, the grant will help improve the living conditions in Ulaanbaatar by introducing participatory food waste recycling practices. It supports national programs and policies of Mongolia on solid waste management and the operational priorities of ADB’s long-term strategy—Strategy 2030.”

Around 1.2 million tons of solid waste are generated annually in Ulaanbaatar. Although close to 20% of the waste is recycled, food waste is typically dumped in formal or informal landfills. This large quantity of food waste pollutes the soil and groundwater and damages the health of urban communities, particularly in ger areas, where there are few water, sanitation, and waste disposal services.

The Ulaanbaatar Community Food Waste Recycling Project, with the participation of local communities, will identify food waste generation and composting options based on current food waste recycling practices. It will also pilot both smaller and larger food waste recycling activities, scale-up existing projects across Ulaanbaatar, and raise overall awareness of the need to recycle food waste.

The project is funded by the Japan Fund for Poverty Reduction, which has supported projects in Mongolia in poverty alleviation, improving livelihoods, and safeguarding the environment over the past 20 years.

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