The Expert Meeting on Electronic Commerce and International Transport Services: Best Practices for Enhancing the Competitiveness of Developing Countries will be held from 26 to 28 September 2001 at the Palais des Nations, Geneva. It will open at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, 26 September. The provisional agenda, together with the secretariat’s annotations thereto, will be circulated as document TD/B/COM.3/EM.12/1.
The Meeting will address the impact of electronic commerce on international transport services and its effect on transport operations and practices, including legal and documentary aspects. In particular, it will consider (i) the economic and operational issues, the use of information technologies in transportation services, and how E-commerce stimulates competitiveness among service suppliers and strengthens the position of shippers in the transport markets; (ii) the legal and documentary aspects, including the legal issues and uncertainties arising from the application of existing laws and transport conventions, as well as those relating to the replacement of negotiable transport documents with electronic alternatives. It will also look at the measures to facilitate the development of electronic transport documents, including both contractual and statutory approaches.
The UNCTAD secretariat has prepared a background document to facilitate the discussion, which will be circulated as document TD/B/COM.3/EM.12/2. Experts participating in the Meeting are requested to make written contributions with respect to their specific experiences in the field of the subject matter. The contributions will be made available at the Meeting in the form and language in which they are received.
Member States of UNCTAD are requested to nominate experts at an early date and not later than 24 August 2001. Experts, who will participate in the Meeting in their personal capacities, are expected to have proven expertise in the subject, and may be selected from Governments, the academic world, the public and private sectors, and NGOs. Experts may include representatives from various sectors of transport and related services, including shipowners, ports, terminal operators, intermediaries, insurers and legal experts.
With regard to financing the participation of developing country experts in UNCTAD expert meetings, in accordance with Trade and Development Board decision 456 (XLV), Governments of developing countries are requested to nominate one expert as a possible beneficiary of financing for this Expert Meeting. Nominations should be received at least one month before the meeting, and they should be accompanied by a curriculum vitae of the nominee, his/her address, phone and fax numbers or e-mail address, and the name of a contact person in the Permanent Mission in Geneva. The Secretary-General of UNCTAD will base his decision as to which experts should receive financing on the principle of equitable geographical representation, beneficiary needs, and the expertise of the experts concerned. It should be noted, in this connection, that the limited funds available will make it possible to finance the participation of only a few experts. Once the list of experts has been finalized, the Secretary-General will have all travel arrangements made in accordance with the United Nations financial rules and regulations, though, in order to cover as many experts as possible, use of the least costly travel fare will be authorized.
Upon arrival, participants are requested, before entering the Palais des Nations, to collect their badge at the UN Security Service, Villa Les Feuillantines, 13 Avenue de la Paix (close to the main entrance to the Palais on the Place des Nations, on the opposite side of the road). The Security Service is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. (non-stop). It is advisable to arrive by 9 a.m. to complete procedures and reach the Meeting in good time. Walking from Villa Les Feuillantines to the E-Building (Bâtiment E) of the Palais takes about 10 minutes. Participants are advised to carry a passport or similar identification document with them.
Specialized agencies and intergovernmental bodies wishing to participate in the session, as well as non-governmental organizations in the General Category and those in the Special Category wishing to participate as observers, are requested to inform the UNCTAD secretariat of the names of their representatives by 24 August 2001.
All communications concerning representation at the Meeting should be sent to the UNCTAD secretariat, Intergovernmental Support Services, Palais des Nations, CH-1211 Geneva 10 (tel.: +4122 907 5007; fax: +4122 907 0056; email: email@example.com).
All other enquiries should be addressed to Ms. M. Faghfouri of the Division for Services Infrastructure for Development and Trade Efficiency (tel.: +4122 907 2021; fax: +4122 907 0504; e-mail:firstname.lastname@example.org).
Secretary-General of UNCTAD
5 July 2001