The Multi-year Expert Meeting on Transport, Trade Logistics and Trade Facilitation will address some emerging and persistent issues that developing countries are facing and which need to be dealt with as a matter of priority.
In accordance with the relevant paragraphs of the Doha Mandate, the expert meeting will address trade logistics issues in developing countries, including those with special needs, namely the least developed countries, landlocked developing countries, small island developing States (SIDS) and some countries with economies in transition. Drawing from UNCTAD's three pillars of work, discussions will consider all relevant aspects, namely technical assistance and capacity-building, research and analytical work, and consensus-building.
Issues to be addressed:
- Key transport and trade logistics related challenges facing SIDS;
- Sectoral interlinkages between transport and trade, as well as other key economic sectors of relevance to SIDS, in particular, tourism and fisheries;
- Climate-change impacts on transport infrastructure in SIDS and adaption needs;
- Financing as a cross-cutting enabling factor;
- Priority action areas and effective response measures;
- The role of partnerships, relevant partners and collaboration mechanisms.
The third session of the multi-year expert meeting will focus on some of the particular transport and trade logistics challenges that SIDS face in connection with their remoteness and geographical location (cf. Doha Mandate, paragraph 56(j)). SIDS share the same environmental and economic vulnerabilities and sustainable development challenges, such as susceptibility to natural disasters; vulnerability to external shocks; remoteness from large markets, low transport volumes and connectivity leading to high freight and logistics costs; and high economic dependency on sea and air transport links.
Improved access to global markets and enhanced trade competitiveness is particularly important for these countries, as is ensuring the resilience of critical transport infrastructure. With SIDS being completely dependent on ports and airports, climate change risks such as rising sea levels, increasing temperatures and more frequent and/or intense storms pose serious threats to vital transport infrastructure, services and operations. Understanding the underlying risk and vulnerabilities and developing adequate adaptation measures is of the essence. Against this background, the strategic importance of ports for the growth and development of SIDS will be particularly highlighted.
Convened in 2014, which is the International Year of SIDS, and following the third International Conference on Small Island Developing States (Samoa Conference), the meeting offers a renewed opportunity to focus international attention on the unique transport-related challenges facing SIDS and consider ways in which these can be better understood and adequately addressed.
Input from experts
Experts are encouraged to prepare and submit brief papers related to their studies, findings and/or their country's experience. These papers will be made available to the meeting in the form and language in which they are received.
Papers should be submitted by 10 November 2014 and addressed to Ms. Wendy Juan, Palais des Nations, CH-1211 Geneva 10, Switzerland; fax: +41 22 917 0050; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.