unctad.org | Expert Meeting on the Participation of Developing Countries in New Dynamic Sectors of World Trade: Review of the Energy Sector
Expert Meeting on the Participation of Developing Countries in New Dynamic Sectors of World Trade: Review of the Energy Sector
29 November - 01 December 2006

Key Issues

A new energy economy has emerged. Its trade and development implications for developing countries, including the least developed countries and Africa, are an important consideration.

Global energy production and trade

The last few years have been characterized by important challenges, including:
  • volatile energy markets

  • high energy prices

  • policy reforms in the energy sector

  • the entry into force of the Kyoto Protocol

Rapid growth in demand, diminishing spare oil production capacity and surging oil prices are among factors that have pushed energy issues back to the top of the policy agenda in many countries.

Developing country economies face the prospect of higher energy prices and will need to diversify their energy mix, in many cases by moving away from fossil fuels to alternative sources of energy. At the same time, access to reliable and reasonably-priced energy is an indispensable element for achieving poverty reduction and sustainable development.

Against this backdrop, the Expert Meeting will focus on the theme of "Adjusting to the new energy economy: Challenges and opportunities for developing countries."


Agenda

Documents

Notification

The Expert Meeting on the Participation of Developing Countries in New Dynamic Sectors of World Trade: Review of the Energy Sector will be held at the Palais des Nations, Geneva. It will be opened at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, 29 November 2006.

Background and purpose of the Meeting

The Saõ Paulo Consensus mandates UNCTAD to convene sectoral trade reviews of dynamic sectors in world trade. In accordance with this mandate, the Commission on Trade, at its ninth session in 2005, decided to convene annual expert meetings on promoting participation of developing countries in dynamic and new sectors of world trade.

The last few years have been characterized by important challenges in respect of global energy production and trade, including volatile energy markets, high energy prices, policy reforms in the energy sector and the entry into force of the Kyoto Protocol. Rapid growth in demand, diminishing spare oil production capacity and surging oil prices are among factors that have pushed energy issues back to the top of the policy agenda in many countries. A new energy economy has emerged. Its trade and development implications for developing countries, including the least developed countries and Africa, are an important consideration.

Developing country economies face the prospect of higher energy prices and will need to diversify their energy mix, in many cases by moving away from fossil fuels to alternative sources of energy. At the same time, access to reliable and reasonably-priced energy is an indispensable element for achieving poverty reduction and sustainable development. Against this backdrop, the Expert Meeting will focus on the theme of "Adjusting to the new energy economy: Challenges and opportunities for developing countries."

Participation

Member States of UNCTAD are requested to nominate experts at an early date and not later than 3 November 2006. 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 government, academia, the private sector, and NGOs. In addition, experts from international and regional organizations dealing with issues related to the topic will be invited as resource perons.

Specialized agencies and intergovernmental bodies wishing to participate in the Meeting, 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 3 November 2006.

Financial assistance

Funds will be made available to finance the participation of a limited number of officially nominated experts from developing countries and countries with economies in transition. Governments requiring funding are therefore invited to explicitly request financing in their letters of nomination. The decision as to which experts should receive financing will be based on the principle of equitable geographical representation, needs of beneficiaries, in particular LDCs, and the expertise of the experts concerned, as well as the type and availability of funding in the Trust Fund for Financing the Participation of Experts at the time. Changes in nominated experts will be considered as new nominations.

Nominations with requests for financing should be received no later than 27 October 2006, and should be accompanied by the following information about the nominee:

  • Curriculum vitae;
  • Mailing address;
  • Telephone and fax number;
  • E-mail address; and
  • Name of a contact person in the Permanent Mission in Geneva.

It should be noted in this connection that, once the list of experts to be financed has been finalized, all travel arrangements will be made in accordance with United Nations rules and regulations, although use of the least costly fare will be authorized.

Background documents and contributed papers

The provisional agenda for the Meeting, together with the secretariat´s annotations thereto, is being circulated as document TD/B/COM.1/EM.31/1. In order to facilitate the discussion, the UNCTAD secretariat is preparing an issues note which will be circulated as TD/B/COM.1/EM.31/2.

In addition, experts are encouraged to prepare and submit brief papers related to their country´s experience in the energy sector. These papers will be made available to the Meeting in the form and language in which they are received.

Logistics

The Meeting will take place at the United Nations Office at Geneva, Palais des Nations. Simultaneous interpretation will be provided in the six official languages of the United Nations.

Upon arrival, participants are requested, before entering the Palais des Nations, to collect their badges at the UN Security Service, Pregny Gate entrance, 14 Avenue de la Paix. The Security Service is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. (non-stop). Because of the security measures in force, participants are strongly advised to arrive before 9 a.m. in order to complete entry procedures in good time and proceed to the Meeting in the E-Building (Bâtiment E) of the Palais. Participants are requested to carry a passport or similar national identity card with them. Taxis are not allowed to enter the grounds of the Palais des Nations, and visitors will therefore be dropped off at the requested entrance gates. Furthermore, luggage may not be brought into the buildings unless the Security Service gives special clearance.

Further information and contact details

Nominations and related communications concerning representation at the Meeting should be sent to the UNCTAD secretariat, Intergovernmental Affairs and Outreach Service, Palais des Nations, CH-1211 Geneva 10; fax: + 41(0) 22 917 0214; e-mail: correspondence@unctad.org.

All other enquiries should be addressed to the coordinator in the substantive division, tel.: +41 (0)22 917 56 42 or +41 (0)22 917 58 65, fax: +41 (0)22 917 00 44, e-mail: khalil.rahman@unctad.org or victor.ognivtsev@unctad.org.

(p.p signed)

Supachai Panitchpakdi
Secretary-General of UNCTAD
20 October 2006


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