unctad.org | Single-year expert meeting on green and renewable technologies as energy solutions for rural development
Single-year expert meeting on green and renewable technologies as energy solutions for rural development
09 - 11 February 2010
Room XXVI, Palais des Nations

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The Trade and Development Board, at its forty-seventh executive session held on 30 June 2009, approved the following topic for a single-year expert meeting: Green and Renewable Technologies as Energy Solutions for Rural Development.

Commitments to improve access to reliable and affordable energy services, and in particular to increase the share of renewable sources of energy in the global energy supply, have repeatedly been made by Governments at the international level, most notably at the World Summit on Sustainable Development (2002), the World Summit (2005) and UNCTAD XII (2008).

Developing countries are unlikely to meet the Millennium Development Goals without access to affordable and predictable modern energy services. Lack of electricity and heavy reliance on traditional energy sources have been recognized as "hallmarks of poverty", with serious negative repercussions on health, gender equality, education, the environment, and agricultural productivity. While some progress has been registered towards implementing the commitments made in the Johannesburg Plan of Action, a significant gap remains.

It has increasingly been acknowledged that green renewable energy technologies (GRETs) can offer a vital contribution to poverty eradication, job creation, energy security and rural development. GRETs are, in addition, a determinant tool for transitioning towards low-carbon, sustainable growth paths, and enhancing the adaptive capacity of communities that are vulnerable to climate change.

UNCTAD´s expert meeting will explore how to integrate the development and deployment of GRETs into rural poverty reduction strategies, with a view to identifying the main social, technical, economic and cultural barriers, as well as the success factors and key policy tools.

Special emphasis will be placed on financing, technology and trade-related issues. The gender implications will also be examined.

Agenda

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Notification

The Single-year Expert Meeting on Green and Renewable Technologies as Energy Solutions for Rural Development will take place on 9-11 February 2010 in Room XXVI of the Palais des Nations, Geneva.

The meeting will begin at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, 9 February 2010.

Participation

UNCTAD member States are requested to nominate experts no later than 26 January 2010.

The subject of the meeting is of strategic importance for sustainable rural development, agricultural supply and export capacity, and also for value addition, climate-change mitigation and adaptation strategies, energy security, and poverty reduction strategies. The use of renewable energy technologies in rural areas can offer an array of job and income-generation activities, in particular for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

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 governmental and non-governmental organizations, private entities or academia.

The meeting will be of interest to government officials and representatives of the private sector involved in renewable sources of energy, rural development, investment and trade. It will also be of interest to government officials and representatives of the private sector involved in science, technology and innovation policy. In addition, experts from international and regional organizations will attend.

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 26 January 2010.

Financial assistance

Depending on the availability at the time of funding in the Trust Fund for Financing the Participation of Experts, funds may 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; on the needs of beneficiaries, in particular least developed countries; and on the expertise of the experts concerned. Changes to the names of the experts nominated will be considered as new nominations.

Nominations with requests for financing should be received no later than 15 January 2010 and should be accompanied by the following information about the nominee:

  • Curriculum vitae
  • Mailing address
  • Telephone and fax number
  • E-mail address
  • 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; use of the least costly fare will be authorized.

Experts are expected to prepare brief papers on issues they consider particularly important.

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/C.I/EM.3/1. In order to facilitate the discussion, the UNCTAD secretariat has prepared an issue note, which will be circulated as TD/B/C.I/EM.3/2.

In addition, all experts are encouraged to prepare and submit brief papers related to one or several of the issues contained in the provisional agenda to the meeting, as well as papers relating to their countries´ experience in promoting the use of green and renewable energy technologies for rural development.

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 United Nations Security Service, Pregny Gate entrance, 14 Avenue de la Paix. The Security Service is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. 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 entrance gates. Furthermore, luggage may not be brought into the buildings unless the United Nations 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 Support Service, Palais des Nations, CH-1211 Geneva 10; fax: + 41 22 917 0214; e-mail: meetings@unctad.org.

All other enquiries should be addressed to the coordinators in the substantive divisions, tel.: +41 22 917 5780, +41 22 917 4171; e-mail: ulrich.hoffmann@unctad.org or dong.wu@unctad.org.

(signed)

Supachai Panitchpakdi
Secretary-General of UNCTAD
29 December 2009


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