The fourth session of the Multi-year Expert Meeting on Services, Development and Trade: the Regulatory and Institutional Dimension will be held 23-24 February 2012 in room XXVI of the Palais des Nations, Geneva. It will commence at 10 a.m. on Thursday, 23 February.
Background and purpose of the meeting
The fourth session of this multi-year expert meeting is being held in accordance with the decision taken at the forty-fourth executive session of the Trade and Development Board on 10 July 2008.
The objective of the meeting is to assist developing countries, especially African countries, least developed countries (LDCs) and countries with special needs, in accordance with the Accra Accord, as well as countries with economies in transition, in establishing regulatory and institutional frameworks and cooperative mechanisms to support the strengthening of their domestic services capacity and its efficiency, competitiveness and export capacity.
According to the decision of the Board, this session of the multi-year expert meeting will (a) review trends and salient features of regulatory and institutional frameworks for infrastructure services (telecommunications, financial services, transport, energy and water supply services), development and trade; (b) exchange experiences and best-fit practices for building human capital and institutional and regulatory frameworks based on sectoral and modal (including mode 4) case studies and policy reviews; and (c) assess their impact on development and identify practical solutions, options, capacity-building programmes and indicative guidelines/checklists of best-fit practices for policymakers and regulators. When addressing the above issues, particular emphasis will be given to the situation of Africa and of LDCs.
Seeking to strengthen the capacity of developing countries, particularly least developed countries, to benefit from improving their infrastructure services sectors in support of their national economic and social development goals, the meeting will bring together experts from regulatory agencies and competition authorities, experts dealing with policymaking and trade negotiations as well as experts from research institutions, civil society and the private sector to address the development implications of regulatory and institutional frameworks in infrastructure services sectors, to clarify key relevant issues and identify practical options as well as capacity-building programmes fitting into the specific situation, needs and capabilities of these countries. The meeting will also provide guidance for UNCTAD´s future work in this area.
Experts, who will participate in the meeting in their personal capacities, are expected to have proven expertise in the subject (i.e. regulation of any of the sectors mentioned above and its interaction with trade and development, including in the context of bilateral, regional and multilateral trade agreements).
The meeting may be of particular interest to experts dealing with infrastructure-related issues - regulation, policymaking and trade negotiation - as well as experts from research institutions, civil society and the private sector whose focus is on infrastructure services sectors. Member States of UNCTAD are requested to inform the secretariat of the names of their participating experts at an early date, and not later than 9 February 2012.
Specialized agencies and intergovernmental bodies (international and regional) 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 9 February 2012. There is no limit to the number of experts (including from the member States) to participate in the meeting.
Experts are encouraged to prepare and submit to the meeting brief papers (5-12 pages) related to one or several of the issues contained in the provisional agenda, which will be available on the UNCTAD website, as well as papers on their country´s experience in terms of regulation, development and trade of infrastructure service. These papers will be made available to the meeting in the form and language in which they are received. They should be sent in advance of the meeting to the coordinators in the UNCTAD secretariat as provided in this notification.
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 direct involvement and expertise of the nominated experts in the regulation and supervision of the infrastructure services sectors to be covered by the meeting; on the principle of equitable geographical representation; and on the needs of beneficiaries, in particular LDCs. Changes in the experts nominated will be considered as new nominations.
Nominations with requests for financing should be received no later than 12 January 2011 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
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 - that is, the use of the least costly fare will be applied.
The provisional agenda for the meeting, together with the secretariat´s annotations thereto, will be circulated as document TD/B/C.I/MEM.3/10. In order to facilitate the discussion, the UNCTAD secretariat has prepared an issues note, which will be circulated as TD/B/C.I/MEM.3/11.
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 Security Service gives special clearance.
Nominations and enquiries
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(0) 22 917 0214; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
All other enquiries should be addressed to the coordinators in the substantive divisions, tel.: +41 (0)22 917 5866 or +41 (0)22 917 5701; fax: +41 (0)22 917 0044; e-mail: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
Secretary-General of UNCTAD
1 December 2011