unctad.org | Multi-year expert meeting on transport and trade facilitation (third session)
Multi-year expert meeting on transport and trade facilitation (third session)
08 - 10 December 2010

Key Issues

Emerging Challenges and Recent Developments Affecting Transport and Trade Facilitation
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In an increasingly globalized and interdependent world, development prospects are heavily reliant on well-functioning, lower-cost and quality transport systems, a transparent and simplified regulatory framework and efficient trade procedures.

Consequently, improved understanding of the driving forces currently altering the world transport and trade systems and their interrelationships is necessary to help devise adequate policy measures that promote trade competitiveness through reduced transport and trade costs.

A combination of factors is currently transforming the international transportation landscape. These span a broad range of areas, including economic (e.g. the financial crisis), energy-related (e.g. fuel prices), environmental (e.g. climate change), political (e.g. security), regulatory (e.g. international convention and multilateral/regional agreements in transport and trade facilitation), and technological (e.g. information and communication technologies).

These factors have a significant impact on transport and trade costs, which greatly determine developing countries´ trade performances and competitiveness. They also entail implications for transport policy objectives such as efficiency, cost-effectiveness, trade facilitation, security as well as environmental, energy and social sustainability.

The third session of the multi-year expert meeting on transport and trade facilitation will focus on a range of diverse topics including, for example:

  1. Emerging challenges affecting transport costs and connectivity.

  2. Regulatory and legal framework for transport and trade facilitation.

  3. UNCTAD´s contribution to the effective implementation of trade facilitation measures ensuing from the World Trade Organization negotiations, and the use of information and communication technologies in logistics.

The findings and recommendations of this expert meeting will be reported to the third session of the Trade and Development Commission, to be held 9-13 May 2011.

Input from experts

Experts are encouraged to prepare and submit brief papers related to their studies, findings and/or 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 23 November 2010 and addressed to:

Mr. Vincent Valentine
Palais des Nations
CH-1211 Geneva 10

F.: +41 22 917 0050
E.: vincent.valentine@unctad.org



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The Trade and Development Board, at its fifty-fifth session, approved the terms of reference for a Multi-year Expert Meeting on Transport and Trade Facilitation. In accordance with the terms of reference, the third session of the multi-year expert meeting will focus on "emerging challenges and recent developments affecting transport and trade facilitation". The expert meeting will be held from 8 to 10 December 2010 at the Palais des Nations in Geneva, in room XXVI. It will begin at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, 8 December.


Member States of UNCTAD are requested to nominate experts in areas of transport infrastructure and services, border crossing issues, trade facilitation and logistics, and related information and communication technologies at an early date and not later than 23 November 2010.

Experts, who will participate in the meeting in a personal capacity, are expected to have proven expertise in the subject and may be selected from government and non-governmental organizations, private sector or academia. 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 23 November 2010.

Financial assistance

Depending on the availability of funding in the Trust Fund for Financing the Participation of Experts at the time, 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 (a) equitable geographical representation; (b) the needs of beneficiaries, in particular least developed countries; and (c) the expertise of the experts concerned. Changes in nominated experts will be considered as new nominations.

Nominations with requests for financing should be received no later than 16 November 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, 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, will be circulated as document TD/B/C.I/MEM.1/7. In order to facilitate the discussion, the UNCTAD secretariat has prepared a background note, entitled "Emerging Challenges and Recent Developments Affecting Transport and Trade Facilitation", which will be circulated as TD/B/C.I/MEM.1/8.


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. (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.

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 22 917 0214; e-mail: meetings@unctad.org.

All other enquiries concerning substantive issues should be addressed to the coordinators in the substantive division (tel: +41 22 917 2041; fax: +41 22 917 0050; e-mail: vincent.valentine@unctad.org).


Supachai Panitchpakdi
Secretary-General of UNCTAD
26 October 2010


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