UNCTAD15 pre-event: Sustainable and resilient supply chains - Overcoming vulnerabilities in transport and trade facilitation to ensure prosperity for all

20 septembre 2021
14:30 - 16:00 hrs.

Well-functioning transport and logistics systems are essential for countries economic, social, and trade related sustainable development, as well as for supporting regional and global integration particularly for landlocked developing countries (LLDCs) and small island developing states (SIDS).

High transport cost, low connectivity, cumbersome manual trade procedures including at customs, restricted access to the sea (in the case of the LLDCs), inadequate transport infrastructure, limited services, transit-related challenges, and difficulties securing investments are among the challenges that must be addressed in order to achieve sustainable development in these countries. The rise in electronic commerce, further spurred by the pandemic, adds a new dimension to the challenges that these countries need to address in ensuring trade flows efficiently and sustainably. At the same time, digitalization has showed great potential in improving trade efficiency, including during pandemics.

Addressing these challenges including through promotion of sustainable transport and logistics, improved port and corridors performance and connectivity, as well as simplified, harmonized standardized and automated procedures and trade facilitation reforms will be key.

The Panel will assess global trends and challenges for the logistics of international trade, and what developing economies can do to reduce their vulnerabilities in the areas of transport and trade facilitation, taking into account implications of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The discussion will provide a platform for consideration of key issues and related areas for policy action, with special regard to the role of UNCTAD.



  • Ms. Shamika Sirimanne, Director, Division on Technology and Logistics, UNCTAD


  • H.E. Ms Beata Habyarimana, Minister of Trade and Industry, Rwanda
  • H.E. Mr. Faiyaz Koya, Minister for Industry, Trade and Tourism, Fiji
  • Ms. Isabelle Durant, Deputy Secretary-General, UNCTAD
  • Mr. Bismarck Rosales, Gerente General, Complejo Portuario Jennefer s.r.l. Bolivia
  • Mr. Owen Holder, Comptroller of Customs, Barbados
  • Mr. Ruth Banomyong, Dean, Thammasat Business School, Bangkok, Thailand

Expected outcome

Heightened awareness and better understanding of key vulnerabilities associated with trade logistics in developing countries, including those related to the COVID-19 pandemic and the growing risks of climate change impacts.

Considerations are expected to inform the UNCTAD15 deliberations in respect of issues for accelerated action and UNCTAD's related mandates.


Watch recording of UNCTAD15 pre-event


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Béata Uwamaliza Habyarimana
Minister of Trade and Industry
Government of Rwanda
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H.E. Ms Beata Uwamaliza Habyarimana is the Minister of Trade and Industry of Rwanda since March 15, 2021. She is an economist and financial advisor by profession with over 19 years of experience in the financial industry in both domestic, Pan-African and international institutions.

Prior to her appointment, Minister Béata Uwamaliza Habyarimana served as Deputy Managing Director of Bank of Africa, Chief Executive officer of Agaseke Bank and Head of Compliance at Banque Populaire du Rwanda. Her area of expertise covers business reshuffling and organizational change. She also played a key role in establishing the Financial Ethics and Compliance function within the financial industry by setting up the first Compliance forum under the Rwanda Bankers association.

Having been among the first female managing directors in the Rwandan banking sector and following her experience in SMEs financing, her personal action focuses on the persistent issue of women financial empowerment. Minister Béata is a founding member of New Faces New Voices Rwanda Chapter - a Pan-African advocacy group that focuses on expanding the role and influence of women in the financial sector- and a founding member of Rugori Investment Network, a new Trust Fund created by women and for women investment products. Minister Béata also sits on various Governance Bodies.

Minister Béata Uwamaliza Habyarimana holds a Master of Business Administration majoring in Finance from Maastricht School of Management in Netherlands and a Bachelor degree in Public Economics from the University of Rwanda.

Ruth Banomyong
Thammasat Business School
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Ruth Banomyong is currently Dean at the Faculty of Commerce & Accountancy (a.k.a Thammasat Business School), Thammasat University in Thailand.

Mr. Banomyong received his PhD in 2001, in the field of International Logistics within the Logistics & Operations Management Section (LOMS) at Cardiff Business School (UK). He was the winner of the James Cooper Cup in 2001 for the best PhD dissertation in logistics from the Chartered Institute of Logistics & Transport (CILT) in the United Kingdom.

In 2016, Supply Chain Asia (Singapore) awarded him the prize of supply chain educator of the year while the Industrial Engineering & Operations Management (IEOM) Society awarded him with the Distinguished Educator Award in 2021.

Mr. Banomyong's main research interests are in the field of multimodal transport, international logistics, trade facilitation, logistics development policy, supply chain performance and humanitarian supply chains. He has published over 100 papers and reports in journals, such as International Journal of Physical Distribution and Logistics Management, and has co-authored more than 10 books.

Since 1995, he has been a consultant for international agencies, such as the United Nations Conference on Trade & Development (UNCTAD), the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UN-ESCAP), The World Bank, The Asian Development Bank (ADB), The Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the OECD.

Faiyaz Koya
Minister for Commerce, Trade, Tourism and Transport
Government of Fiji
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H.E. Mr. Faiyaz Siddiq Koya, a Lawyer by profession is theFijian Minister for Commerce, Trade, Tourism and Transport, at the Ministry responsible for creating a "Brighter EconomicFuture for All".

Prior to joining the Fijian Government as the Fijian Minister forCommerce, Trade, Tourism and Transport, H. E. Mr. FaiyazSiddiq Koya held numerous Ministerial Portfolios within theFijian Government, as the Fijian Minister for Lands and MineralResources and Minister for Industry, Trade and Tourism.

Isabelle Durant
Deputy Secretary-General
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Ms. Isabelle Durant, of Belgium, is Deputy Secretary-General of UNCTAD. From February to 12 September 2021, she headed the organization as Acting Secretary-General before the appointment of a new UNCTAD Secretary-General on 13 September 2021. Prior to holding this position, she served the organization for over three years as UNCTAD’s Deputy Secretary-General.

Ms. Durant had a distinguished career in Belgian and European politics. She held the offices of Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Transport and Energy and Senator in the Belgian Government. She also served as Vice-President of the European Parliament and Presidency of the European Union Council of Ministers of Transport.

Ms. Durant has a wealth of experience collaborating with civil society and the private sector as well, notably as the Vice-President responsible for relations between the European Parliament and civil society. Finally, Ms. Durant has held posts as a senior consultant on the empowerment of women in local government for the UNDP and as a member of Parliament of the Brussels-Capital Region in Belgium.

Shamika N. Sirimanne
Director, Division on Technology and Logistics
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Shamika N. Sirimanne is the Director of the Division on Technology and Logistics of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD). She leads UNCTAD's trade logistics programme, including the work on trade facilitation, maritime transport, port management, and e-commerce and the digital economy. She also supervises UNCTAD’s largest technical cooperation programme, ASYCUDA—the Automated System for Customs. 

Ms. Sirimanne has extensive experience in development policy, research and technical cooperation gained from international organizations, national governments, think tanks and universities. Prior to UNCTAD, she served as the Director of the ICT and Disaster Risk Reduction Division of the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), where she spearheaded major regional cooperation programmes such as the Asia-Pacific Information Superhighway initiative, and Regional Drought Monitoring Mechanism.

During her tenure with ESCAP, Ms. Sirimanne also headed the trade facilitation programme, and led the macroeconomic policy work and ESCAP’s flagship publication, Economic and Social Survey of Asia and the Pacific. Prior to that, Ms. Sirimanne was with the UN Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), where she led the economic policy team and the Economic Report on Africa, the flagship publication of ECA. She has also worked for the Canadian Ministry of Finance and the World Bank. Ms. Sirimanne holds a PhD in Economics.

Bismarck Rosales
Gerente General
Complejo Portuario Jennefer s.r.l. Bolivia
Owen Holder
Comptroller of Customs
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Owen Holder is currently the Barbados Comptroller of Customs.

He has worked a Programme Officer with UNCTAD where he was stationed in Jamaica with responsibilities for managing activities related to ASYCUDA World, the Electronic Single Window and the Port Community System. He lead a team to implement ASYCUDA World in St. Helena and was Project Manager for the implementation of ASYCUDA World in Barbados.

He received a Master degree in Business Administration form the University of Surrey and a double Master degree from the University of Canberra in International Customs Law and Administration and Master in International Revenue Administration.

Mr. Holder was a certified lecture at University of Canberra where he completed CCLEC/University of Canberra lectures for the Diploma in Customs Management Studies through the region.



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