About UN News

For UN related news, please click each organization’s name on the right column.

Selected news articles concerning blockchain technology, other than UN related ones, are also posted here.

 

Blockchain for Sustainable and Inclusive Finance

This is conference information – Blockchain for Sustainable and Inclusive Finance

There will be one day dialogue on 25th April 2018 on Blockchain for Sustainable and Inclusive Finance along with discussions on prospects for integrating the principle of sustainable development in faith-consistent financing to achieve the SDGs.

The workshop is hosted by the Responsible Finance & Investment Foundation (RFI), the Swiss-Arab Network (SAN), UN Environment (UNEP), the Bank of the Argentine Nation and European Partners for the Environment.

Continue reading “Blockchain for Sustainable and Inclusive Finance”

UN/CEFACT Conference / Workshop on Blockchain

UN/CEFACT Conference / Workshop on Blockchain

26 April 2018, at Palais des Nations, Geneva, Switzerland

Background
The UN/CEFACT Blockchain Whitepaper Project was launched in May 2017 and currently has 75 participating experts The scope of the project is to look at:

  • How Blockchain technology could be used to facilitate trade and related business processes
  • How existing UN/CEFACT deliverables could be used by Blockchain application developers
  • Possible changes to existing UN/CEFACT deliverables, or new deliverables, that could be considered in order to support Blockchain trade-facilitation related applications.

Follow the URL for more complete description of the project.

Objective
The objective of this workshop/conference is to discuss and obtain feedback and comments from experts on the:

  • Issue of interoperability between different blockchains
  • Draft chapters for the White Paper on Blockchain and Trade Facilitation
  • Draft White Paper on Blockchain Standards

The project team and participating experts will also discuss recommendations to be made to the UN/CEFACT Bureau for subsequent follow-up activities.

Target Audience
All interested in finding out more about how Blockchain could be used to support trade (including trade in services).

Registration
To attend the conference, participants need to be register for the UN/CEFACT Forum. You are kindly requested to register online.

Download: Agenda

UNOPS Partners With the Dutch Government’s “Blockchain Pilots” to Explore Legal Dimensions of Distributed Ledger Technology

New study brings 13 authors together on a range of legal aspects of blockchain topics, including identity, data ownerships, cryptocurrencies, and its use in the UN system.


“The aim of this publication is to act as a catalyst to discuss the legal implications that blockchain has – and may have – not only in humanitarian and development work, which is our prime concern, but also on existing regulatory frameworks, data and identity more broadly,” said Yoshiyuki Yamamoto, Special Advisor on UN Engagement and Blockchain Technology at UNOPS.

The new study is set to be released this summer, with a launch event to follow in New York mid-September.

“For blockchain to reach its full potential a clear understanding of the legal implications involved is required,” said Koen Hartog, Programme Manager for Blockchain Pilots, based in The Hague.

He added: “Legal experts should be involved in all blockchain projects at the early stages, however, this is not always the case. We hope this book is a helpful introduction to blockchain for legal experts working in public administration and international organizations.”

If you are interested in placing a pre-order of the digital version of the book or the limited number of printed copies available, please register using this form.

UN World Food Program taps blockchain startup for school lunch tracking in Tunisia

The Sociable

April 4, 2018

The United Nations World Food Program is leveraging a blockchain technology startup to track school lunches in Tunisia, so that each child is fed.

The blockchain startup, Devery, is working with the UN World Food Program, along with the Tunisian Ministry of Education to implement a blockchain-based tracking system for its school meals program.

Through this three-way partnership, the initial roll out will feed 1,500 primary school kids, with the goal of ultimately rolling out to the scheme to all 400,000 Tunisian school children currently receiving food assistance. Read more.

UNOPS and Mastercard to Work Together on Innovative Ways to Finance Humanitarian Operations

UNOPS

3/21/2018

A Memorandum of Understanding between the two organizations was signed in New York

The transfer of funds is a necessary transaction for successful project implementation.

For UNOPS, working in some of the world’s most challenging environments, this transaction can sometimes take the form of cash payments to our suppliers, contractors and personnel.

In an effort to help speed-up funds transfers in the field, particularly in high-risk environments, Mastercard will begin research on a payment platform that could allow UNOPS to send payments to its service providers in the field digitally.

Mastercard recently tested and validated its own blockchain technology in the business-to-business space to address challenges related to speed, transparency and costs, when it comes to cross-border payments.

“Given that payment infrastructure in any given country can differ significantly, the solution must be able to work across geographies and in areas where banks – and perhaps even mobile connectivity – are not readily available,”

Yoshiyuki Yamamoto – Special Advisor for UN Engagement and Blockchain Technology for UNOPS.

 

Mastercard will initially focus on the digital disbursement of payments to UNOPS services providers in the field, which would then allow them to cash-out payments in local currencies.

As a second phase, the developed solution, by virtue of its ability to digitally inject funds in-country, could help provide incentives for local merchants to begin accepting digital payments.

“This new MOU underlies UNOPS commitment to efficiency and transparency,” added Mr. Yamamoto. “The work of our suppliers and contractors helps UNOPS deliver on its mission in some of the harshest environments. It’s important that we look at more innovative ways to finance these operations.”

ConsenSys Wins #Blockchain4Humanity Challenge for Designing Blockchain-Based Identification System to Help End Child Trafficking in Republic of Moldova

UN PRESS RELEASE

PI/2224
15 MARCH 2018

NEW YORK, 15 March 2018 (Office of Information and Communications Technology) — The United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS) and the United Nations Department of Management’s Office of Information and Communications Technology announced today that the Blockchain for Social Impact team of ConsenSys has won the Unite Ideas “Blockchain for Humanity” challenge, launched by the World Identity Network, the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS) and the United Nations Office of Information and Communications Technology. Read more.

UN/CEFACT Conference on “Internet of Things (IoT)”

UN/CEFACT Conference on “Internet of Things (IoT)”

24 April 2018

Palais des Nations, Geneva, Switzerland

Background
Over the past years, Internet of Things (IoT) technology has been increasingly in the news with many articles and usage. IoT appears to be an important new development which will allow integration of Internet based technologies into every sphere of life including the area of Trade Facilitation Objective This Conference seeks to establish some clarity and a collective understanding of the potential of IoT technology for supporting trade and trade facilitation as well as the other business and government activities where the United Nations Centre for Trade Facilitation and Electronic Business (UN/CEFACT) has projects.

To reach this objective, a range of experts will talk about the various aspects of IoT technology and will take questions from the floor. You will also hear from organizations, from different sectors, about their experiences and lessons learned from implementing IoT-based pilot projects or operational systems. Speakers will talk about the use of IoT in transportation (including a seaport), finance, supply chains, agriculture, energy and other sectors. It will also address Security and Authentication issues of IoT applications. Come, learn and contribute to the discussion.

Target Audience

  • UN/CEFACT Experts interested in associating IoT with UN/CEFACT standards and deliverables
  • Potential users of IoT in all fields of activity (even outside UN/CEFACT)
  • All parties that have an interest in easier cross border trade
  • Decision makes in the field of Trade facilitation Organizers
  • UN/CEFACT eGovernment Domain.

Registration
To attend the conference, participants need to be register for the UN/CEFACT Forum. You are kindly invited to register online

Call for Application for UNICEF Innovation Investment Fund

 

UNICEF Innovation is running an investment fund that currently has an open call for blockchain start-ups.

UNICEF Innovation is seeking open-source blockchain projects (or willing to be open-source) with an existing prototype that has started in one of UNICEF’s programme countriesUp to $90,000 of equity-free seed investment from UNICEF’s Innovation Fund is available for companies that can show a strong founding team and a clear path to improving humanity.

This link defines the areas UNICEF Innovation is particularly interested in investing in, together with the selection criteria and additional non-monetary benefits they provide. It would be very helpful if you could forward this information to start-ups and colleagues within your network that may be interested in this opportunity and help us spread the word.

Other links:

If you have any question in this regard, please contact Mr. Qusai Jouda qjouda@unicef.org

 

Could bitcoin technology revolutionize aid distribution?

Most people probably don’t associate bitcoin technology with global aid distribution. But perhaps they should… here’s how the use of blockchain could be crucial in the fight against inefficient aid distribution:


During my time working in Afghanistan, there was a hospital in Kabul that was so desperate for a single generator that it applied to multiple UN agencies for help. They received five.

Although the hospital’s needs were met, the duplication simply resulted in wasted resources. This is a familiar story – it happens all over development and humanitarian sectors.

Duplication isn’t the only source of wasted resources – many inefficiencies are built into the multiple layers of the international aid funding system.

Starting with taxpayers in contributing countries, aid funds go through many hands, from one institution to another. Each layer adds on additional costs, entails additional reporting requirements and means increased time to deliver results. Read more.