High-Level Political Forum 2018 – Side Event: Blockchain for Transformation towards Sustainable and Resilient Societies

High-Level Political Forum 2018 – Side Event: Blockchain for Transformation towards Sustainable and Resilient Societies

11 July 2018

UNOPS, New York

The United Nations 2030 Agenda emphasizes the role that innovation plays in support of sustainable development. An important emerging innovation that has been in the news recently is blockchain / distributed ledger technology.

Originally, the blockchain’s primary use of blockchain technology was to store and track cryptocurrency transactions (e.g. Bitcoin). However, other uses and implementations have emerged in recent years. Some of these can be used to advance the implementation and monitoring of the SDGs for example by reducing food waste (SDG 12.3), supporting sustainable production by ensuring that products or production inputs are sustainably sourced, encouraging companies to adopt sustainable practices and integrate sustainability information into their products, and ensuring consumers have relevant information for sustainable lifestyles (SDGs 12.6 and 12.7); and providing legal identities and financial services to refugees and the very poor (SDG 2).

Blockchain can be a powerful lever to bring together all the stakeholders involved in value chains and those regulating them: producers, intermediaries, the final consumer – and governments. But value chains are international, and the loops can only be closed in an efficient manner if stakeholders, including governments, cooperate and coordinate across borders.

Target Audience
This roundtable aims at creating a discussion between policy makers, as well as with the private sector, international organizations, major groups and other relevant stakeholders involved in developing innovative solutions based upon blockchain/distributed ledger technology and partnership approach.

This Side Event will take place during the High Level Political Forum 2018. All participants must register on-line to attend the event.

The objective of this session is to:

  • Provide a mutual learning space where policymakers can interact with their peers and other relevant stakeholders on the potential applications of blockchain technology and lessons learned from existing applications.
  • Advance the implementation and monitoring of the Sustainable Development Goals, with a particular focus on the transformations enabled by Blockchain towards sustainable and resilient Societies.
  • Promote global multi-stakeholder partnerships to contribute to advancing the application of blockchain / distributed ledger technology for the implementation and monitoring of the SDGs.
  • Showcase how innovative startups and young entrepreneurs are developing solutions based on blockchain / distributed ledger technology to solve issues related to the SDGs targets under review by the HLPF.


13:00 – 13:30 – Speakers

  • Ms. Maria Ceccarelli, Chief, Trade Facilitation Section, UNECE
  • Mr. Yoshiyuki Yamamoto, Special Advisor, UN Engagement and Blockchain, UNOPS
  • HE Tadej Slapnik, State Secretary, Office of the Prime Minister, Slovenia
  • Mr. Ad Kroft, Chair, National Blockchain Coalition, The Netherlands
  • Ms. Vanessa Grellet, Executive Director ConsenSys
  • Mr. Gregor Novak, CEO SunContract

13:30 – 14:00 – Panel Discussion – Moderated by UNECE

14:00 – 14:30 – Open Discussion


United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS)
708 3rd Avenue, 14th Floor, New York, NY 10017 USA


Downloadable Brochure is here.

UN/CEFACT White Paper on Blockchain


United Nations Centre for Trade Facilitation and Electronic Business (UN/CEFACT) wishes to share the first White Paper on Blockchain authored by UN/CEFACT, which is currently out for Public Review.


This document was already referenced a few months back as one of the documents presented to UN/CEFACT 24th Plenary Session. This same document is out for Public Review in order to capture comments and suggestions from the general public.


The Public Review will end on 21 July 2018. UN/CEFACT will welcome all comments entered through this template.


UN/CEFACT Conference / Workshop on Blockchain

UN/CEFACT Conference / Workshop on Blockchain

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

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.

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).

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

Download: Agenda

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

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

24 April 2018

Palais des Nations, Geneva, Switzerland

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.

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

Exploring the transformative potential of blockchain for sustainable development at the 30th UN/CEFACT Forum

block chain with computer board and circuit and futural city. Fourth Industrial Revolution.

Blockchain is a rapidly evolving area of information technology with potential for huge benefits in terms of security, reliability and cost efficiency in the exchange of information.

Blockchain offers the advantage of a shared “end to end” record of information related to transaction history, which because it exists across a network rather than as single or multiple copies, cannot be altered or corrupted.

What are the possible implications of this new technology for trade and government services? How could it be used to advance the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)? Could existing United Nations’ standards for data and processes be used for its implementation? These are just a few of the questions addressed at a conference hosted by the Italian Trade Agency in Rome as part of the 30th UN/CEFACT Forum, which gathered around 150 experts from all over the world.

“Blockchain can help to achieve SDG 2 for ending hunger” according to Giovanni Pio, Head of Global Change Management at the World Food Programme (WFP). WFP has implemented a pilot blockchain project to transfer benefits to refugees in Jordan with a blockchain application. As a result, related transaction fees have been reduced by 98%, and the time required for transferring benefits by 3 to 5 business days. Blockchain technologies can therefore be a useful tool in supporting the poorest and hardest to reach populations – thereby contributing to SDG 1 for ending extreme poverty.

How can blockchain-based services support transparency and efficiency in the shipment and handling of containers in international trade? Sean A. McKenna, Senior Research Manager at IBM Industry Academy, talked about a joint project with Maersk for tracing containers, which has been tested and is about to be rolled out. Daniel Sarr, Director of Partnerships at Gainde 2000, said that they expect blockchain to eventually “ ease the submission of e-certificates and other licenses for trade transactions in Senegal – thus making trade easier and faster”.

Now, the question is how to bring this technology to maturity and develop applications with the critical mass needed for providing benefits at a global level. Building-up the necessary ecosystems for engaging all stakeholders developing necessary standards and resolving security issues are key pre-conditions for accelerating its adoption.

The United Nations Centre for Trade Facilitation and Electronic Business (UN/CEFACT), hosted by UNECE, is working with a team of experts on the preparation of two white papers on blockchain technology for  trade and economic development. These white papers will discuss: the strategic use of blockchain to support trade facilitation; how existing UN/CEFACT standards could be used by blockchain application developers; and any new deliverables (or revisions of existing deliverables) that should be proposed. These deliverables are being prepared for consideration by the next UN/CEFACT Plenary in April 2018.

For more information on the conference, please visit: http://www.unece.org/tradewelcome/un-centre-for-trade-facilitation-and-e-business-uncefact/meetings-and-events/uncefact/other-meetings/2017/uncefact-conference-on-blockchain/doc.html