UNFSS Official Launch


The official public launch of the UNFSS will be held in Geneva on March 21st and 22nd 2013.

This will be an opportunity to learn about the goals of this new forum to address the issue of Voluntary Sustainability Standards as a sustainable development tool. As well it will provide an opportunity for participants to express their opinion on priority issues the UNFSS should address and activities it should undertake.


For your reference, below is the official flyer for the UNFSS, which provides more information, as well as the Agenda for the Launch.

UNFSS Flyer February 2013


A summary of impacts related to Voluntary Sustainability Standards, prepared by the ITC:

Briefing research standards for UNFSS.pdf

A draft decision-making tool for policy-makers on VSSs, prepared by the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED) under the auspices of the Trade Standards Practitioners Network

TSPN Guide v9.pdf

UNDP Discussion Note – This paper looks at the contextualization of VSSs as tools within a broader development perspective, and stresses the need to identify and address the root causes limiting development, arguing that both private and public sector must proactively address those causes.

UNDP Discussion Note.pdf

For more downloads related to the Launch and Briefings, please visit the Launch Documentation page.


The United Nations Forum on Sustainability Standards (UNFSS) is a joint initiative of 5 UN Agencies (FAO, ITC, UNCTAD, UN Environment and UNIDO) that seeks to address these challenges. It is a demand-driven forum for intergovernmental actors to communicate among each other and engage with key target groups (producers, traders, consumers, standard-setters, certification-bodies, trade diplomats, relevant NGOs and researchers) to address their information needs and influence concerned stakeholders. It aims to provide impartial information, analysis, and discussions on VSS and their potential contribution to facilitate market access, strengthen public goods and achieve Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Most importantly, the UNFSS focuses on potential trade or development obstacles VSS may create, with particular emphasis on their impact on SMEs and less developed countries.