UNCTAD’s DSG will Chair Expert Meeting on VSS, Market Access and SDG

The UNCTAD’s Deputy Secretary-General, Mme Isabelle Durant, will Chair this expert meeting on Voluntary Sustainability Standards (VSS) on Wednesday 27 September at the Palais des Nations Room XXV in Geneva.

The key questions that will be discussed during the meeting are:

  • How effective have VSS been for sustained, inclusive and sustainable trade?
  • What type of global partnership can help improve VSS’ effectiveness on inclusive and sustainable trade growth?
  • What is the role of a national regulatory framework on VSS?
  • What are key lessons from the formation of national multi-stakeholder platforms on VSS so far?
  • Is there a need for global governance on VSS?

Isabelle Durant

UNCTAD’s Deputy Secretary-General, Mme. Isabelle Durant

Agenda VSS September 27

REGISTRATION for the meeting


Wednesday 27th September 2017
13:30 – 14:45 Registration
14:45 – 16:00 VSS and trade-led sustainable growth: Do we need global governance?

·         How do we balance “gains” from VSS across different stakeholders?

·         How can trade policy tackle VSS influence on developing countries’ market access?

·         When and in which areas global governance on VSS is needed?


Chair:  Isabelle Durant, Deputy Secretary-General of UNCTAD



­Harsha Vardhana Singh, Brookings India

Patrick Mallet, ISEAL Alliance

­Bernard Hoekman, European University Institute

­Noel Kalo, Department of Industry, Vanuatu

­Andrea Barrios Villareal, México

­Kali Taylor, SDG Lab


­Aimée Hampel-Milagrosa, Asian Development Bank

­Mika Vepsalainen, UNECE

16:00 – 16:15 Coffee break
16:15 – 17:30 Multi-Stakeholder Approach at the National Level

·         Case study on the national multi-stakeholder VSS platforms of China, India and Brazil

·         What is the role of a national regulatory framework on VSS?

·         How do we assess various stakeholders’ interests and concerns on VSS?

·         Can governments use national platform on VSS to implement policies on sustainable development?

 Moderator: Thomas Fues, Director, MGG, German Development Institute (DIE)



­Rogerio Correa, National Institute of Metrology, Quality and Technology Brazil

­Zhang Xiuchun, China Association for Standardization

­Sofia Pacheco, Dirección Nacional de Normas, México

­Manish Pande, Quality Council of India

­ Aderina Uli Panggabean, National Standardization Agency Indonesia

­    Matlhale Peter, South Africa Bureau of Standards

Discussants: UNFSS Members: FAO, ITC, UNCTAD, UN Environment, UNIDO

17:30 – 18:00 Concluding remarks by Bonapas Onguglo, Trade Analysis Branch, UNCTAD


This meeting is supported by the United Nations Forum on Sustainable Standards (UNFSS) and the German Development Institute (DIE).


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.