Events

Triple Vulnerabilities: The Role of Sustainable Trade and Value Chains

In a world grappling with converging disruptions: effects of the pandemic, supply chain strains, and climate change; the conflict in Ukraine further risks pushing the world into a global crisis. UNCTAD’s analysis indicates a worsening outlook for the world’s economy, underpinned by rising food, fuel and fertilizer prices, heightened financial volatility, sustainable development divestment, complex global supply chain reconfigurations and mounting trade costs. “Soaring food and fuel prices will affect the most vulnerable in developing countries, putting

UNFSS National Platforms

Local Solutions for Global Challenges: The Role of UNFSS National Platforms’ Network in maximising benefits of Voluntary Sustainability Standards (VSS)

Everyday life has been struck by climate change effects, deepening poverty and hunger, the COVID-19 pandemic, and the crisis in Ukraine. As a result, the world is witnessing accelerating existing vulnerabilities and widening inequalities. The value of multilateralism and trade cannot be undermined in providing a sustainable recovery path, especially for the most vulnerable groups. In light of the above, the UNFSS National Platform and Initiative Cooperation Network (NPICN) met on 24th May

Africa prepares to mainstream Voluntary Sustainability Standards: Launch of the African Continental platform on Voluntary Sustainability Standards

On 6th April 2022, the African Organisation for standardization (ARSO), in collaboration with UNFSS, launched the African Continental platform on Voluntary Sustainability Standards. The platform will promote the development and implementation of sustainability standards, assist Small and Mid-size Enterprises (SMEs) in their implementation, and encourage the establishment of national platforms in ARSO member countries. The launch was conducted virtually and discussed the importance of an established multi-stakeholder platform for collectively assessing VSS’s impact on Africa’s sustained trade growth and sustainable development.

Empowering Women is Smart Economics and Pathway Towards the SDGs

Improving gender equality has many positive impacts on individuals and also on society at large. Empowering women in the economy and closing gender gaps are key to achieving the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. When more women work, economies grow! Empowering women to become full economic citizens has grown importance in the work of the United Nations Forum on Sustainability Standards (UNFSS). The underlying point of reference as Mr. Santiago Fernandez de Cordoba, Senior Economist andUNFSS Coordinator, UNCTAD prescribed as a

Voluntary Sustainability Standards for People, Planet, and Prosperity: Focus on G20

The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed systemic fragilities across the globe. The pandemic has not only been a global health crisis but also has severely impacted the global economy and financial markets. The pandemic has affected people’s livelihoods, health and disrupted food systems. Significant reductions in income, rise in unemployment, and disruption in services have been common aftermath, especially in the developing countries. Fig.1 International trade plunged as the virus spread (Source:

Standards and Poverty Reduction: What role do Voluntary Sustainability Standards play? 

03rd December 2021, Geneva – The International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) and the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) launched the report- IISD’s SSI Review: Standards and Poverty Reduction. The report was launched in a joint UNCTAD-IISD webinar, held as a part of IISD Trade + Sustainability Hub, 2021. The report examines the potential of voluntary sustainability standards (VSS) operating in the agriculture sector to reduce poverty, which includes a chapter that UNCTAD and IISD wrote jointly on Understanding Smallholder Farmer Access to VSS-compliant Markets.  It is estimated that 80% of the

Research Frontiers on the Adoption, Impact and Effectiveness of Voluntary Sustainability Standards

The United Nations introduced the word “sustainability” into common usage, and defined sustainable development as “development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs”- Brundtland Report, 1987. The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) has broadened the scope and premise of the strategies for development with full considerations for social factors as it includes employment, education, nutrition, health, income distribution, poverty reduction, basic needs, the environment. However, there cannot

turned on monitor displaying frequency graph

Fostering Sustainable Trade in the APEC Region

On 14 September 2021, the UNFSS co-organized a 3-day Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Stakeholder VSS Awareness Workshop together with the APEC Secretariat and the Department of Standards Malaysia. APEC is comprised of 21 member economies which aims to create greater prosperity for the people of the region by promoting balanced, inclusive, sustainable and secure growth and by accelerating regional economic integration. Against this background, the UNFSS has been a close partner to deliberate the

ground group growth hands

Leveraging collaboration, transparency, and fairness to enhance VSS effectiveness in achieving sustainable development

On 30 August 2021, UNCTAD launched its report “Better Trade for Sustainable Development: The Role of Voluntary Sustainability Standards” in a webinar chaired by Ms. Isabelle Durant, Acting Secretary-General of UNCTAD. Ms. Durant highlighted the need to pursue development under the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) umbrella. While she indicated the role of international trade as a means of implementation for the achievement of the SDGs, she referred, as well, to the adverse social and environmental impacts resulted

black concrete biulding

Better Trade for Sustainable Development: The Role of Voluntary Sustainability Standards

The expansion of international trade in the last decades, although it has brought economic and societal benefits across the globe, sometimes led to failure in addressing the adverse social and environmental impacts. Sustainable trade takes place when these adverse impacts are mitigated, and the international exchange of goods and services yields positive social, economic and environmental benefits [Read: Minding the gap to foster better trade for sustainable development]. For trade to become a ‘sustainable engine’, one approach