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Trade home

The trade programme works to develop closer economic relations among member States, as well as to better integrate their economies into the world economy. The trade programme's inter-governmental bodies make policy recommendations, develop standards for use in trade and assist member States in implementing them. These bodies also suggest ways and means of creating legal and administrative frameworks for fostering trade. Work includes a range of activities to assist member States with: trade facilitation; regulatory and standards policy; commercial agricultural standards; and e-business standards.

In focus

WP.6 will host a forum of all of its subgroups and initiatives from 1 to 10 June 2022. This will be an excellent opportunity to see the breadth of work undertaken within WP.6. We will be

  • showcasing best practices in market surveillance and gender-responsive standards;
  • discussing new work such as artificial intelligence, cybersecurity, circular economy;
  • engaging with academia to enhance our work on education on standardization;
  • studying the gender-dimension of digitalization;

We will also be sharing the results of our three-year project on gender-responsive standards and standards for the SDGs and looking into possible new directions.

All meetings will be open to the public and available for on-line participation. More information available on the event webpage.

Trade Facilitation and Electronic Business Resources for COVID-19 Response

The COVID-19 pandemic has evolved from a health crisis into an economic crisis causing major disruption in global trade. The United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) and its subsidiary inter-governmental body - UN/CEFACT have a number of tools and resources that can be used to address the immediate and long term challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic to facilitate global trade. The aim of this website is to provide a non-exhaustive list of such resources on trade facilitation and digitalization.

At its sixty-ninth session the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) committed to step up efforts to promote circular economy approaches and the sustainable use of natural resources by mainstreaming circularity and the sustainable use of natural resources in existing relevant UNECE work.

Held on the side-lines of the 76th session of the UNECE Working Party on Agricultural Quality Standards, as part of a UNECE project on Accelerating the transition towards a Circular Economy in the UNECE region, the aim of the roundtable is to explore the links between circular economy and agri-food production, trade, and standards, including in relation to food loss and waste. The tentative programme can be found here.

The roundtable is part of a UNECE led multi-agency project on Accelerating the transition towards a Circular Economy (2021-2024), which will help member States harness the power of trade and economic cooperation in their circular economy transition through interventions in three areas: traceability of supply chains, innovation-enhancing procurement, and the management of waste, including food loss and waste.


  • UN/CEFACT has recently published several White Papers, Guidelines and Executive Guides which are available on the website
  • UN/CEFACT has over a dozen active projects ranging from Single Window recommendations to eQuality Certificates and Sustainable tourism to Blockchain. If you are interested in joining our work, please contact us at [email protected] 
  • UNECE is keen to present one solution: the [email protected] – a digital blockchain-powered food loss and waste management system. It is designed to identify and quantify the food which disappears on its way from the farm to our shops, the currently “invisible” food and make it available for redistributing, donating or further processing.
    Please also check the latest food loss and waste [email protected] video.
  • The 17th MARS Group meeting in Moscow showcased coordination possibilities of market surveillance worldwide with the example of the EU, addressed product non-compliance risk in international trade and the use of WP.6 Recommendations R, P, S and T in creating risk-based import compliance frameworks using predictive risk management tools. The meeting also outlined the important role of standards in the market surveillance agencies’ work.
  • Working Party 6, in collaboration with the Kyrgyz Economic University, organized a Workshop on Women Entrepreneurship which raised awareness regarding the challenges faced by women in business, when trading internationally, and identify measures to build capacity for increased female entrepreneurship.
  • New brochure on “Gender Responsive Standards”: Standards are often developed by technical committees where the participation of women is far below parity. Very few methodologies exist to probe if standards respond to gendered needs and to correct any gender bias in standards. The UNECE marked “World Standards Day” by raising awareness about UNECE Gender Responsive Standards Declaration, which aims at making standards work for women.
  • New brochure on “Standards for Sustainable Development”: The UNECE marked World Standards Day by launching the Standards for the SDGs Portal a vital awareness-raising tool, that allows UNECE and other standards developing organizations to highlight how their work helps advance Agenda 2030 and shares stories about successful implementation. All users are invited to use the available templates to submit information to be added to the portal.

Upcoming Events

28 - 30 September, 2022

Palais des Nations, Room XXVII

10 - 11 October, 2022

Hybrid meeting, Salle XXI
Palais des Nations


Recent Events

22 September
online only
15 September
online only