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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

The 39th UN/CEFACT Forum, taking place virtually on 5-6 December 2022, is aimed at reviewing and making progress on UN/CEFACT project deliverables, including recommendations, standards and solutions.  

Over the two days of Forum’s sessions, experts will focus on UN/CEFACT projects across several working areas, including digital product conformity, single window, sustainable tourism, ESG traceability in value chains and the use of artificial  intelligence in trade facilitation.

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

16 - 17 March, 2023

Palais des Nations

08 - 12 May, 2023

Palais des Nations,


Recent Events

17 - 18 January

Hybird Meeting
Palais des Nations - Building H - H/2-207 - H.207
1211 Geneva

15 December
online only