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United Nations Global Supply Chain Forum

United Nations Global Supply Chain Forum:

The inaugural United Nations Global Supply Chain Forum, organized by UN Trade and Development (UNCTAD) and the Government of Barbados, concluded successfully recently.

  • UN Global Supply Chain Forum was the inaugural edition of the forum, which was held from May 21 to 24, 2024, in Barbados.
  • It was hosted by UN Trade and Development (UNCTAD) in collaboration with the Government of Barbados.
  • Over 1,000 participants from around the world convened to tackle the pressing issues of global disruptions, geopolitical tensions, climate change and the COVID-19 pandemic and their impact on global trade.
  • It gathered key figures, including trade and transport Ministers from several small island developing states (SIDS).
  • Representatives from various UN agencies, major ports like the Port of Seattle, and industry leaders in shipping and logistics were also present.
  • The forum underscored the complexities and opportunities in decarbonizing global shipping, with a particular focus on developing countries rich in renewable energy resources.
  • Efforts to incentivize low- or zero-carbon fuels, establish safety frameworks for new fuels, and enhance port readiness for handling various fuels were identified as critical steps in driving sustainable freight transport and logistics.
  • One of the major outcomes of the forum was the launch of the “Manifesto for Intermodal, Low-Carbon, Efficient and Resilient Freight Transport and Logistics.”.
  • This manifesto calls for a significant transformation in freight transport to achieve global climate targets and improve socio-economic resilience, emphasizing the transition to zero-emission fuels, optimized logistics, and sustainable value chains.
  • Digital technologies were highlighted as key to enhancing global supply chain resilience.
  • Ministers from SIDS advocated for international financial support and investment in green and sustainable technologies to enhance energy efficiency and combat marine pollution.
  • A significant achievement of the forum was the launch of the UN Trade and Development Trade-and-Transport Dataset, developed in collaboration with the World Bank.
  • This comprehensive repository provides global data on over 100 commodities and various transport modes, offering a holistic view of trade and transport costs.