ICC and FAO/International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC) have been collaborating on an innovative project for plant protection with an international ePhyto web hub to digitalize trade facilitation. The system is rolling out to countries worldwide now, and ICC is pleased to announce the project has received a trade facilitation innovation award at the Asia-Pacific Trade Facilitation Forum 2019, 17-18 September 2019, in New Delhi, India. The award was for piloting and implementation of the Generic e-Phyto National System (GeNS) in Samoa and Sri Lanka.
The innovation award recognizes the work of IPPC and ICC in delivering the ePhyto hub, providing tools and opportunities to realize UN Sustainable Development Goals. There is strong interest in the Asia-Pacific for further country participation and implementation.
IPPC’s Secretariat Craig Fedchock, who was also the e-Phyto project leader, enlisted the expertise of ICC’s Venkat Venkatswaran, Chief of Application Delivery, as the e-Phyto project manager. Together, their work helped develop and operate a centralized hub to facilitate the exchange of plant certificates through a protected, web-based system. This e-Phyto application will help standardize plant trade certificates, as well as prevent the submission of fraudulent certificates for unfit and unsafe plants.
The partnership of ICC and IPPC successfully delivered an innovative solution for developing countries to ensure plant safety and protection, as they move across borders. Electronic phyto-sanitary certificates, in place of paper certificates, ensure safe standards in the arrival and clearance of plants. Trade suffers when ePhyto certificates do not utilize a harmonized e-business standard. IPPC and ICC, through their collaboration on a Generic e-Phyto National Systems (GeNS) for plant trade certificates, have delivered a progressive and tangible solution to an on-going issue for plant trade. See the presentation shared at the forum here.
The Asia-Pacific Trade Facilitation Forum is the leading regional platform for the exchange of information, experiences and practice on trade facilitation. The APTFF has been organized by the Asian Development Bank (ADB), the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) and a growing number of partners since 2009, including UNCTAD, WCO and WTO. It is held biennially and attracts more than 250 participants from 30 countries.
A Microsoft United Nations General Assembly Side Event with UNDP, UNICEF, World Bank and others…
Microsoft hosted a UN General Assembly side event called Leading Social Impact through innovation and Partnership at the Microsoft Technology Centre, 11 Times Square on Wednesday 25 September from 6:00-9:00 pm. Anish, Paolo, Lyle, Ender, Philippe, Tom, Barto, Lei Ming, Bill and Maria from ICC attended the evening meeting with Microsoft and other colleagues from UNDP and UNICEF.
The key question of the evening was: How can we harness the power of technology to empower a sustainable future and enable the achievement of the SDGs?
The event highlighted examples of digital innovation to advance lasting solutions to spark economic opportunity, social inclusion and drive progress. Alex Pinho, Justin Spelhaug of Microsoft’s Tech for Impact Group and Kate Behncken of Microsoft Philanthropies guided the evening that showed concrete examples of private-public partnerships to make a difference.
Microsoft wants to bring the power of technology to every United Nations organization to accelerate social impact around the world, from the Kakuma Refugee Camp in Kenya to the 450,000 Syrian children refugees in Turkey today.
It’s great to have the technology, but you can’t use it if you don’t have the skills.
A new blueprint is needed for corporate responsibility today.
Technology is more relevant and accessible than never before. 20 years ago there were 10 people in the room having this discussion. Today there are more than 100.
Microsoft has moved from a focus on upgrades and patches to PCs to being full members in delivery of the SDGs.
Technology can change the world, but no organization can do this alone.
Marcos Neto, Director of the Finance Sector Hub, UNDP
There are so many business opportunities to unlock in the SDGs… It is not easy for corporations to change, but at UNDP we want to help them redirect the flow of money towards the SDGs.
We are trying to use digital transformation to solve development problems, but half the world’s population have no internet.
There are two inter-related concepts that are important for UNDP’s Digital Strategy: Digitization and Digitalization. Digitization is the process of converting physical information into digital formats. It is commonly-driven by technologies that focus on enhancing efficiency by automation of existing processes.
Digitalization is the use of digital technologies to change an organization’s business model, including creating new or improved ways of delivering services, and improving the quality of what is delivered. See Digital Strategy website and document
Mustafa Osman Turan, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and next Turkish Ambassador to Bangladesh
You need partnerships because the problems are so complex. Investors, private companies, philanthropists, governments, non-profits… we all have to work together.
The SDG Impact Accelerator (SDGia) is a global accelerator built by a multi stakeholder platform focusing on empowering “systems entrepreneurs” and innovators who are providing impact at scale. This Turkish funding mechanism is working with UNDP, WFP, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation as well as other private and public organizations in Turkey and around the globe.
The key mission is to help with basic services access and clean water through equity free cash, mentoring, field visits, networking, impact capital and strategic partnerships. See SDG Impact Accelerator 2020
Zachary Carmichael, with the Famine Action Mechanism (or FAM) from the World Bank
Analysing data in new and innovative ways has allowed us to quantify the structural drivers causing famine. With AI-driven technology we can forecast these events. We don’t need to wait for the worse, we can start mobilizing resources earlier.
We don’t need to wait. Using early warnings we can start mobilizing resources. Intervening earlier makes the difference between life and death.
For prevention and risk management to address fragility, conflict and violence around famine. See FAM website
George Peradze, Chief, Administrative Division, UNDP
We can get rid of paper processes with automation. We can save lives by changing our own behavior on the road through a monitoring device.
Smart asset management and lean vehicles. Joint project with Microsoft on UNDP Vehicle Tracking.
The goal of the project is to digitize and digitalize assets and processes and control costs, replacing old manuals and log books with a tracking and monitoring tools to optimize all vehicle use, helping improve road safety.
Daniel Couture, CIO, UNICEF (and Chair, ICC Management Committee)
We need to respond to threats in a more integrated way. We are dealing with financial information from beneficiaries and supporters, with information regarding children. We need to act responsibly. We need to increase awareness, from threat management to threat prevention.
UNICEF is working with Microsoft (including Azure Sentinel) for improved enterprise platform security with increased awareness, intelligence, information and integration across UNICEF information and system platforms to share data and visualize it to improve the risk and mitigate threats to the organization’s security posture.
Couture underscored the point to scale up, utilising AI and other sophisticated technologies to protect the right to privacy for UNICEF staff and the women and children they serve.
Microsoft’s partnership allows for better planning around the software-as-a-service modalities, the complex business systems and the increasingly sensitive data (beneficiary data) in a world of shifting attack paradigms with better threat prediction. This includes revisiting the UNICEF approach to operational security.
UNICEF can achieve this though:
Increased detection and response capabilities
Automated threat response
Multi-factor Authentication (MFA)
‘Connectors’ of applications including queries notebooks and run-books for threats
Integration of traffic of information into a single dashboard
Couture emphasized the need to scale up to best protect financial information from beneficiaries and supporters, with information regarding children – acting responsibly and increasing awareness.