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Dear all,

Welcome to our June newsletter. This month we celebrated the 60th anniversary of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) with a series of landmark high-level events in Geneva from 12 to 14 June. These events explored key trends that have shaped global trade and development over the past decades and will continue to influence them, including the opportunities and challenges brought by digitalization. The International Trade Center (ITC), a joint organization of the UN and the World Trade Organization (WTO), also marked its 60th anniversary. ITC’s celebration coincided with Micro-, Small, and Medium-sized Enterprises (MSME) Day on 27 June, emphasizing the vital role of these enterprises in global trade.

Partners also contributed to the 2024 WTO Global Review of Aid for Trade, which featured 60 sessions focused on enhancing international partnerships to help developing economies and least-developed countries (LDCs) fully benefit from trade. The review highlighted priority areas such as digital connectivity and e-commerce, identifying them as transformative forces.

Several reports were also released this month. The UN Trade and Development World Investment Forum provided a comprehensive overview of the latest trends in global foreign direct investment (FDI) – which showed a decline at the global level – and their implications for digital transformation.

The Broadband Commission for Sustainable Development, a joint initiative by ITU and UNESCO, unveiled the first part of « The State of Broadband 2024: Leveraging AI for Universal Connectivity » focusing on AI advancements across sectors and addressing the urgency of equitable digital access. The ITU’s “Measuring Digital Development: ICT Development Index 2024”, detailed progress towards universal and meaningful connectivity (UMC) across 170 economies. This year’s IDI highlights the strides made in digital development while looking at the persistent disparities that still need addressing.

Understanding and addressing gender gaps is crucial for ensuring equitable participation in the future digital economy. The World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap report shed light on these disparities, urging coordinated global efforts to foster inclusive digital growth. Indeed, despite some progress, the report highlights that it will still take 134 years to reach gender parity.

Finally, as we gear up to the UN Summit of the Future, have a look at our dedicated corner on the Road to the UN Global Digital Compact.

We hope that you enjoy the read! We look forward to welcoming you back at the end of August for our Summer Edition.