UNCTAD and UNESCAP embrace founding roles – Pacific E-commerce Alliance

During the UNCTAD eWeek in Geneva, Switzerland, from December 4-8, 2023, the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) and the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP) officially become founding partners of the Pacific E-commerce Alliance (PacifEcom), paving the way to strengthened collaboration for e-commerce development in the Pacific.

The establishment of PacifEcom is inspired by the eTrade for all initiative and recommended by the Pacific Regional E-commerce Strategy and Roadmap (the Strategy). It serves as the powerhouse of the Pacific E-commerce Initiative by bringing together implementing agencies in the Pacific, promoting their efforts, and ensuring coordination and collaboration on e-commerce development in the Pacific. PacifEcom will also interact with the Governance bodies of the Pacific E-commerce Initiative, establishing a direct connection with Forum members and committed donors on fostering e-commerce development in the region.

Separate signing events were hosted in Geneva by the Pacific Islands Forum and its partners. The Secretary General of UNCTAD, Rebeca Grynspan, hosted the PIF Secretary General, Henry Puna on 8 December, right after their High-level session at the UNCTAD eWeek. Earlier in the week Ambassador Mere Falemaka, the PIF Permanent Representative to the WTO and United Nations in Geneva, hosted the Director of UNESCAP, Ms. Rupa Chanda, at the PIF’s office in Geneva.

Both Rebeca Grynspan, the Secretary General of UNCTAD and Rupa Chanda, Director of UNESCAP, underscored how PacifEcom will forge a more inclusive and sustainable future for the region by harnessing digital trade opportunities.

Henry Puna, PIF Secretary General, expressed gratitude, stating, “UNCTAD and UNESCAP stand shoulder to shoulder, champions in nurturing Pacific e-commerce. Their signatures aren’t just ink on paper; they embody a shared dedication, a pledge to sculpt a unified vision. I’m deeply grateful for embracing this collective journey with us. We invite our partners to join the alliance in this transformative voyage.”

Ambassador Mere Falemaka, said, “PacifEcom will raise awareness around the opportunities and challenges presented by e-commerce, and promote synergies between Forum Members, implementing partners and donors to maximise our impact, including through supporting the implementation of the Pacific Regional E-commerce Strategy and Roadmap.”

With UNESCAP and UNCTAD joining the Commonwealth Secretariat as founding partners of the Alliance, PacifEcom now counts three members. As the alliance has reached a critical mass of partners, the Secretariat invites agencies implementing the Strategy to join.

PacifEcom’s work is aligned with the Technology and Connectivity thematic area of the 2050 Strategy for the Blue Pacific Continent and implements Measure 1.1.4 of the Strategy.

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