HLPF Side Event Explores the Role of Blockchain Technology in Advancing SDGs
Photo by Markus Spiske
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During the event titled, ‘Blockchain for Transformation: Towards Sustainable and Resilient Societies,’ Olga Algayerova, UNECE Executive Secretary, said blockchain technology can help advance SDG implementation and monitoring.

European companies are exchanging experiences using blockchain technologies through public-private platforms, including the European Blockchain Hub.

11 July 2018: On Wednesday, 11 July 2018, on the sidelines of the High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF), the UN Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE), the UN Office for Project Services (UNOPS), the Government of Slovenia, and the Dutch Blockchain Coalition organized a roundtable to explore the role of blockchain technology in advancing achievement of the SDGs.

During the event titled, ‘Blockchain for Transformation: Towards Sustainable and Resilient Societies,’ Olga Algayerova, UNECE Executive Secretary, said blockchain technology, which is known for storing and tracking cryptocurrency transactions such as Bitcoin, can also help advance SDG implementation and monitoring. She highlighted blockchain technology applications related to reducing food waste in the supply chain (SDG target 12.3), ensuring consumers have relevant information for sustainable lifestyles (SDG targets 12.6 and 12.7), and providing legal identities and financial services to refugees and the very poor (SDG targets 2.3 and 16.9).

Blockchain technology in trade processes can lead to increased financial inclusion for those who are currently unable to participate in the market.

Tadej Slapnik, Office of the Prime Minister, Slovenia, highlighted that European companies are exchanging experiences using blockchain technologies through public-private platforms, including the European Blockchain Hub, which promotes “smart regulation.”

Participants also discussed:

  • the importance of personal identification and financial data for more resilient and sustainable data management;
  • positive social impacts of blockchain technology, including alternate sources of funding for peer-to-peer marketplaces and decentralized governance;
  • the impact of General Data Protection Regulation, an EU-wide legal framework for personal data privacy;
  • benefits of using blockchain technologies to streamline data management and communications tools within the UN; and
  • a project in Slovenia that connects energy producers and consumers using blockchain technology, and removes intermediaries from the transaction so participants can set their own prices.

Speakers also highlighted that blockchain technology in trade processes can help reduce transaction costs and lead to increased financial inclusion for those who are currently unable to participate in the market. [More Information about the Side Event] [IISD RS Coverage of the Side Event on Blockchain Technology]


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