United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE)
The United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) was set up in 1947 by ECOSOC. It is one of five regional commissions of the United Nations.
Its major aim is to promote pan-European economic integration. To do so, UNECE brings together 56 countries located in the European Union, non-EU Western and Eastern Europe, South-East Europe and Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) and North America (Canada and United States). All these countries dialogue and cooperate under the the aegis of the UNECE on economic and sectoral issues.
Apart from countries of Europe, UNECE also includes countries in Central Asia (Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan) and Western Asia (Israel).
The UNECE, as a multilateral platform facilitates greater economic integration and cooperation among its fifty-six member States and promotes sustainable development and economic prosperity through:
• policy dialogue,
• negotiation of international legal instruments,
• development of regulations and norms,
• exchange and application of best practices as well as economic and technical expertise,
• technical cooperation for countries with economies in transition.
The UNECE contributes to enhancing the effectiveness of the UN through the regional implementation of outcomes of global UN Conferences and Summits. Its terms of reference have been defined by ECOSOC.
All interested UN member States may participate in its work. Over 70 international professional organizations and other non-governmental organizations take part in UNECE activities.
THE AREA OF EXPERTISE AND COOPERATION OF THE UNECE COVERS SUCH SECTORS AS:
• Sustainable Energy
• Forestry and Timber
• Housing, Land Management and Population
• Economic Cooperation and Integration
• Gender Issues
• United Nations Special Programme for the Economies of Central Asia (SPECA)
• Technical Cooperation
UNECE’S TOTAL REGULAR BUDGET ALLOTEMENT FOR 2010-2012 IS USD 65,227,000.
ACHIEVEMENTS IN 2010:
1. The resolution of 2 March 2010, declaring 2011-2020 the Decade of Action for Road Safety was an important one. This resolution formally recognizes the key role of the regional commissions in assisting low-income and middle-income countries in setting and achieving road traffic casualty reduction targets. It is a great encouragement for the work of the regional commissions and in particular of UNECE, as it recognizes our contribution over many years to improving road safety, not only through our technical and legal work, but also through our road safety campaigns and initiatives.
2. The resolution of 28 July 2010, recognizing access to clean water and sanitation as a human right. This marks an important milestone in the international efforts aimed at improving the global situation in water supply and sanitation. In this domain, our region possesses a unique tool: the UNECE/WHO-EURO Protocol on Water and Health to the UNECE Water Convention. The Second Meeting of the Parties to the Protocol, held in November 2010 in Bucharest, reassessed the key role that the Protocol can play in supporting the actual implementation of this resolution in the region.
3. In 2010, UNECE continued to strengthen its cooperation with partners from the United Nations family in order to better “deliver as one”. A good illustration of this principle is the United Nations Special Programme for the Economies of Central Asia (SPECA), jointly supported by UNECE and the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP).
HIGHLIGHTS OF 2011:
• The sixty-fourth session of UNECE, which will be held from 29 to 31 March 2011. The Commission session, now held every second year, is an occasion to reaffirm the direction of work for UNECE for the next two years. This year the high-level segment will discuss two topics of interest to all our member States:
a. the new developments and challenges facing economic integration in our region in light of the economic crisis; and
b. the role of regional integration and cooperation for promoting sustainable development in the region, which will look at two key components: the transport and trade infrastructure and energy cooperation.
• 2011 will be the International Year of Forests. UNECE will articulate most of its Timber and Forestry activities around that theme throughout the year, including the not-to-bemissed ‘Forest Gallery’ in the Palais des Nations (Salle des Pas Perdus) in February and the Regional Forest Information Week, coinciding with World’s Forest Day (21 March) and, of course, the UNECE Timber Committee Week in October.
• Finally, the seventh Environment for Europe Ministerial Conference, which will be held in Astana, Kazakhstan, from 21 to 23 September 2011. The Conference will address two main themes: sustainable management of water and water-related ecosystems; and greening the economy: mainstreaming the environment into economic development. These will naturally resonate with many of the projects that UNECE is currently developing in our region. The Astana Conference is also expected to contribute to the Rio +20 process, together with the Regional Preparatory Meeting which the UNECE will also convene in December 2011.See more