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Latest News on the UNECE ICoE

UNECE ICoE Latest News

Latest News

Transformation of the Team of Specialists on Public-Private Partnerships (TOS PPP) into a Working Party

18 November 2016: In recognition of the new focus on the elaboration of people-first PPP standards for the UN SDGs, the member States have agreed to upgrade the intergovernmental structure to a Working Party on Public-Private Partnerships with the involvement of all UN Member States and other key stakeholders, including representatives from international organisations, civil society and the private sector.

The Executive Committee (ExCom) decided to transform the Team of Specialists on Public-Private Partnerships (TOS PPP) into a Working Party at its meeting on Friday, 18 November. Below please find the text of the ExCom decision:

          EXCOM approves the establishment of the Working Party on Public-Private Partnerships and its terms of reference, as contained in document ECE/CECI/2016/6, Annex, to replace the Team of Specialists on Public-Private Partnerships as of its first session to be held in 2017.

          To ensure continuity, EXCOM recommends to the Working Party on Public-Private Partnerships to consider electing as its Bureau the members of the Bureau of the Team of Specialists on Public-Private Partnerships that were elected in October 2016.

The secretariat considers this decision by the ExCom as an endorsement by the member States at the highest level of the PPP work on standards and their implementation in countries.

UNECE ICoE announces Draft Standard for "Grid-Connected Renewable Energy in Emerging Markets and Developing Economies" for Public Review

7 November 2016: The UNECE International Public-Private Partnerships Centre of Excellence is pleased to announce the opening of the Public Review period of the Draft Standard for Grid-Connected Renewable Energy in Emerging Markets and Developing Economies. This project aims to provide guidance to governments and private sector to encourage use of renewable energy sources, and they are looking to different financing, legal and commercial frameworks to leverage private capital, especially through the use of PPPs, to support the deployment of these renewable energy sources.

The 60 days Public Review period will end on 7 January 2017.

The Public Draft text is available on the Project Team website.

Any comments should be submitted to the UNECE PPP Secretariat and the Team Leader Ms. Ana-Katarina Hajduka, using the comments template.

UNECE ICoE announces Draft Standard on "Zero Tolerance Approach to Corruption in ‘People-First’ PPP Procurement" for Public Review

31 October 2016
The UNECE International Centre of Excellence on Public-Private Partnerships is pleased to announce the opening of the Public Review period for the Zero Tolerance Approach to Corruption in ‘People-First’ PPP Procurement standard project. This project aims to provide guidance to governments and private sector to make a strong commitment to transparency and integrity, and a plan to fight corruption.

The 60 days Public Review period will end on 31 December 2016.

The Public Draft text is available on the Project Team website.

Any comments should be submitted to the UNECE PPP Secretariat at ppp@unece.org, using the comment template.

China discusses UNECE Guidelines on PPP

8 July 2016

A high level group of Chinese experts in PPP have met for the first time to comment on UNECE’s Draft Guiding Principles in PPP. These Guidelines, which had been especially translated into Chinese for the occasion, are themselves a contribution to the UN SDGs and are based on the premise that to be effective, PPP must aspire to the UN’s ‘People Planet and Prosperity’ agenda as well as address some of the weaknesses in the traditional PPP model. Accordingly, the Guidelines are devoted to promoting ‘People First PPPs’.

China is well placed to comment on these PPP Guidelines. In recent years, PPP models have been applied widely - both inside and outside of China. The country has thus acquired real project experience, while also having to deal with a shortage of qualified professional staff, inefficient procedures, and barriers that have prevented the private sector’s involvement in PPPs.

The consultations session was full, open and frank and experts highlighted several important issues:


  • How to promote effective implementation of PPPs in low income countries where investment risks are high?

Commenting Mr. Lei Zhiqiang, deputy mayor of Zhenjiang City proposed that the UN develop three mechanisms: i) credit ratings for national governments; ii) low-interest loans and subsidies for PPP projects in low-income countries and iii) international insurance for PPP risks.

  • How to translate people first principles into the ways of better communicating with people about the projects themselves?

Several representatives stressed the importance of transparency in the promotion of UNECE’s guiding principles in China and urged UNECE to develop tools for building standardized processes for public consultation and the publication of information on projects.


  • How to ensure that environmental protection is sufficiently promoted to make sure that PPP fosters real sustainability? 

One expert suggested taking into account the employment impact, environment-friendly technologies and cleaner energy as criteria in the process of project selection.

  • How to include Chinese experiences into the Guiding principles?  

The Chief of Tsinghua PPP centre (TUPPP), Mr. Wang Tianyi, emphasized that the draft guiding principles should include more Chinese PPP concepts and case studies. The TUPPP, he said, will collect some outstanding examples of PPP best practices in China in order to enrich the global case studies.


The involvement of China in the review and revision of the draft UNECE guiding principles is of great importance in ensuring the usefulness and global nature of UNECE’s standards making. Chinese experts moreover are also participating in several project teams set up to elaborate international PPP standards for the SDGs. Furthermore, the size of attendance is testimony to the importance which China attaches to PPP. Up to 800 people participated while over 400,000 participated in live streaming of the event.

The consultative session was part of the first China PPP Forum in Qingdao an activity scheduled as part of the MoU between UNECE and NDRC of the Chinese Governments and Chinese Universities. The Forum was itself supported by the National Development and Reform Commission in China (NDRC) and the Tsinghua University Specialist Centre of PPP (TUPPP) and was held on 21-22 June 2016. In the opening speech of Qingdao Forum Mr. Yong Zhang, Vice Minister of the NDRC said, “to realize people-first urbanization, we need to speed up the promotion of urban infrastructure and public services, and to provide more and better public products and services. This gap in public service presents a huge opportunity for PPP models.”

For more information, please contact Ms. Jiangrong Yu

UNECE and China team up to foster People-first PPPs


20 June 2016

China has experienced rapid urbanization over the past decades; it is now actively exploring a number of specifics to develop its cities in a sustainable way. The 13th Five Year Plan of China also emphasized the need to promote new urbanization. In the past 20 years, China has widely applied Public-Private Partnerships (PPP) models in municipal roads, sewage and garbage disposal, urban metro transportation, ecology and underground facilities, reconstruction of shanty town and dilapidated building, parking lots, sponge city, smart city, social business and public services. Chinese government and private sectors are also positively searching for better PPP models and frameworks, in order to promote the “People-first” principles and to achieve the goals of sustainable development.

As a follow-up to the MoU signed earlier this year, a PPP Forum is organized in Qingdao, China, on 21 -22 June by TUPPP Tsinghua Specialist Centre, under the auspices of UNECE and the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) of China. The forum will explore new strategies that comply with People-first PPPs to accelerate the sustainable urbanization and development in China.

During the forum, international and local experts will share their practical experience and professional knowledge on PPP models, with a focus on China’s urbanization. The forum is also attempting to find solutions for the current problems in Chinese PPP projects, as well as the urbanization process itself.

UNECE tools for Innovation and Public-Private Partnerships will be key elements in achieving the SDGs


26 May 2016

The UNECE’s international standards and recommendations in the areas of innovation and Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) will make a strong contribution to the immense task of achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). This was the consensus of participants in the tenth session of the Committee on Innovation, Competitiveness and Public-Private Partnerships, held from 23 to 25 May 2016 in Geneva. At the same time - it will not be easy. Integrating innovation and PPPs into national development strategies will require legislative reforms, capacity building and the mobilization of many partners, from civil society as well as from the private and public sectors.

Speaking on the growing contribution of the UNECE in the field of innovation, Virginia Cram-Martos, Director of the Economic Cooperation and Trade Division of the UNECE said: ‘While innovation is key for sustainable development, it requires the alignment of national innovation policies with sustainable development objectives and that is why a stronger focus on innovation is needed’. To support this approach, UNECE will conduct Innovation for Sustainable Development Reviews in the coming years in Armenia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan. Representatives from these and other countries voiced their strong interest in this connection between innovation and the Sustainable Development Goals. Such a review is already underway in Belarus.

Public-Private Partnerships, along with other forms of partnerships which may include civil society or academia, are also critical mechanisms for achieving the ambitious goals in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. To address these goals, UNECE is developing PPP standards, recommendations and best practice models in sectors such as water and sanitation, health, renewable energy and transport – work that is attracting global attention. Acknowledging UNECE’s leadership role in PPPs within the United Nations system, Ziad Hayek, from the Higher Council for Privatization of Lebanon,  announced  his organisation’s intention to host, in Beirut, the international specialist centre on PPPs in ports, affiliated to the UNECE International PPP Centre of Excellence and, along the same lines, the representative of Portugal, announced that their country would be opening an International Centre of Excellence on PPPs for water and sanitation.

A number of countries, including Bangladesh, France and Russian Federation, presented how PPP projects are changing people’s lives. Lessons have shown that good governance and a ‘people-first’ approach are of paramount importance for success in PPP projects and the UNECE PPP standards that are currently under development will be crucial to increasing the number of ‘people-first’ PPP projects.

Innovation and Public-Private Partnerships - key elements for supporting the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development

20 May 2016


How can innovation and Public-Private Partnerships contribute to implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development? This will be at the centre of the debates at the session of the UNECE Committee on Innovation, Competitiveness and Public-Private Partnerships (CICPPP), from 23 to 25 May at the Palais des Nations.

Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 9 specifically calls for countries to upgrade technological capabilities and support technology development by encouraging innovation, increasing research and development and supporting a policy environment conducive to industrial diversification and increased value addition to commodities.

Supporting Goal 9, the UNECE’s Innovation Performance Reviews (IPR) provide specific advice to countries seeking to upgrade technological capabilities across various sectors as well as to boost investment in technology and research and development, in support of economic diversification as well as a range of other social and environmental objectives and thus many more SDGs.

Sustainable Development Goal 17 highlights the importance of multi-stakeholder partnerships in support of all the Goals. On this front, the UNECE’s guiding principles for good governance in Public-Private Partnerships (PPP) can accelerate access to the means of implementation for achieving the Goals.

During the tenth session of the CICPPP, member States will discuss the role of the Committee in supporting the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Addis Ababa Action Agenda. Panellists and delegates will discuss how the UNECE’s new, updated guiding principles for good governance in PPPs support the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its focus on people, planet and prosperity; and how innovation policies can contribute to achieving national priorities for sustainable development, among others. The Committee is likely to provide recommendations to strengthen and expand the UNECE’s work in these areas. The substantive session of CICPPP will end on 24 May and the concluding session of the CICPPP will be held on 25 May at the Palais des Nations in Geneva.

For more information, please contact: michiko.enomoto@unece.org

Expressions of interest are being sought in Russia for a new PPP Specialist Centre to help drive regional development of projects

23 July 2013

The move follows the already established PPP Specialist Centre focusing on the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) countries, based in the Financial University in Moscow.

The project is being conducted in collaboration with the UN Economic Commission for Europe and will be similar to other PPP Specialist Centres already in existence in countries like Malaysia.

The new centre will be based in Russia's National School of Economics and will not only help establish a regional PPP network, it will also play a role in identifying stakeholders and preparing best practice procedures.

Reference: PPP Bulletin