Introduction

The Assistance Programme has been developed to enhance the capacities of countries of Eastern Europe, the Caucasus and Central Asia and South-Eastern Europe in implementing the Convention.

As per the decision of the tenth meeting of the Conference of the Parties (Geneva, 4-6 December 2018), the Assistance Programme was revised and rebranded to ensure that it remained an effective instrument for delivering assistance and building capacity at all levels. It was renamed into the Assistance and Cooperation Programme, through which beneficiary countries increasingly cooperate and support each other and take full ownership of capacity-building activities under the Programme. The multi-year, multi-country projects implemented through the Programme are expected to lead to enhanced governance through national policy dialogues on industrial safety involving all relevant stakeholders and to improved transboundary cooperation through subregional projects and activities. The Working Group on Implementation continues to provide oversight of assistance activities and guidance of national efforts to prepare self-assessments and action plans under the Programme’s Strategic Approach. For consistency, the Programme will continue to be referred to as “Assistance Programme” in documents and materials published prior to 2019. For activities and in documents as of 2019, the Programme will be referred to as the “Assistance and Cooperation Programme”.

Leaflet about the Assistance Programme: ENG RUS

Countries with economies in transition, in particular, need further assistance in order to be able to implement the requirements under the Convention. The Assistance and Cooperation Programme aims therefore at supporting Parties and UNECE countries with economies in transition to improve their industrial safety. The Programme is based on the principle that assistance can be effective only if a recipient country is capable of receiving the assistance and is willing to take advantage of it. For more information see the following document:

Internationally supported Assistance Programme for the East European, Caucasian and Central Asian and the South-east European countries to enhance their efforts in implementing the conventionENGFRERUS

These countries, with the exception of Albania and Turkmenistan, participated in a high-level commitment meeting (Geneva, 14–15 December 2005) and adopted the commitment declaration (see annex of the report below) through which they joined the Programme.

Report from the high-level commitment meetingENGFRERUS
Current beneficiary countries

Initially, there were 15 beneficiary countries under the Assistance Programme: Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Republic of Moldova, Serbia, Tajikistan, North Macedonia, Ukraine and Uzbekistan.

In addition, Montenegro and Turkmenistan also benefit from assistance activities. Croatia is no longer a recipient of assistance activities.

The figure shows that the Assistance Programme consists of two phases, with the preparatory phase to result in the implementation phase upon completion. The preparatory phase includes the high-level commitment and fact-finding and, in some cases, awarenes
Assistance Programme phases

The capacity to receive assistance is demonstrated by the implementation of the basic tasks as defined under the Programme. The Assistance Programme is divided into two phases: a preparatory phase and an implementation phase. The preparatory phase consists of the expression of high-level commitment, the implementation of basic tasks and the presentation of the results to a fact finding mission, as well as awareness-raising missions and their follow-up.

When a country successfully completes the preparatory phase it is invited into the implementation phase. During this phase, assistance is provided to help the countries implementing more complex tasks. This assistance is comprised of activities that address the priority needs and are identified following the Strategic Approach.

In 2006 and 2007, 15 fact-finding missions were organized. In addition, two awareness-raising missions took place in 2009. The following countries have successfully completed the preparatory phase and entered the implementation phase: Albania, Armenia, Belarus, Croatia, Georgia, Kyrgyztan, the Republic of Moldova, Serbia, North Macedonia and Ukraine. For further information, please see progress reports on the Assistance Programme (2018, 2016, 2014, 2012, 2010, 2008, 2006).

More than a decade of assistance activities

In the year 2014 the Assistance Programme celebrated its tenth anniversary. At this occasion, at the Eighth Meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Industrial Accidents Convention (3-5 December 2014), a high-level panel discussion was organized. The related background document provides an overview of activities and developments during the decade, impacts and lessons learned.

A decade of assistance to countries in Eastern and South-Eastern Europe, the Caucasus and Central Asia: lessons learned and future prospects ENG FRE RUS

In 2018, at the tenth meeting of the Conference of the Parties, a panel discussion on the effectiveness and impacts of assistance activities in the biennium involving donor and beneficiary countries was organized. The discussion highlighted the achievements and progress made as a result of the implementation of assistance activities in 2017-2018 biennium. Particularly, the representatives of some of the Programme’s beneficiary countries stressed that implemented activities helped enhance transboundary cooperation and stimulated changes in institutional frameworks while helping align national legislation with the requirements of the Convention. The representatives of donor countries stressed the importance of supporting countries with economies in transition in strengthening their industrial safety for the whole of UNECE region and beyond. The beneficiary countries were encouraged to proceed with the full implementation of the Convention and those which are not yet Parties also with its ratification and report on their progress at the next meeting of the Conference.   For more information, see session report ECE/CP.TEIA/38

The tenth meeting of the Conference of the Parties also adopted a Progress report on the Assistance Programme and other assistance activities carried out in 2017-2018 that presents in more detail an overview of activities carried out in 2017-2018 and their main outcomes