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Everybody stands to gain when countries adopt common international legal
instruments and standards and harmonize their technical regulations. Consumers
obtain guaranteed quality and security. Producers economize both at the
production and sales levels and simplify their inventories when they no
longer have to adapt their products to a multitude of different national
rules. International trade is facilitated when sellers and buyers base
contracts on common classifications, standard documentation and trade procedures.
Shared assets which ignore borders, such as the environment, can be better
protected through internationally agreed legal instruments. International
cooperation as well as national legislative and regulatory work is simplified
and accelerated when reference can be made to internationally agreed documents.
Moreover, the multiplication of technical instruments shared by the countries
of the region facilitates their economic relations, creates links and helps
to overcome differences.
Member countries of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe
(UNECE) realized this from the outset. Their common efforts over the last
sixty years have resulted in a wealth of conventions, harmonized technical
regulations, norms and standards. Virtually all of the Commission’s
subsidiary bodies have contributed in one way or another to their elaboration.
Studies have shown that many of UNECE’s agreements on technical
and/or procedural harmonization are being effectively implemented. The
attached list of conventions, norms and standards, which have been negotiated
under the auspices of the UNECE, has been compiled in order to facilitate
wider access to this valuable body of information.
Executive Secretary of the
Economic Commission for Europe