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66th session of the Economic Commission for Europe endorses High-level statement on the post-2015 development agenda

The 66th session of the Economic Commission for Europe concluded on 16 April with the endorsement by member States of the High-level statement on the post-2015 development agenda and expected sustainable development goals in the UNECE region. 

The High-Level Statement recalls that “UNECE is a results-driven organization that develops best practices and standards and services agreements that serve as catalysts for action in its member States and around the world. UNECE is ideally placed to continue to make a strong contribution to sustainable development”

Member States reiterated their commitment “to sustainable development from the local to the global level. In line with the universal character of the post-2015 development agenda, the sustainable development goals will be global while implementation will be largely the responsibility of individual countries”.

They also stressed that “the regional commissions can play an important bridging role and UNECE has the commitment and experience to help implement in the region, within its agreed mandate, this agenda for sustainable development for current and future generations.”

UNECE Executive Secretary Christian Friis Bach stressed that the powerful vision expressed in the High-Level Statement underlines that UNECE is ideally placed to make a strong contribution to sustainable development and to the expected Sustainable Development Goals.

The Commission also served as the Regional Forum for Sustainable Development and the High-Level Statement will be transmitted as a regional input to the 2015 High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development and the 2015 Annual Ministerial Review of ECOSOC.

Members States also endorsed the Geneva UN Charter on Sustainable Housing, as a non-legally binding document, and decided to transmit the Charter as a regional input to the United Nations Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development (Habitat III). 

New bureau

The Commission elected its new Bureau, with Kazakhstan as Chair (Ambassador Mukhtar Tileuberdi), and Switzerland (Ambassador Remigi Winzap) and Latvia (Ambassador Raimonds Jansons) as Vice-Chairs.

All delegations paid tribute to the outgoing Chair, Ambassador van Schreven of the Netherlands, and Vice-Chair, Ambassador Atageldi Haljanov of Turkmenistan, for the leadership and commitment throughout the last two years.

The 67th session of the Commission will be held in 2017. 

The documents of the 66th session are available at:  http://ow.ly/MakoH