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Press Releases

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List of Press Releases - 2016-60

40 countries in Europe reaffirm their commitment to cooperate in preventing industrial accidents (01 December 2016)

Prevention of industrial accidents and preparedness to respond promptly if they occur were at the heart of the discussions in Ljubljana this week at the ninth meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on the Transboundary Effects of Industrial Accidents. Parties adopted a workplan ...
Draft proposal for a UN Road Safety Fund launched for consultations (26 November 2016)

Every year 1.25 million people are killed and around 50 million injured in road traffic crashes, which makes it one of the most pressing health emergencies and development issues of our time. Every day 500 children lose their lives because of road crashes. It is the leading cause of death for young ...
Member States encourage accession to the UNECE Water Convention at Security Council meeting (24 November 2016)

On 22 November 2016, on the initiative of the current Council President (Senegal), for the first time the United Nations Security Council held an open debate on water, peace and security. In his opening remarks, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon highlighted the role of the UNECE Convention on the ...
SPECA becomes an intergovernmental regional platform to support the achievement of SDGs (23 November 2016)

Central Asia faces numerous security, economic and environmental challenges in the new global situation. It becomes evident that all countries in the region need regional cooperation in order to face these challenges and secure sustainable development. This is why the participating countries in the ...
The World Forum for Harmonization of Vehicle Regulations receives 2016 GlobalNCAP Consumer Champion award for promoting vehicle safety (18 November 2016)

The World Forum for Harmonization of Vehicle Regulations received Global NCAP’s Annual Award in recognition of its role promoting global regulations for vehicle safety in the interests of consumer protection.    The award was handed over by David Ward, Secretary General of Global NCAP, ...
UNECE and WHO/Europe call for renewed action on water, sanitation and health in the pan-European region (14 November 2016)

In the pan-European region, diarrhoeal diseases still cause an estimated 14 deaths per day due to inadequate water, sanitation and hygiene. Renewed momentum is therefore needed to address these persisting challenges.  An ambitious programme of work aimed at addressing these is to be adopted ...
Funding sources identified for the transition to smart sustainable cities (08 November 2016)

More than half of the global population lives in cities. The current world population is projected to reach more than 9 billion by 2050, with 70% to 80% living in cities by then. If cities are to ensure that the right infrastructure and service provision for a growing population is in place, new ...
UNECE signs Partnership for Sustainable Development with the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia: United Nations Strategy for 2016-2020 (03 November 2016)

UNECE and the United Nations Country Team announced today that they will continue their support to the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia’s development efforts over the next five years. This will be achieved through the implementation of a Partnership for Sustainable Development, the United ...
Further integration and cooperation needed to achieve sustainable development in Europe (01 November 2016)

We live in uncertain times with strong divisive forces and global processes at play. Amid this uncertainty, the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda provides a strong vision that defines our ambitions and is shaping policy actions –at the national, regional and global levels. There is a potential ...
UNECE signs United Nations Programme of Cooperation for Sustainable Development for 2017-2021 with Albania (24 October 2016)

In the framework of a United Nations Programme of Cooperation for Sustainable Development, UNECE will provide technical assistance to Albania in a variety of areas including housing and urban development and energy efficiency. This will also include increasing the capacity of national authorities ...
Baku Call for action: governments and international partners are asked to work on implementation of energy-related Sustainable Development Goals (21 October 2016)

At the closing session of the Seventh International Forum on Energy for Sustainable Development, the delegates called on the governments and international organizations to take urgent steps for transformation of energy systems. There is a gap between current actions taken by governments and the ...
The 21st Century will be the century of wood (21 October 2016)

How will the world look 50 years from now? Visions of life in the future often show shiny cityscapes of glass and steel. Cities with tall buildings of flowing shapes. It would seem that wood is not what we associate with our future yet “the 21st Century will be seen as the century of wood” said ...
UNECE updates its Best Practice Guidance for Effective Methane Drainage and Use in Coal Mines (19 October 2016)

The coal industry, national governments, trade unions, and worker safety advocates are concerned with the frequency and severity of methane explosions in coal mines, especially in emerging economies. No mine, even in the most developed countries, is free from safety risks. Regardless of location or ...
Mayors of global cities commit to cooperate on the regional implementation of the New Urban Agenda (18 October 2016)

Today 54 per cent of the world’s population lives in urban areas. By 2050, almost three quarters of the world’s population will live in urban areas – this will be the Century of the City. The New Urban Agenda to be adopted by Habitat III, the United Nations Conference on Housing and ...
UNECE region accounts for 87% of the world’s certified forest area (13 October 2016)

The certified forest area coverage extended across 11% of global forests in 2015. The UNECE region, with about 40% (1.6 billion hectares) of the global forest estate, accounted for 87% of the total global certified forest area (graph 1). Of the global certified forest area, 48% is in North America, ...
UNECE advises Belarus on promoting innovation for sustainable development (07 October 2016)

During the last five years, Belarus has undertaken important measures to upgrade its national innovation system. These include legislative changes to encourage the commercialization of intellectual property, the centralisation of its innovation funds, and the inclusion of innovation enhancing ...
UNFC is now applicable to geothermal energy resources (05 October 2016)

Geothermal energy could play a significant role in ensuring access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all, but production today is only at 7% of the estimated global potential. Geothermal energy exists in almost 90 countries, but only 24 of them produce electricity from ...
Bridging Document between UNFC and Russian Oil and Gas Classification will greatly enhance coherent assessment of fossil fuel reserves (30 September 2016)

The assessment of global resources of oil and gas will be greatly improved with the implementation of a Bridging Document that relates the reserves and resources in the Oil and Combustible Gas of the Russian Federation Classification to the categories and classes of the United Nations Framework ...
Tunisian authorities discuss a possible accession to the Water Convention (28 September 2016)

Tunisian officials discussed the country’s possible accession to the UNECE Convention on the Protection and Use of Transboundary Watercourses and International Lakes (Water Convention) during a national workshop "Benefits of cooperation and the UNECE Water Convention", held in Tunis on ...
Republic of Moldova launches ambitious National Programme to implement national targets under the Protocol on Water and Health (27 September 2016)

630,000 Moldovan citizens (17% percent of the population of the Republic of Moldova) do not enjoy access to improved water supply systems and around one million citizens (28% of the population) do not have access to improved sanitation systems. In order to remedy this situation, the Ministers of ...
UNECE and Commonwealth of Independent States tighten cooperation on industrial safety (16 September 2016)

Industrial safety is a matter of serious concern for countries with economies in transition, which often face challenges in protecting lives and the health of people and the environment from industrial accidents. To assist its member States in coordinating their efforts aimed at safeguarding ...
Albania, Estonia and the United Kingdom push the sustainable housing agenda through the establishment of Geneva UN Charter Centres (13 September 2016)

The 2008 global financial and economic crisis underscored the vital role that stable and transparent housing markets play in a country’s economy. As a result of the crisis, some countries have experienced disturbing imbalances in their housing markets with foreclosures, homelessness, excess ...
UNECE calls for active strategies to meet older migrants’ economic, social and healthcare needs (07 September 2016)

In recent decades, the number of international migrants globally has grown faster than the world’s population. While the current refugee crisis has drawn the focus of attention to newly arriving asylum seekers, the UNECE region has long been a destination for migrants. In Northern and Western ...
France joins the Aarhus Convention’s amendment on genetically modified organisms (27 July 2016)

On 11 July 2016, France approved the amendment on genetically modified organisms (GMO amendment) to the UNECE Convention on Access to Information, Public Participation in Decision-making and Access to Justice in Environmental Matters (Aarhus Convention), raising the total number of the Parties to ...
China’s accession to the United Nations TIR Convention opens prospects for new international trade routes (26 July 2016)

China has taken a key step towards the development of international economic corridors with its regional trading partners and the rest of the world with the accession to the United Nations TIR Convention. The Secretary-General of the United Nations, acting in his capacity as depositary, informed ...
More partners to join the International Centre of Excellence on Coal Mine Methane (08 July 2016)

The capture and use of methane from coal mines is one of the effective near-term options to tackle climate change. In October 2015 UNECE and Poland signed a Memorandum of Understanding establishing an International Centre of Excellence on Coal Mine Methane that would disseminate best practices in ...
UNECE and FAO call for a harmonized assessment of forest availability for wood supply in Europe (23 June 2016)

Robust data on the availability of European forests for wood supply is essential for the analysis of the sustainability of forest management and for planning and forecasting the use of wood resources, biomass and renewable energy. But it is also highly relevant for the analysis of global climate ...
UNFC and Russian Oil and Gas Classification Bridging Document open for public comment (14 June 2016)

The draft Bridging Document between the Oil and Fuel Gas Reserves and Resources Classification of the Russian Federation of 2013 and the United Nations Framework Classification for Fossil Energy and Mineral Reserves and Resources 2009 (UNFC-2009) was issued today for public comment until 14 August ...
Ministers from the pan-European region pledge renewed action for cleaner air (09 June 2016)

Ministers and high-level representatives from 28 countries and organizations participating in the Eighth Environment for Europe Ministerial Conference in Batumi, Georgia, committed today to accelerate ambitious action to combat air pollution over the next five years. Countries committed to ...
Pan-European region makes high-level commitments towards greening economies (09 June 2016)

Food waste, ecosystem services and green public procurement among pledged topics forming new Batumi Initiative on Green Economy Countries and stakeholders from the pan-European region have today agreed on a roadmap to speed up the transition to a Green Economy between now and 2030 and made an ...
Education for sustainable development increasingly included in policies and frameworks across the UNECE region (08 June 2016)

Education for sustainable development (ESD) is increasingly included in the education policies and frameworks of UNECE member States, and hundreds of initiatives have been launched in recent years to integrate ESD into formal, non-formal and informal education, moving from policy to practice. ...
Poor air quality and climate change are the two greatest threats to human health in the pan-European region – says new UN report (08 June 2016)

Poor air quality, climate change, unhealthy lifestyles and the disconnection between people and the environment are increasingly affecting human health in the region, finds the latest Global Environment Outlook (GEO-6) assessment for the pan-European region, prepared by UNEP and UNECE with support ...
UNFC geothermal energy specifications open for public comment (06 June 2016)

Specifications for the application of the United Nations Framework Classification for Fossil Energy and Mineral Reserves and Resources 2009 (UNFC) to geothermal energy resources were released today for public comment until 4 August 2016. Growing interest in renewable energy has highlighted a need ...
New Environmental Performance Review of Belarus finds progress on air, water and biodiversity and calls for rehabilitation of industrial waste sites and improved conditions for public participation (02 June 2016)

Increased municipal and industrial waste, the continued use of asbestos, the need for effective radiation monitoring at the Ostrovets nuclear power plant and improved conditions for public participation are some of the most pressing environmental sustainability issues in Belarus. These are the main ...
Coordinated action under UNECE Air Convention during the last 30 years has significantly improved air quality in North America and Europe - but more efforts are needed (31 May 2016)

Air quality has improved significantly in North America and Europe over the past three decades, largely thanks to the UNECE Air Convention and EU air pollution policies. Average life expectancy in Europe has increased by one year and hundreds of thousands of premature deaths every year have been ...
Malta: 35th Party to the UNECE Protocol on Pollutant Release and Transfer Registers (27 May 2016)

On 20 May 2016, Malta acceded to the UNECE Protocol on Pollutant Release and Transfer Registers, becoming the thirty-fifth Party to join this Protocol to the Convention on Access to Information, Public Participation in Decision-making and Access to Justice in Environmental Matters (Aarhus ...
UNECE signs United Nations Partnership Framework for Development for 2016-2020 with Turkmenistan (23 May 2016)

UNECE will strengthen its support to Turkmenistan’s development efforts through the implementation of the United Nations Partnership Framework for Development (UNPFD) for the period 2016-2020, which was officially signed today in Geneva. In the next five years, UNECE will provide technical ...
Shaping smarter and more sustainable cities: UNECE and ITU launch the United for Smart Sustainable Cities global initiative (19 May 2016)

Information and communication technologies (ICTs) are key to achieve the urban climate targets of lowering energy use and GHG emissions while boosting socio-economic growth.  Many cities around the world already claim to be “smart and sustainable”, but statistics and studies, show that ...
Ukraine joins UNECE Protocol on Pollutant Release and Transfer Registers (03 May 2016)

Yesterday, on 2 May 2016, Ukraine ratified the UNECE Protocol on Pollutant Release and Transfer Registers, becoming the thirty-fourth Party to join this Protocol to the Convention on Access to Information, Public Participation in Decision-making and Access to Justice in Environmental Matters ...
UN/CEFACT adopts the FLUX Standard for sustainable fisheries management (29 April 2016)

World fish stocks are being depleted by overfishing and illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing. This threatens not only the fish, but also the coastal communities that rely on fisheries for economic survival and a dependable food source. The importance of protecting this resource is recognized ...
UNECE International Specialist Centre on PPPs in Public Transport and Logistics inaugurated in China (26 April 2016)

The international Specialist Centre on Public-Private Partnerships (PPP) in Public Transport and Logistics in China was officially inaugurated on 22 April in Beijing, in front of over 250 experts from the public and private sectors as well as top PPP experts from the academic community in ...
Land-use planning: Integrating industrial safety considerations into environmental assessments (13 April 2016)

In August 2015, massive explosions at a chemical warehouse in Tianjin, China, left some 139 people dead, more than 700 injured and 6,000 displaced, and damaged 17,000 homes in close proximity to the industrial site. Back in 2001, a chemical explosion at a warehouse in Toulouse, France, led to the ...
National Policy Dialogue process in Tajikistan celebrates adoption of Water Sector Reform Programme (13 April 2016)

On 12 April 2016 in Dushanbe, the Steering Committee of the National Policy Dialogue (NPD) on integrated water resources management marked the fifth anniversary of the dialogue process in the country and celebrated the Government approval of the Water Sector Reform Programme for 2016–2025. The ...
UNECE signs United Nations Development Assistance Framework for 2017-2021 with Montenegro (29 March 2016)

UNECE will strengthen its support to Montenegro’s development efforts for the period 2017-2021. This will be achieved through the implementation of a United Nations Development Assistance Framework, which was signed on 25 March 2016. Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs and ...
The link between forest and water is key to the 2030 Development Agenda (24 March 2016)

Forest ecosystems safeguard clean water supply, aquatic wildlife and increase landscape resilience to water-related hazards. As global demand for freshwater rises and demand for water resources increase, land managers and policy-makers need to carefully manage this resource.  “One third of ...
UNECE paves the way for automated driving by updating UN international convention (23 March 2016)

A major regulatory milestone towards the deployment of automated vehicle technologies will be attained on 23 March 2016 with the entry into force of amendments to the 1968 Vienna Convention on Road Traffic. As of that date, automated driving technologies transferring driving tasks to the vehicle ...
UNECE and UN-Habitat to launch pilot projects on monitoring the SDGs in Albania, Georgia, Kyrgyzstan and Ukraine (16 March 2016)

Developing a system to monitor the SDGs in different areas will be key to measure progress and ensure that targets can be met. In order to strengthen member States’ capacities for the development of evidence-based policies for sustainable housing and urban development, UNECE and UN-Habitat are ...
New UN Regulation keeps silent cars from becoming dangerous cars (09 March 2016)

“Silent cars” will no longer be dangerously silent thanks to a new regulation adopted by the UNECE World Forum for Harmonization of Vehicle Regulations (WP.29) which requires acoustic warning devices on hybrid and electric cars.  While no car is completely silent unless it is turned off, ...
Special Rapporteur cites UNECE Aarhus Convention as a “leading example” in implementing human rights obligations relating to the environment (04 March 2016)

A human rights perspective on environmental protection not only promotes human dignity, equality and freedom, but also improves the effectiveness of policymaking generally. Ensuring that those most affected by development and environmental policies are able to obtain information, freely express ...
Wood continues to be the primary source of renewable energy in Europe (03 March 2016)

Wood energy accounts for 3.5% of the total primary energy supply (TPES) and 38.2% of the renewable energy supply (RES) in the UNECE region, making it the first source of renewable energy in the region. Woody biomass covers 21 to 23% of the primary energy demands of Finland and Sweden and 14 to 16% ...
New UN study points to ways to create sustainable inland transport (23 February 2016)

Europe has managed to decouple the increase in motorization and death on roads in the last several decades, due to the strong embrace of road safety measures and their enforcement, coupled with uniform high safety regulations for cars and systematic education of drivers, according to a new study ...
UN SG’s Special Envoy for Road Safety and UNECE call on Governments and the automotive industry to implement UN road safety legal instruments (10 February 2016)

The United Nations Secretary General's Special Envoy for Road Safety, Jean Todt, and UNECE Executive Secretary Christian Friis Bach call on Governments and the automotive industry to implement the United Nations road safety legal instruments. The call was made today at a meeting with the Geneva ...
Georgia ratifies GMO amendment to the Aarhus Convention (08 February 2016)

With Georgia’s ratification of the amendment on genetically modified organisms (GMO amendment) to the Convention on Access to Information, Public Participation in Decision-making and Access to Justice in Environmental Matters (Aarhus Convention) the total number of the amendment's Parties raises ...
Parliament of Ukraine paves the way for ratification of the Kyiv Protocol on Pollutant Release and Transfer Registers (04 February 2016)

Yesterday, the Parliament of Ukraine approved with no objections the law on the ratification of the UNECE Protocol on Pollutant Release and Transfer Registers (PRTRs), also known as the Kyiv Protocol. Ukraine will become the 34th Party to the Protocol when the law enters into force on the ninetieth ...
Belarus adopts Action Plan to implement Environmental Performance Review recommendations (28 January 2016)

The Deputy Prime Minister of Belarus has approved an Action Plan rolling out some 80 measures to address the recommendations contained in the Third UNECE Environmental Performance Review (EPR) of Belarus. The adoption of the Action Plan reaffirms the country’s strong commitment to the EPR ...
UNECE and UNITAR partner to implement the Sustainable Development Goals (28 January 2016)

To help Member States implement the SDGs, two Geneva-based UN organizations, UNECE and the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) are strengthening their cooperation to better promote best practices and standards in a range of areas. Joint initiatives are expected in ...
Global economy faces major headwinds – only a modest improvement projected for the next two years, says UN report (20 January 2016)

Targeted and coordinated policy efforts are needed to reduce uncertainties and revive investment and growth worldwide for achieving the Sustainable Development ...
Europe is the driving force behind world trade growth, says UN report (20 January 2016)

Economic prospects in the European Union and South-Eastern Europe have generally improved despite a slowdown in the world economy in 2015, according to the United Nations World Economic Situation and Prospects 2016 report, launched today. The gains in the European Union and South-Eastern Europe ...
Rebuilding the ‘ancient silk road’ and transforming global trade routes through Public Private Partnerships (20 January 2016)

China’s ‘One Belt, One Road’ initiative, aimed at improving the connectivity between China and Europe along the ancient Silk Road as well by sea, will require massive investments in infrastructure. This will considerably improve infrastructure in both China and in neighbouring countries. ...
Pope Francis supports road safety in meeting with UN SG’s Special Envoy for Road safety (14 January 2016)

Pope Francis received today in a private audience, the UN Secretary General’s Special Envoy for Road Safety, Jean Todt, accompanied by UNECE Executive Secretary Christian Friis Bach. Jean Todt and Christian Friis Bach outlined today’s road safety challenge and the need for governments and ...