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Introduction by the Chairman of the Commission

Good cooperation and good governance are the hallmarks of this organization in 2007.

The Reform of UNECE that was embarked upon in 2005 and implemented in 2006 has led to a successful re-focusing of the organization on its key strengths and areas of structural comparative advantage in the region.

Based on assessments made so far, I can safely state that the organization has emerged stronger thanks to a better functioning governance structure, improved accountability, transparency and horizontal coherence of UNECE’s activities, all of which have led to a UNECE that is more responsive to the needs of its member States. Following these changes, I have definitely observed an increased involvement of member States in the work of the Executive Committee, the Sectoral Committees and UNECE as a whole. Not least, a strengthened partnership has emerged between the secretariat and member States which is essential for the good functioning of the UNECE.

And here I would like to express my appreciation for the continued valuable support from the UNECE secretariat, working with member States in an open and constructive atmosphere. A big part of this positive state of affairs can surely be attributed to Mr. Marek Belka and his team, who have continued to work hard to address the concerns of member States and to ensure that the organization evolves in line with the changing needs of the pan-European region.

Belgium has now held the Chairmanship of the Commission for the last three years. It has been encouraging for us to steer and witness the transformation in the governance of UNECE during this time. In my view, UNECE is a well-functioning and coordinated organization that brings clear value added to the region. At the same time, to ensure that it continues on this path, it cannot afford to rest on its laurels and under its current leadership I feel confident that it will not do so.

Alex Van Meeuwen,
Permanent Representative of Belgium