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65th session of the Economic Commission for Europe will discuss the shift to a sustainable future and the role of innovation in creating a dynamic and competitive economy

Published: 04 April 2013

The United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) will hold its 65th session from 9 to 11 April at the Palais des Nations in Geneva. The Commission is expected to make strategic decisions on the UNECE programme of work. It provides a forum for policy dialogue on the economic developments in the region.

The first two days will be dedicated to two issues that are most pertinent to the current development debate and are at the core of UNECE’s activities and member States’ priorities:

1.    Follow-up to Rio+20 and post 2015 development agenda.
One panel will discuss “The future of sustainability: from transition to transformation”, looking in particular at whether current policy measures are conducive to a greener future; the crucial role that cities have to play in this evolution; the need to enhance food security and the contribution that trade can make to achieve it; or the shift from fossil fuels to cleaner and more sustainable energy sources and the need to accompany this long-term transformation via renewed efforts towards energy efficiency, which can deliver massive short and medium-term gains.

The second panel on “Sustainable development governance: regional implications and perspectives for the post-Rio+20 institutional set up” will address the following topics: lessons learned from the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs); the contributions that the pan-European region or the most economically advanced and diverse region in the world can bring to the global debate on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGS); which key elements should be at the core of the future SDGs; how to design the most efficient institutional set-up?

2.    Economic developments and challenges in the UNECE region

The debate will be centred on “The role of innovation in creating a dynamic and competitive economy”. Panellists and delegates will discuss, among others, how to create an innovation ecosystem; the latest innovation trends in the forestry and paper sectors; how intelligent transport systems can provide solutions to transportation challenges, increase the safety of drivers and passengers, and help reduce pollution; and the role of research institutions in fostering an innovation-friendly economy.

The results of this panel discussion will serve as regional input to the 2013 ECOSOC Annual Ministerial Review whose theme is “Science, technology and innovation, and the potential of culture, for promoting sustainable development and achieving the MDGs”.

The Commission will also be called to adopt the outcome document of the review of the 2005 UNECE reform, which defines the strategic priorities for UNECE for the coming years.

The session and discussions are open to the public.

The detailed programme and background documents are available at:

United Nations Economic Commission for Europe

Information Unit

Palais des Nations, 

CH-1211 Geneva 10, Switzerland

Tel.: +41 (0) 22 917 44 44

Fax: +41 (0) 22 917 05 05