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Vision of UN system in Europe and Central Asia on post-2015 development agenda calls for reducing inequalities and enhancing sustainability

The United Nations Development Group together with the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) today released their joint vision for the post-2015 development agenda in  Europe and Central Asia , and argue that the region has a critical role to play in shaping the generation of new development goals.

The report persuasively maps out the lessons learnt across the United Nations system in Europe and Central Asia while confronting the global challenge of balancing economic growth, environmental sustainability and social inclusion. While progress is evident across the region, some countries have yet to reach some of targets of the Millennium Development Goals and social inequalities persist despite progress. At the same time, the region has the world’s largest ecological footprint and is struggling to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and halt the loss of biodiversity. The challenges of moving towards sustainable production and consumption patterns while still enjoying the benefits of economic growth and without exacerbating social tensions are relevant throughout the region.

Against this backdrop, three messages emerge from the report:

·        Social inclusion and the reduction of inequality is an essential part of any future framework.

·        Sustainable development must be central to future development efforts: this is true for countries of all income brackets.

·        Finding solutions to today’s challenges requires innovation from all partners and engagement from all stakeholders.

These findings provide a regional reflection of matters that must be considered as the new global development agenda is formulated.

UNDP Administrator and UNDG Chair Helen Clark, together with UNECE Executive Secretary and Chair of the Regional Coordination Mechanism for Europe and Central Asia Sven Alkalaj today launched the report -   “Building more inclusive, sustainable and prosperous societies in Europe and Central Asia.” – at a high level event in New York, hosted by Cevdet Yilmaz, Minister of Development of Turkey.

“The first task of any new development agenda must be to keep our promises and accelerate the completion of the Millennium Development Goals before the end of 2015,” said Helen Clark. “One million people who have engaged in this process across the world want us to be ambitious, to ‘raise the bar’ for the next set of development goals. They want to hold us all – governments, the UN, other international organizations, the private sector and NGOs – to account, to ensure we do our part, to enable and empower people to realize the future we all want.”   

Sven Alkalaj said that “creating the new development agenda is a valuable opportunity to learn from and go beyond the MDGs. After the Great Recession, we need nothing less than a Great Transformation to ensure the future of the planet and its people. Europe and Central Asia are well placed to spearhead this transformation.”

The report was created as a series of 14 short thematic briefs, along with an advocacy paper that lays out the overall vision. The report is designed to provide policy-makers and negotiators for the future development agenda with a concise overview of regional challenges.

In Europe and Central Asia, discussions amongst all stakeholders about the new development framework will continue. To support the ongoing conversation, the Ministry of Development in Turkey will host a Regional Consultation in Istanbul on 7 and 8 November 2013. The Regional Consultation will bring together representatives from Governments, civil society, the private sector, academia, and international organizations. The report by the regional UN system will serve as an important input to the discussions.  

The report can be accessed at: www.unece.org/index.php

More information on the Regional Consultation in November is available at: www.worldwewant2015.org/EuropeCentralAsia

For further info, please contact:

Ms. Monika Linn
Principal Advisor to the UNECE Executive Secretary
Email: monika.linn@unece.org


Ms. Gina Lucarelli
Post-2015 Team, Europe and Central Asia Coordination Lead
Email: gina.lucarelli@undp.org


Note to editors

The report “Building more inclusive, sustainable and prosperous societies in Europe and Central Asia – A common United Nations vision for the post-2015 development agenda” was prepared within the Regional Coordination Mechanism for Europe and Central Asia and the United Nations Development Group for Europe and Central Asia. It was coordinated by the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and jointly prepared by: United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE); United Nations Development Programme (UNDP); United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF); World Health Organization (WHO); United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women); United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP); United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO); United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA); United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO); International Labour Organization (ILO); Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO); United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR); and International Organization for Migration (IOM).