• English

Press Releases

For media enquiries, please contact info.ece@unece.org

High-level conference in Istanbul to discuss contribution of Europe and Central Asia region to global post-2015 development agenda

Published: 05 November 2013

Representatives from governments, civil society organizations, the private sector, academia and the United Nations will meet in Istanbul on 6-8 November 2013 to discuss the contribution of the Europe and Central Asia region to the global process of defining a development agenda for the time after the expiration of the Millennium Development Goals in 2015.

The event, titled “Inclusive and Sustainable Development: Perspectives from Europe and Central Asia on the Post-2015 Development Agenda”, is the culmination of a series of national consultations involving tens of thousands of people in many countries across Eastern Europe and Central Asia to help shape the post-2015 development agenda.

The conference will be opened at Dedeman Istanbul Hotel on 7 November by Cevdet Yılmaz, Minister of Development, Republic of Turkey, Sven Alkalaj, Executive Secretary of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe, Cihan Sultanoğlu, Chair of the United Nations Development Group for Europe and Central Asia and Regional Director of the United Nations Development Programme, Ambassador Michael Gerber, Special Representative of Switzerland for Global Sustainable Development, and Kadir Topbaş, Mayor of Istanbul and Member of the UN Secretary-General’s High-Level Panel of Eminent Persons on the Post-2015 Development Agenda. The meeting will be preceded by a civil society consultation on 6 November.

The Regional Consultation is a cooperative effort organized and supported by the Turkish government and about a dozen UN entities active in the region, with the core team consisting of UNECE, UNEP, UNDP, UNICEF, ILO, WHO, UNFPA and IOM. The aim is to bring together stakeholders across the Europe and Central Asia region as a step towards a regional perspective on what priorities should be contained in the post-2015 development agenda, set to be adopted by 2015 by the UN General Assembly.

The region’s diversity exemplifies the challenges in balancing economic growth, environmental sustainability and social inclusion. With the target date of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) rapidly approaching, the event provides an opportunity for regional reflection on equity, sustainability and accountability as priority issues for consideration as the new global development agenda is being formulated.

Cevdet Yilmaz, Minister of Development of the Republic of Turkey stated that the Regional Consultation for Europe and Central Asia, hosted by the Ministry of Development, Turkey in partnership with the United Nations, would be held as part of the global processes on the design of post-2015 development agenda.  He expressed that the main objective of the upcoming event of Regional Consultation is to provide a discussion platform to gather the views of the European and Central Asian region on the post-2015 Development Agenda.

“For the new era on the international development agenda, the decision makers have much more responsibility when we evaluate the current achievements of the MDGs on global level” said the Minister of Development.

“Attaching utmost importance to overcome development challenges throughout the world, Turkey increases its Official Development Assistance each year.” said Mr. Yılmaz, adding that the organization of this event is a result of Turkey’s intention to increase its contribution to the international development agenda. Mr. Yılmaz also expressed that regarding its social and economic dynamism and logistical advantages, İstanbul is one of the most convenient cities to hold such a meeting for the region.

Sven Alkalaj, UNECE Executive Secretary and Chair of the Regional Coordination Mechanism for Europe and Central Asia recalled that during this year, the UN System in the region pooled its expertise and formulated a regional post-2015 vision entitled “Building more inclusive, sustainable and prosperous societies in Europe and Central Asia”, which may serve as a reference for discussions at the meeting and beyond.

“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” he said.

“Because our fates are now so inextricably interlinked, the delegates at this event will look at the need for a universal agenda that applies to all countries and people,” said Cihan Sultanoğlu, UN Development Group Chair for Europe and Central Asia, “this call for a universal agenda resonates in this diverse region, with low-, middle- and high-income countries who all face challenges to reach the socially excluded and grow their economies without inflicting undoable harm to the environment.”

Organized in a series of interactive panels, participants will be able to explore and contribute to the following topics during the discussions:


  • Education and decent jobs
  • Health and social protection
  • Population dynamics and migration
  • Sustainable consumption and production
  • Natural resource management and green cities
  • Good governance, human rights, participation and the role of local government in sustainable development
  • Monitoring progress in sustainable development


Across the globe, Europe and Central Asia included, discussions amongst all stakeholders about the new development framework will continue in the hopes that the new agenda will resonate with the needs and priorities of all. Please visit www.worldwewant2015.org for more information about how to become a part of this global dialogue. More information on the Regional Consultation as well as the post-2015 vision of the regional UN System is available at:  www.worldwewant2015.org/EuropeCentralAsia.

For more information, contact:

Ahmet Parla, UNIC Ankara Information Officer

Ahmet.parla@unic.org, cell: +90 533 500 14 97

Faik Uyanık, UNDP Turkey Communications Officer

faik.uyanik@undp.org, cell: +90 530 499 25 48

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