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Sixty-eighth session of the Commission

9 - 10 April 2019

“Smart Sustainable Cities: Drivers for Sustainable Development”

Room XVIII, Palais des Nations, Geneva

The 68th session provides a forum for the consideration of issues of importance for the economic integration and cooperation among the countries of the region and is an opportunity to review the progress of the Commission’s activities.

The high-level segment will be held under the theme “Smart Sustainable Cities: Drivers for Sustainable Development.” Discussions will focus on national priorities and good practices related to sustainable cities in the region, UNECE initiatives aimed at supporting governments in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the New Urban Agenda, and the impact of relevant UNECE norms, standards and Conventions at the national and regional level. The segment will consider how cities can provide inhabitants of all ages with a high quality of life, not leaving anyone behind, while becoming centres of innovation and competitiveness.

The second day of the Commission Session will be dedicated to the general segment that covers regular agenda items (including report on the activities of the Executive Committee; issues requiring a decision; election of officers; adoption of the report of the session).

The Commission session will be preceded on 8 April 2019 by a Day of Cities. To inform the intergovernmental discussions of the 56 UNECE member States, Mayors will discuss how to create smart sustainable cities, focusing on ways to improve the quality of life of people and on improving efficiency of urban operations, services and competitiveness. An exhibition and information fair invites participants to showcase their success stories, and present useful tools that help to embrace smart and sustainable practices.


Delegates attending the meeting are requested to register by 1 April 2019 at the following link:  https://uncdb.unece.org/app/ext/meeting-registration?id=IrmRtF

Please register at your earliest convenience, and allow enough time for visa application and processing.

If you have any difficulties in registering online, please send an email to: unece.68session@un.org 

Document Symbol N°Document TitleENGLISHFRENCHRUSSIAN
Programme of the High-level Segment, 9 April 2019 (as of 8 April 2019)PDF
E/ECE/1487Annotated provisional agenda for the 68th session PDFPDFPDF


E/ECE/1489Toolbox of the Economic Commission for Europe: Instruments to support the transition to smart sustainable citiesPDFPDFPDF
E/ECE/1490Consideration of the high-level statementPDF
E/ECE/1491Report on activities on the Executive CommitteePDFPDFPDF
E/ECE/1492/Rev.1Other issues calling for decision by the CommissionPDFPDFPDF

68th Commission session       
Tuesday and Wednesday, 9 and 10 April 2019 



Opening and welcomeEnglishRussian
H.E. Mr. Janis Karklins, Chair of the CommissionPDF
Ms. Olga Algayerova, Executive Secretary of UNECEPDF
Mr. Michael Moeller, Director-General, UNOGPDF
Video message by H.E. Ms. Inga Rhonda King, ECOSOC President, on the occasion of the 68th session of the Economic Commission for Europe


High level segment
H.E. Mr. Vladimir Makei, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Belarus PDF
H.E. Mr. Sergey Vershinin, Deputy Minister of Foreign Minister, Russian Federation PDF
H.E. Mr. Mahmud Mammad-Guliyev, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Azerbaijan PDF
H.E. Mr. Walter Stevens, Ambassador, Head of the Permanent Delegation of the European Union to the United Nations in GenevaPDF
H.E. Mr. Ciprian Lucian Rosco, Secretary of State, Ministry of Regional Development and Public Administration, RomaniaPDF
H.E. Mrs. Elisabeth Tichy-Fisslberger, Ambassador and Permanent Representative, Permanent mission of AustriaPDF
H.E. Mr. Didier Chambovey, Permanent Representative of Switzerland to the United Nations and other International Organizations in GenevaPDF
H.E. Mr. Milorad Sćepanović, Permanent Representative of Montenegro to the United Nations and other International Organizations in GenevaPDF
H.E. Dr. Hans-Peter Jugel, Deputy Permanent Representative of Germany to the United Nations and other International Organizations in GenevaPDF
Mr. Howard Solomon, Acting Deputy Chief of Mission, United States of AmericaPDF
Ms. Inguna Berke, Permanent Mission of Latvia to the United Nations and other International Organizations in GenevaPDF
Mr. Robert Cook, Counsellor, Permanent Mission of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland to the United Nations Office and other International Organizations in GenevaPDF
Mr. Xavier Cadoret, President of the Chamber of Local Authorities of the Congress of the Council of EuropePDF
Ms. Maimunah Mohd Sharif, Executive Director, United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat)video
Ms. Olga Algayerova, United Nations Under-Secretary-General and Executive Secretary, United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE)
The work of UNECE on smart sustainable cities
Dr. Stefano Marta, Coordinator, Territorial Approach to SDGs, Cities, Urban Policies and Sustainable Development Division, Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD)



Mr. Wolfgang Teubner, Regional Director, ICLEI - Global network of 1,500 cities, towns and regions committed to building a sustainable future Local Governments for Sustainability: Challenges and Opportunities in working towards the 2030 Agenda



Key issues and outcomes from the Day of Cities 
Ms. Elena Szolgayova, Director General, Ministry of Transport and Construction, Slovakia, and Chair, Committee on Housing and Land Management



Ms. Ingvild Gundersen Little, National Coordinator, The Norwegian WHO Healthy Cities Network



 Roundtable: "Regional and national solutions towards smart sustainable cities and the impact of UNECE instruments"
Session 1: Measuring Performance in the Transition to Becoming a Smart Sustainable City
Mr. Robert Dijksterhuis, Head of Division, Spatial Policy Division, Ministry of Interior and Kingdoms Relations, The Netherlands PDF
Mr. Dag Olav Tennfjord, Mayor Skodje, NorwayPDF
Session 2: Towards the Circular Economy - Innovation Policies for Smart Cities

Mr. Ciprian Lucian-Rosca, Secretary of State, Ministry of Regional Development and Public Administration, Romania

Circular Economy and Innovation: The case of Romania
Mr. Marco Grossmann, Member of the Board, Ecos Consultants

Swiss Circular Cities: Challenges and Opportunities

Session 3: Increased Road Safety and Sustainable Transport in Cities
Ms. Anna Hornung-Soukup, Chair of the Board of TPG in Geneva

 Bringing sustainable transport solutions through public transport


Mr. Robert Thaler – Federal Ministry of Sustainability and Tourism, Austria

The contribution of the Transport, Health and Environment Pan-European Programme (THE PEP) to facilitating sustainable transport

Session 4: Reducing the Environmental Footprint of Cities
Mr. Andrei Isac, NGO Eco-Contact, Moldova

Strategic environmental assessment in cities



Mr. Jan Zeitler, Mayor of Überlingen (Germany)

“The concept of the Regional Garden Show Überlingen as an opportunity to improve the ecological footprint of cities”