Committing to action on sustainable development
Today we start the sixty-sixth session of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe.
When UNECE was established 68 years ago, shortly after the horrors of the Second World War it was because, to quote the unanimously adopted resolution number 1 at the sixth session in 1951, “constructive economic cooperation was essential to the maintenance of peace”.
Today, as we witness deeply tragic conflicts in the heart of Europe it should remind us of this historic vision. It should remind us that it is time that we reinvigorate our efforts to achieve this historical mandate of UNECE. We must stubbornly focus on the vision of increased cooperation and connectivity in the region as a pathway to peace and progress.
This is why we are determined to do more and to do better. We owe it to our citizens, communities and countries and to those who founded the UNECE.
We are in an historic year. A year where the United Nations turns 70 and the world is uniting around the most ambitious vision ever: the expected sustainable development goals. Once adopted, these goals will underline how economic, environmental and social factors are crucial to ensure peace and progress in line with historical mandate of UNECE.
With its diverse and interlinked programmes of work, UNECE is a unique sustainable development organization. UNECE is directly engaged in work in support of 14 of the 17 proposed sustainable development goals and towards at least 6 goals with a substantive involvement. And in addition to supporting the goals we will be engaged in the review and monitoring of the post-2015 sustainable development agenda.
UNECE works from the strong conviction that when countries cooperate – and develop and share common norms, standards and conventions - this paves the way for progress and peaceful coexistence and for the vision expressed by the sustainable development goals.
We will work to fulfil our historic mandate and we are determined to do even more and to do even better in the years to come. We remain dedicated to building– to quote again resolution 1– the “constructive economic cooperation which is essential to the maintenance of peace”.
We are committing to action on sustainable development in times of change.
If you wonder why the animal accompanying my blog is a cow, it is because cows are fascinating animals; the cows of our host country, Switzerland, are famous for their quality; and because I am still a farmer, and miss the cows I had in Denmark. Now I got one back.