The undiscovered pearl
Welcome to the new UNECE website. Welcome to my blog. Welcome to the UNECE.
When I took over as Executive Secretary in August 2014 my predecessor, Michael Møller described the UNECE as an “undiscovered pearl” in the UN. He is right.
For more than 60 years, UNECE has helped countries to come together and to cooperate, even under the most difficult circumstances during the cold war, with remarkable results in a broad range of areas that have a direct impact on people’s lives.
Whether you buckle-up your child in a child's safety seat, buy fruits, vegetables or a piece of meat, drive a car or truck, enjoy the fresh air or the forests, build an energy-efficient house, send an express package that receives expedited customs clearance, grow old or use statistics you benefit from the hundreds of policy recommendations, standards, conventions that have been developed under the auspices of UNECE. We have 58 legal instruments and conventions in transport, 17 in environment with 5 conventions, 36 statistical recommendations and standards, 2 classification standards for energy, close to 40 recommendations and standards for trade facilitation, more than 100 agricultural standards, 13 recommendations on health and safety, 150 vehicle standards for safety and environment -- and the list is even longer.
Global goals and policy discussions have been turned into practical recommendations and standards that are used by countries and citizens in our region and all over the world. Results like the convention to reduce air pollution and the safety standards for cars have helped save hundreds of thousands of people from illness due to air pollution or from dying in car accidents. The standards on coal mine methane have saved the lives of many coal miners. It matters. It makes a difference. I hope you will read the stories on the homepage and learn more.
The vision behind UNECE is a simple, strong one - and it dates back to 1947. By helping countries to convene and cooperate on a number of very concrete issues, we build peace and progress. It is a vision that has worked for Europe for decades. It is a vision that is still needed, as we witness turmoil and tensions rising once again within our region. It is a vision I strongly believe in and that I, and all my good colleagues in UNECE, will do our very best to contribute to.
UNECE is indeed an undiscovered pearl. I hope you will help us to make it shine.
PS. 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.
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.