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UNECE and UNITAR partner to implement the Sustainable Development Goals

Published: 28 January 2016

To help Member States implement the SDGs, two Geneva-based UN organizations, UNECE and the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) are strengthening their cooperation to better promote best practices and standards in a range of areas. Joint initiatives are expected in people-centred Public Private Partnerships (PPPs), Road Safety and the Environment.

Implementation of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) presents a wide range of challenges. For example, the financing required for new infrastructure (for clean water, healthcare, access to energy for all, etc.) is massive, amounting to between $5 trillion to $7 trillion per year globally. Governments, and especially those in low-income countries where the needs are urgent, will not have sufficient financial resources to fill this gap - even with development aid. Accordingly, a very large amount of private finance and Public Private Partnerships (PPPs) will be needed. Another example is the strong governance and institutional frameworks that will be required at the national level and are currently missing or in need of being strengthened.

UNECE has unique technical expertise and experience to contribute in the above areas and UNITAR has special expertise in training and capacity building.

UNECE Executive Secretary Christian Friis Bach declared: “Through this partnership, we are acting as one UN, bringing our respective strengths together to create greater impact and make our tools more effective in support of member States.”

UNITAR Executive Director Nikhil Seth noted that, “UNITAR highly appreciates the excellent work that UNECE has been doing in PPPs, Sustainable Transport and the Environment in the promotion of the SDGs. This enhanced partnership will strengthen our joint efforts to support the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development”.

The challenge facing Governments in using PPPs is enormous: most governments are not familiar with PPPs as a model, let alone have any practical experience in developing projects. To address this challenge, UNECE and UNITAR will be building on their respective strengths.

UNECE has a long experience in developing international standards and recommendations, such as those that guide governments as they develop PPPs in support of the SDGs. UNECE hosts the UN Road Safety Conventions and their implementation is critical for ensuring road safety for citizens. Finally, UNECE is supporting member States in meeting their international commitments under UNECE’s multilateral environmental agreements and other intergovernmental environmental processes.

UNITAR has strengths based on its expertise and experience in developing and delivering training modules and courses, in particular on government policy. Its global network of training centres will help in the dissemination of standards and training on their practical use.

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