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Regional Advisor - Economic Cooperation and Integration

Mr. Mario Apostolov

Mr. Apostolov provides advisory support for both the Economic and Integration and Trade Divisions. He has been servicing intergovernmental bodies of experts and policy makers on trade facilitation in the framework of the UN Centre for Trade Facilitation and Electronic Business, the UN Special Programme for the Economies of Central Asia (SPECA), and networks in Southeast Europe and the Eurasian Economic Union for over 17 years. His expertise includes national trade facilitation bodies, the Single Window for export, import, and transit clearance, regional trade integration, and trade facilitation reform. Mr Apostolov has a M.A. from the Moscow State Institute of International Relations and a Ph.D. from the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies at the University of Geneva. He teaches a course on the Dynamics of Regional Cooperation and Diplomacy at the International University in Geneva. Some areas of his published works include trade facilitation, regional cooperation and integration, and the geopolitics of Christian-Muslim relations.

For more information, email: mario.apostolov@un.org

Technical assistance services are carried out by the Regional Adviser in collaboration with the Economic Cooperation and Integration team. All activities are linked to UNECE's normative work, limited to those particular areas where UNECE has recognized expertise, and aim at ensuring effective and efficient responses to the needs of UNECE member States. The work is focused mainly on the countries with economies in transition of Central Asia and the Caucasus.  

The Regional Adviser focuses on translating the outcomes of normative activities of CECI into capacity building activities. This presently includes needs assessment and consultations on mobilizing partnerships with and resources from partner organizations as well as assessment of potential donor support for capacity building activities. In this role, he supports the UN Special Programme for the Economies of Central Asia (SPECA). This Programme was launched in 1998 by five Central Asian states with the objective of strengthening regional economic cooperation, with Azerbaijan and Afghanistan joining the programme in 2002 and 2005 respectively.  SPECA today has six Project Working Groups: Trade, Transport, Water and Energy (covering also the environment), Statistics, ICT for Development, and Gender and Economy. The Governing Council (deputy prime ministers or ministers of economy) and the Coordinating Committee (deputy foreign ministers) coordinate and oversee the work conducted in the framework of the Programme. SPECA works closely with partner organizations active in Central Asia. The SPECA Economic Forum provides strategic guidance for the Programme. SPECA activities are underpinned by research conducted by Central Asian economic research institutes supported by the newly established Partnership for Economics Education and Research Support (PEERS).

In addition to supporting the work of SPECA, the Regional Adviser coordinates with partner organizations active in Central Asia and provides advisory services upon request on issues pertaining to key aspects of regional economic cooperation and its role in promoting sustainable economic development and rapid integration into the world economy. 

More information about the plans for Regional Advisory Services in Economic Cooperation and Integration, in 2018-2019 can be accessed here

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