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Press Releases

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List of Press Releases - 2017-35

Role of Environment Assessments emphasized as key to SDG and climate change action at Minsk meeting (21 June 2017)

Strategic environmental assessment and environmental impact assessment in a transboundary context can play an important role in helping countries to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and address climate change. This was one of the central messages of the Meetings of the Parties (MoP) ...
Nuclear issues, sustainable development, and climate change to be at the centre of debates of the meeting of the Parties to UNECE Treaties on Environmental Assessment (13 June 2017)

Over 200 Government officials, representatives of international organizations, international financial institutions (IFIs), civil society, academia and other stakeholders from some 50 countries will meet in Minsk, at the invitation of the Government of Belarus, from 13 to 16 June to take stock of ...
United Nations urges action in Europe on 1.4 million deaths annually from polluted environments (13 June 2017)

Leaders of countries in Europe and Central Asia need to scale up action to prevent environment-related deaths and diseases affecting their populations. This is the call from the heads of the World Health Organization Regional Office for Europe (WHO/Europe), the United Nations Economic Commission ...
Ministers adopt declaration to accelerate global transition to sustainable energy (12 June 2017)

Ministers and high-level officials from 85 countries sent a strong call to accelerate the transition towards sustainable energy systems in a statement adopted at a global conference in Astana, Kazakhstan on 11 June 2017. The Declaration contains seven voluntary actions, which outline ways to ...
Investment in renewable energy still lacking in 17 countries in South and Eastern Europe, the Caucasus and Central Asia (12 June 2017)

The 17 UNECE countries in South and Eastern Europe, the Caucasus and Central Asia represented only 0.2% or USD 0.4 billion of global renewable energy investment in 2015. despite comprising over 300 million inhabitants and representing 4.9% of the world’s GDP Attracting investment represents a ...
Opening of the International Centre of Excellence on Coal Mine Methane in Poland – safer mining, cleaner environment, and efficient resource use (08 June 2017)

Approximately 40% of global greenhouse gas emissions come from production, transportation, storage and use of coal. If measured over a period of 100 years, methane has a global warming potential 25 times higher than that of carbon dioxide (CO2).  If uncaptured and released, emissions of this ...
UNFC bioenergy specifications open for public comment (29 May 2017)

Specifications for the application of the United Nations Framework Classification for Resources (UNFC) to bioenergy were released on 24 May for public comment until 23 July 2017. Growing awareness and interest in renewable energy resources, including bioenergy, has highlighted a need to normalize ...
UN/CEFACT joins forces with UNCTAD to empower National Trade Facilitation Committees in Gabon and Cameroon (29 May 2017)

The entry into force of the Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA), last 22 February 2017, calls on Member Countries of the World Trade Organization (WTO) to establish National Trade Facilitation Committees (NTFCs). Based on TFA Art.23 on Institutional Arrangements, such Committees are entrusted with ...
UNECE signs Partnership for Sustainable Development with the Kyrgyz Republic for 2018-2022 (23 May 2017)

UNECE and the United Nations Country Team will strengthen their support to Kyrgyzstan’s development efforts over the next five years. This will be achieved through the implementation of a United Nations Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF) for 2018 – 2022 signed on 19 May by the Prime ...
Environmental performance review of Mongolia starts with cooperative effort by UNECE and UNESCAP (22 May 2017)

The Environmental Performance Review (EPR) of Mongolia kicked off today, 22 May 2017, with a field mission beginning in Ulaanbaatar. Fifteen experts from different countries and the United Nations secretariat will work in Mongolia for 10 days to review the country’s progress in improving ...
New Centre of Excellence on Coal Mine Methane in China will help to reduce the greenhouse gas footprint of coal mining and enhance safety (19 May 2017)

China has been the world’s largest coal producer for the past three decades. It also is one of the largest emitters of coal mine methane, with 43% of the world’s total. In 2016, China produced 3.4 billion tonnes of coal. During the extraction, 13.5 billion cubic meters of methane released from ...
UNECE and Portugal to cooperate on people-first Public-Private Partnerships in the water and sanitation sector (19 May 2017)

770 million people around the world lack access to clean water, while 2.5 billion people do not have adequate sanitation services. These staggering statistics by the World Bank highlight the need for increased infrastructure investment in water and sanitation services if the ambitious targets in ...
UNECE and China strengthen their cooperation on people first Public-Private Partnerships (19 May 2017)

The Belt and Road Initiative, launched by China in 2013, comprising the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, is aimed at building a trade and infrastructure network along ancient trade routes connecting Asia with Europe, Africa and beyond. The initiative has so far ...
Good governance is key to increasing Road Safety UN Says (10 May 2017)

UNECE, together with the UN Secretary General’s Special Envoy for Road Safety, Mr. Jean Todt commemorated the beginning of the Fourth Global Road Safety Week by holding a high-level roundtable on 8 May to discuss the impact good governance can have on road safety. Every year 1.25 million people ...
On UNECE’s 70th anniversary, member States praise its historic role and reiterate that it provides an important platform to support them in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda (28 April 2017)

The 67th session of the Economic Commission for Europe concluded on 27 April with the endorsement by member States of the High-level statement calling for greater economic integration in the region. The Commission provided a unique opportunity to celebrate the achievements of UNECE over the last ...
UNECE Ideas4Change Awards recognize innovative startups in renewable energy, food safety and organic materials (26 April 2017)

Harnessing the transformative power of innovation will be critical if the world is to meet the goals of the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The UNECE Ideas4Change startup competition recognizes entrepreneurs who are developing innovative solutions with the potential to create ...
New opportunities and economic benefits for Drina River Basin countries with intensified cross-sectoral cooperation (21 April 2017)

Despite development risks, an intensified cross-sectoral cooperation could have amplified economic benefits for countries of the transboundary Drina River Basin, mainly shared by Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro and Serbia. Basin-wide coordination to prioritize investments, taking into account ...
The Secretary-General appoints Olga Algayerova of Slovakia as the next Executive Secretary of the UNECE (20 April 2017)

United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres has appointed Olga Algayerova of Slovakia as the next Executive Secretary of the UNECE. She will succeed Christian Friis Bach of Denmark to whom the Secretary-General is grateful for his commitment and dedicated service to the organization. ...
UN/CEFACT adopts three policy recommendations for trade facilitation (10 April 2017)

The OECD estimates that countries could reduce trade cost by about 5% only by simplifying trade documents, automating trade, and customs processes. The revision of two Recommendations and the adoption of a new one by the UN Centre for Trade Facilitation and Electronic Business (UN/CEFACT) last week ...
UNECE announces the finalists of its Ideas4Change for the SDGs Award (06 April 2017)

The 2017 UNECE call for Ideas4Change for the SDGs is now in its final stage.  About 100 ideas were received from 22 different countries in our region, proposing innovative solutions for a better world. The five startups that made it to the final are: Catalytic Innovations (USA), Debatelier ...
UNECE and AFACT formally join hands for cutting red tape (03 April 2017)

The World Trade Organization (WTO) estimates that the implementation of the Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) will reduce trade cost by 13-14 percent in developed and developing countries around the world. The UN Centre for Trade Facilitation and Electronic Business (UN/CEFACT), serviced by UNECE, ...
UNECE celebrates 25 years of the Industrial Accidents Convention and its contribution to sustainable development and disaster risk reduction (17 March 2017)

Twenty-five years ago today, a key regional instrument aimed at protecting people and the environment from the devastating effects of industrial accidents was adopted. On 17 March 1992 in Helsinki 26 countries and the European Union signed the UNECE Convention on the Transboundary Effects of ...
Women can climb trees too! (07 March 2017)

Traditionally forestry and forest-related jobs have always been in the domain of men. This is no longer the case. Women have been entering the work force for some time carrying out what is typically known as “a man’s job” and the share of women working in the forest and owning forests is ...
Ministers from Europe and Beyond Sign Resolution to Support Inland Transport Committee (24 February 2017)

Transport ministers from across Europe and the Globe came together at the 70th anniversary session of UNECE’s Inland Transport Committee (ITC) to sign a ministerial resolution, which not only recognizes the 70 years of accomplishments of ITC but also commits to continuing to support the Committee ...
The UN Centre for Trade Facilitation and Electronic Business (UN/CEFACT) approves a new Recommendation on Public-Private Partnerships in Trade Facilitation (23 February 2017)

The port of Aqaba, Jordan’s only sea port, was reformed in 2004 through a public-private partnership (PPP), which helped to reduce average port stays from 8 days to a few hours. Port productivity has more than tripled and the cost to export per 20-foot container dropped from USD 720 in 2004 to ...
UNECE welcomes ratification of Trade Facilitation Agreement by WTO Members and pledges full support for implementation (22 February 2017)

Today, the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) has formally entered into force. This will cut total trade costs for about 14% on average, and will result in massive savings of over 1 trillion USD annual to economies, the majority of which will accrue to developing economies.  “The first ...
Awards of 2017 Global Road Safety Film Festival raise awareness about the fatal consequences of drink driving and distracted driving (21 February 2017)

UNECE and Life announced today the winners of the 2017 Global Road Safety Film Festival. Among the top three winners were a film about drink driving, and two films about distracted driving. The winner of the Gran Prix Prize, “Reflections from Inside Dawn” produced by NGO “We save lives” ...
UNECE prepares guidance on fire-water retention to avoid another Sandoz accident (02 February 2017)

Thirty years ago, one of the worst environmental disasters in Europe was caused by a fire breaking out in an agrochemical warehouse at a Sandoz pharmaceutical company site near Basel, Switzerland. It was not the accident itself that caused the real disaster, but the contaminated fire-water — ...
Coordinating assessment of water, energy and agricultural needs among riparians is key to sustainable development in the Sava River Basin (01 February 2017)

For all the countries sharing the Sava River Basin (Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Montenegro, Serbia and Slovenia), hydropower is a major source of energy, sometimes the main source (i.e., in Montenegro and in Croatia). Collectively, hydropower in from the Sava River constitutes 11% of the total ...
Third Environmental Performance Review of Albania kicks off with a field mission (31 January 2017)

Experts from UNECE member States and the secretariat will be visiting Albania from 31 January to 8 February 2017 for a field mission in the framework of the third environmental performance review (EPR) of the country. The third review of Albania will evaluate the country’s efforts to abate ...
UNECE launches Ideas4Change for the SDGs Award (25 January 2017)

The adoption of the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda with its 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in 2015 marked a key milestone for the world.  It is now time to take action and to find concrete solutions that can help countries achieve their commitments under these ambitious ...
UNECE signs MoU with the World Coal Association (19 January 2017)

The United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) and the World Coal Association (WCA) signed today a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) that formalizes their long-term collaboration. Through this MoU, UNECE and WCA will work to facilitate a dialogue between governments and the coal ...
Modest global economic recovery expected, but return to robust and sustained growth remains elusive: UN report (17 January 2017)

Concerted policy efforts to revive investment and growth are needed to facilitate progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals  Although a modest global recovery is projected for 2017-18, the world economy has not yet emerged from the period of slow growth, characterised by weak ...
CIS region expected to see tentative recovery in 2017 and 2018 as global economy slightly improves: UN report (17 January 2017)

Regional growth will still be muted given persistent uncertainty and continued fragilities Following the terms-of-trade shock and economic downturn of 2014-2015, the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) region entered a period of tentative stabilization in 2016 and is expected to return to ...
Economic growth in Europe will remain subdued in 2017 and 2018: UN report (17 January 2017)

Domestic demand and intra-European trade will support economic activity amid a challenging international environment Economic activity in Europe will expand at a subdued pace in 2017 and 2018, as the global economy continues to be trapped in a prolonged period of slow growth, according to the ...