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UNECE contributes to the latter objective of economic cooperation and integration (MDG 8), in particular through its activities in trade facilitation and border-crossing, as well as pan-European and Euro-Asian transport links, which are directly related to the targets on international trade and landlocked countries as contained in MDG 8. Through its environmental programme and its gender-related activities, UNECE also contributes to the achievement of MDGs 3 and 7, respectively. The Protocol on Water and Health, linked to UNECE Water Convention, also helps achieve some targets of MDG 4. Furthermore, as stated in its 2005 report on reform, the UNECE (through its Statistical Division) ensures the regional monitoring of MDG trends and offers a platform for all stakeholders to share their information, views and experience in the implementation of the MDGs, which are still a challenge for a significant number of its Member States.

Goal 3 – Promote gender equality and empower women

UNECE pursues a dual approach of gender mainstreaming across our diverse areas of work and targeted activities under its Gender and Economy Programme. This involves the assistance to UNECE member States in implementing internationally agreed commitments to women’s empowerment and gender equality and provision of a regional platform for policy-oriented research and dialogue through expert group meetings, workshops and regional conferences. For more information, visit the UNECE Gender Programme website.  

Goal 4- Reduce child mortality

The lack of the water supplied and its bad quality can constitute a potential danger to human health. Although safe, clean, accessible and affordable drinking water and sanitation should be provided for all, there are a number of regions where this objective is still to be achieved. In 1999, UNECE and the WHO/EURO adopted the Protocol on Water and Health to protect human health and well being by better water management, including the protection of water ecosystems, and by preventing, controlling and reducing water-related diseases. The Protocol also relates directly the achievement of various MDGs, in particular Goal 4 (to reduce child mortality) and Goal 7 (to ensure environmental sustainability, in particular target 10 - halve the proportion of people without sustainable access to safe drinking-water and basic sanitation by 2015 – and target 11 - achieve a significant improvement in the lives of at least 100 million slum dwellers by 2020). For more information, visit the website of the  Protocol on Water and Health.

Goal 7- Ensure environmental sustainability

Within its environmental activities, UNECE has adopted a four-pronged approach:

1. Its Committee on Environmental Policy brings together governments to formulate environmental policy and support its implementation by organizing seminars, workshops and advisory missions and providing a forum for sharing experiences and good practices.

2. UNECE also takes a very active role in certain regional and cross-sectoral processes, including ‘Environment for Europe’ Ministerial process; Environment, transport and health; and Education for Sustainable Development.

3. Through its environmental performance reviews, UNECE assesses individual countries’ efforts to bring down pollution levels and manage their natural resources, and makes recommendations to improve their environmental performance.

4. UNECE has negotiated five environmental treaties, all of which are now in force:

·         Convention on Long-range Transboundary Air Pollution;

·       Convention on Environmental Impact Assessment in a Transboundary Context;

·         Convention on the Protection and Use of Transboundary Watercourses and International Lakes;

·         Convention on the Transboundary Effects of Industrial Accidents; and

·         Convention on Access to Information, Public Participation in Decision-making and Access to Justice in Environmental Matters.

Their governing bodies are serviced by the UNECE secretariat, which also helps them to monitor the implementation of the treaties. For more information, visit the UNECE Environmental Policy website.

Other UNECE’s programmes relating to the targets of the MDG 7 include Sustainable Energy, Housing and Land Management, Forestry and Timber and Transport.

Goal 8- Develop a Global Partnership for Development

In line with the targets of the MDG 8, UNECE's trade programme is focussing on developing and maintaining effective international trade-related instruments, norms, standards and recommendations, in response to the needs of the global economy; reducing barriers to trade in goods and services in all countries, and UNECE member States in particular, through greater implementation of international and UNECE norms, standards, instruments and recommendations, especially in trade facilitation; and facilitating trade policy development through the provision of an international platform for the exchange of views, particularly for the benefit of countries with economies in transition. Examples include trade security, European integration and sustainable development. Jointly the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific, the UNECE also supports the United Nations Special Programme for the Economies of Central Asia (SPECA) which seeks to support the Aid-for-Trade process in SPECA countries and achieve greater inclusion of these countries in the global economy. For more information, visit the UNECE Trade Programme website.

MDG-related topics also represent economic growth, knowledge-based development and higher competitiveness of countries and businesses in the UNECE region which belong to UNECE's work on Economic Cooperation and Integration.

UNECE contributions to the MDGs include:


Environmental Performance Reviews: a contribution to MDG 7, target 9

Support to the promotion of sustainable energy: a contribution to MDG 7, target 9

National capacity building for trade development: a contribution to MDG 8, targets 12 and 14

Support to national policies in the forest sector: a contribution to MDG 1, target 1, and MDG 7, target 9

Country support for sustainable human settlements and social housing: a contribution to MDG 1, target 1, and MDG 7, targets 10 and 11

Mainstreaming gender into economic policies: a contribution to MDG 3 and MDG 1, target 1

The role of UNECE in strengthening statistical capacity for monitoring the MDGs in SEE and EECCA countries