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Countries to discuss economic integration and cooperation towards 2030 at 70th anniversary session of the Economic Commission for Europe

UNECE was established in 1947 to promote pan-European economic integration, because, after the horrors of the Second World War, this was deemed “essential to the maintenance of peace”.  Over seven decades, the work of UNECE has yielded significant results for the region and has established a notable amount of public goods in the form of norms, standards and conventions, a broad body of knowledge, and a wealth of expertise that is available to member States and to interested stakeholders, including beyond the region.  Today, as new challenges emerge for the region, with strong divisive forces at play, this mandate is as relevant as ever.

The sixty-seventh session of the Commission (26-27 April), on the occasion of this 70th anniversary, provides a unique opportunity for UNECE’s members States to develop a collective vision of the future of the region on the path towards sustainable development guided by the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

The Commission will reflect on what the region should look like in 2030, including how greater economic integration and cooperation can promote a sustainable, inclusive, peaceful and prosperous future across the region, guided by the principles of the United Nations Charter, including the full respect for international law.

The high-level dialogue will discuss what key steps would be needed to achieve a vision towards 2030 in the region; what integration and cooperation in support of sustainable development could look like in the region towards 2030 and how UNECE and its normative instruments could help countries achieve this vision.

Two high-level thematic discussions will complete the session:

  • How strengthening cross-sectoral action can better support the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

Effective implementation of the SDGs will require a holistic approach that goes beyond individual goals and sectors to address interdependencies and realize synergies. UNECE, with its diverse programmes and multiple partnerships, is already pursuing a cross-sectoral approach to address the linkages between transport, health and the environment, and between water, food, energy and ecosystems, to name but two examples, but more is needed.

Participants will discuss how to strengthen effective cross-sectoral action in the UNECE region; how good governance can contribute to enhancing policy coherence for sustainable development, and how UNECE can further adapt to the need for stronger cross-sectoral collaboration required by the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

  • How to mobilize resources for the SDGs

The implementation of the 2030 Agenda will require the mobilization and effective use of resources from both the public and the private sectors. A better understanding of financing options at domestic and international level is therefore required to develop sound resource mobilization strategies.

UNECE’s norms, standards and classifications can help better inform investment decisions. UNECE also plays an important role in providing expert assistance, in particular to its member States with economies in transition, and in developing best practices and standards on public-private partnerships.

A high-level panel, including senior member State representatives, financial institutions, the private sector and academia will discuss major trends and emerging opportunities in mobilizing resources, developing partnerships and approaches to tap multiple sources of funding for achieving the 2030 Agenda.

The Commission will be called to endorse the high-level statement stating the continued relevance of the historic mandate of UNECE and reiterating member States’ commitment to implement the 2030 Agenda.

The Commission’s decisions will define the strategic priorities for UNECE for the coming years.

The Commission will be preceded (25 April) by the Regional Forum on Sustainable Development, an intergovernmental mechanism convened by UNECE in close cooperation with the regional UN system in the framework of the Regional Coordination Mechanism and the Regional UN Development Group for Europe and Central Asia.


Side Events

In addition to the high-level dialogue and the high-level thematic discussions, a series of side events will highlight how UNECE’s concrete work has a significant impact on the lives of citizens in our region and beyond.

The detailed programme of the Commission and the various side events, as well as related documents, are available at: http://www.unece.org/index.php?id=45294#/.