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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

Published: 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 seven decades, which include a broad array of norms, standards, and conventions created through regional cooperation among member States, which offer practical solutions to shared problems.

The High-level statement recalls that for 70 years, the work of UNECE has impacted the lives of the citizens of the UNECE member States and beyond in multiple beneficial ways, connecting countries and driving progress. UNECE’s work is a practical demonstration of how international cooperation can have a positive influence on both people and the planet, by increasing prosperity, contributing to peace and building partnerships.

It also states that UNECE, including through its sectoral activities and working bodies, provides an important platform to support its member States in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda.

The Commission adopted several decisions, including:

  • Establishing the Regional Forum on Sustainable Development, which will serve as a regional mechanism to follow-up and review the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in 2018 and 2019;
  • Strengthening institutional arrangements on geospatial information management, in order  to enrich the  review of progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals;
  • Supporting the development, through multi-stakeholder and intergovernmental expert consultations, of a concrete proposal for the establishment of a Road Safety Fund to be submitted to the Secretary-General for consideration;
  • Recommending to the Economic and Social Council to mandate the Inland Transport Committee to report on an annual basis to both the Commission and, for information purposes, also to the Economic and Social Council.

Numerous delegations praised UNECE’s historic role as a platform where member States can come together to collaborate, its significant impact on the daily lives of the region’s citizens, and its contributions to supporting countries in their transition to a market economy. 

Numerous delegations warmly thanked Executive Secretary Christian Friis Bach for the constructive collaboration he has fostered between UNECE and member States, the improved efficiency and transparency he has spearheaded in the organization, and his passionate commitment to UNECE and to the implementation of the SDGs. They wished him well in his future endeavours.

New bureau

The Commission elected its new Bureau, with Latvia as Chair (Ambassador Janis Karklins), and Switzerland (Ambassador Didier Chambovey) and Belarus (Ambassador Yury Ambrazevich) as Vice-Chairs.

All delegations paid tribute to the outgoing Chair, Ambassador Zhanar Aitzhanova of Kazakhstan, for her leadership and commitment throughout the last two years.

The 68th session of the Commission will be held in 2019. 

The documents of the 67th session are available at http://www.unece.org/commission67.html#/

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