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UN in Europe and Central Asia sharpens focus on 2030 Agenda

The UN entities in Europe and Central Asia keep forging ahead in better connecting their expertise and capacities to support the 2030 Agenda in the region. The Regional UN System Meeting (Istanbul, 20-21 May) – the joint policy and operational platform bringing together all UN entities in the region – agreed on a number of steps to further enhance collaboration in line with the ongoing reform of the UN Development System.

The existing collaboration platform, co-chaired by the UNECE Executive Secretary and the Chair of the Regional UN Sustainable Development Group (R-UNSDG), was considered a well-functioning basis for further improvements. Issue-based Coalitions that were pioneered by the regional UN system to tackle cross-cutting issues will continue to play a major role in steering joint activities.

A focus area of UN cooperation at the regional level will be SDG data and monitoring. The Issue-based Coalition on SDG Data and Monitoring will be instrumental to better align statistical capacities at the regional level, scale up country support, and contribute to intergovernmental discussions on statistics at the Conference of European Statisticians.

Subregional and transboundary issues will also receive increased attention, including in the new cooperation frameworks (UN Sustainable Development Cooperation Frameworks) to be concluded with governments in countries with UN presence. Environment-related issues – use of natural resources, pollution, climate change, disaster risk reduction, transboundary water management, environmental data – are pressing in most subregions and have a strong transboundary dimension. To better respond to these challenges, a new Issue-based Coalition on Environment will be established.

Close cooperation will also continue with regard to regional intergovernmental processes. Following the successful example of the 2019 Regional Forum on Sustainable Development, in which almost 20 UN entities were closely involved, the UN system will be closely involved in shaping the upcoming Beijing+25 Regional Review Meeting, jointly organized by UNECE and UN Women in Geneva from 29-30 October 2019. The Issue-based Coalition on Gender Equality will be an important vehicle to coordinate UN system contributions.