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Press Releases

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List of Press Releases - 2020-66

UNECE calls upon Uzbekistan to use the recommendations of its Environmental Performance Review for designing its green recovery policies in the aftermath of COVID-19 (20 October 2020)

Rich in natural gas, gold, uranium and other mineral resources, Uzbekistan actively attracts international investments, implements large infrastructure projects and is confronted with difficult choices in finding a way to long-term growth based on climate-friendly technologies and sustainable ...
UNECE launches handbook on sustainable urban mobility and spatial planning to help steer cities’ green recovery (16 October 2020)

The COVID-19 pandemic has profoundly impacted urban mobility, and has raised fundamental questions about its future role at the heart of urban development. As cities step up efforts to make post-pandemic mobility more sustainable and efficient, UNECE has issued a new handbook to guide holistic ...
UNECE issues guidelines and best practices for small businesses in critical raw material supply to assure post-COVID-19 resilience (07 October 2020)

Micro-, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) are the backbone of the economy in the UNECE region and have been hard hit by the COVID-19 economic crisis. This stress in turn impacted the supply chains of many industries, especially those involved in supporting essential services required for the ...
The pandemic shows need for resilient and sustainable cities, say local authorities as UNECE Forum of Mayors paves way for more inclusive multilateralism (06 October 2020)

The current health crisis made the need for more robust cities more evident than ever before. The pandemic amplified and exposed the vulnerabilities of current urban realities, including overcrowded public transport, inadequate and unsanitary settlements, high levels of air pollution, and the lack ...
Governments of Central Asia and the Caucasus call for strengthened cooperation on transport connectivity and use of UN instruments to accelerate COVID-19 recovery (30 September 2020)

Enhancing connectivity and ensuring sustainable and efficient functioning of international transport corridors is of paramount importance for the economic recovery of landlocked countries of Central Asia and the Caucasus, especially during the COVID-19 crisis which caused serious disruptions of ...
Broad cross-sectoral cooperation urgently needed to address the degradation of North Africa’s largest aquifer shared by Algeria, Libya and Tunisia (29 September 2020)

Shared by Algeria, Libya and Tunisia, the North Western Sahara Aquifer System (NWSAS) is North Africa’s largest groundwater reserve, supporting the lives and livelihoods of 4.8 million inhabitants. A vital water resource extending over 1 million square kilometres in a highly arid environment, the ...
Eight UN organizations stress critical role of international transport and integrated supply chains for COVID-19 recovery and the SDGs (17 September 2020)

The social and economic disruption of the COVID-19 pandemic is impacting our efforts to improve livelihoods and achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The early responses to restraining the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic negatively impacted all transport operations, leading to severe ...
Albania joins the Aarhus Convention’s amendment on genetically modified organisms (14 September 2020)

On 3 September 2020, Albania accepted the amendment on genetically modified organisms (GMO amendment) to the UNECE Convention on Access to Information, Public Participation in Decision-making and Access to Justice in Environmental Matters (Aarhus Convention), raising the total number of the Parties ...
Aarhus Convention Compliance Committee makes clear that the COVID-19 pandemic cannot justify any restriction of the public’s rights to information, participation and justice in environmental matters (07 September 2020)

On 2 September 2020, the Compliance Committee to the Convention on Access to Information, Public Participation in Decision-making and Access to Justice in Environmental Matters (Aarhus Convention) adopted a statement on the application of the Aarhus Convention both during the COVID-19 pandemic, and ...
UNECE study explores new frontiers for censuses: changes ahead but will remain core of informed decision-making (27 August 2020)

The UNECE Steering Group on Population and Housing Censuses, a group of 20 census experts representing 17 countries and international organizations, has released a study, New Frontiers for Censuses Beyond 2020, exploring the new challenges and opportunities for censuses in the region beyond the ...
UNECE guidance for the energy efficiency and renewables sector will support small businesses to drive the green recovery (27 August 2020)

Micro-, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) are among the worst hit financially by the COVID-19 pandemic. They represent over 90 percent of all companies in most countries in the UNECE region and are responsible for over half of GDP. Therefore, the economic recovery depends to a large extent on ...
We must not wait for the next ammonium nitrate blast - solutions exist to improve safety (07 August 2020)

On Tuesday 4 August, a huge warehouse explosion in the port area of Beirut left over 135 people dead, 5,000 injured, 100 missing and 300,000 homeless, according to media reports. The explosions appear to have been caused by tons of ammonium nitrate. “I express our solidarity with the people of ...
UNECE/FAO studies contribute to sustainable management of precious forests of the Caucasus and Central Asia (24 July 2020)

The forests of the Caucasus and Central Asia (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan) rarely make international headlines and are often overlooked in global debates on forest preservation and sustainable management. Nevertheless, these forests ...
Forest area in UNECE region continues to increase, says FAO report, but greater efforts needed to protect these fragile ecosystems (24 July 2020)

The world has lost around 420 million hectares of forest to other land uses since 1990, with an annual rate of deforestation estimated at 10 million hectares over the last five years, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) said in its 2020 Global Forest Resources ...
UN Road Safety Fund to adjust its 2020 Call for Proposals to a world transformed by Covid-19 (17 July 2020)

The UN Road Safety Fund’s 2020 call for Proposals will be partially connected with the changing priorities of governments as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic with respect to building better and safer mobility. This was decided by the Fund’s Advisory Board at its fourth session last week. The ...
Expanding E-government in Europe and Central Asia (14 July 2020)

E-government has a key role to play in achieving the SDGs. Governments in the UNECE region are using tools like ICTs, big data, artificial intelligence and machine learning to improve public services, empower citizens and ultimately provide a better quality of life. The COVID-19 pandemic has only ...
Enhancing transboundary water cooperation is crucial for accelerating progress ‎towards SDG6: UNECE commits to help closing the current governance gap ‎ (10 July 2020)

“Sustainable Development Goal 6 on water and sanitation for all is badly off track. This is hindering progress on the 2030 Agenda, the realization of human rights and the achievement of peace and security around the world.  Water and sanitation cut across all three pillars of the United ...
UNECE publishes guide to measuring the economic value of ‎education and training (09 July 2020)

Education brings many benefits, among them economic ones: the knowledge and capacities obtained by students and trainees allow them to contribute productively, with the advanced skills needed to fuel our modern economies that rely on specialized services and technologies. The essential role of ...
UNECE to share action to accelerate SDGs delivery at High-level Political Forum (07 July 2020)

Taking place from 7-16 July 2020, the High-level Political Forum is the central annual platform of the United Nations for reviewing successes, challenges and lessons learned on achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The theme this year will be "Accelerated action and ...
Ghana pushes forward cross-border water cooperation in Africa by joining UN Conventions (26 June 2020)

On 22 June 2020, Ghana became the 3rd African country (44th Party) to accede to the Convention on the Protection and Use of Transboundary Watercourses and International Lakes (Water Convention), serviced by UNECE, and the 37th Party to the Convention on the Law of the Non-Navigational Uses of ...
UN Regulation on Automated Lane Keeping Systems is milestone for safe introduction of ‎automated vehicles in traffic ‎ (25 June 2020)

Some 60 countries have reached a milestone in mobility with the adoption of a United Nations Regulation that will allow for the safe introduction of automated vehicles in certain traffic environments. The UN Regulation establishes strict requirements for Automated Lane Keeping Systems (ALKS) for ...
UN Regulations on Cybersecurity and Software Updates to pave the way for mass roll out of ‎connected vehicles ‎ (25 June 2020)

The automotive sector is undergoing a profound transformation with the digitalization of in-car systems that are necessary to deliver vehicle automation, connectivity and shared mobility. Today, cars contain up to 150 electronic control units and about 100 million lines of software code – four ...
Six United Nations statistical offices work together to support countries in managing the COVID-19 pandemic (16 June 2020)

As the world tackles the spread of COVID-19 and its unprecedented impacts on economies, societies and the environment, we are all stepping into unknown territory. Everybody, from politicians to parents, from newly unemployed workers to nurses, from supermarket cashiers to schoolchildren in front of ...
How to create lasting change and impact: Empowering SMEs and women boosts economies ‎and supports ambitious market reforms in Central Asia (11 June 2020)

What started as a business idea back in 2016 is now one of the leading small and medium enterprise producers and exporters of dry and dried produce in Uzbekistan. Akram, the young entrepreneur behind this success story is just one of many examples where four international agencies have made a ...
Joint UN call for smooth transit and transport facilitation to and from landlocked developing countries (09 June 2020)

The COVID-19 pandemic is the defining global health crisis of our time. It is causing disruption and human suffering around the world. Its far-reaching social, economic and multidimensional impacts will be felt across all corners of the globe for some time to come. The measures to contain the ...
NATURE UNLOCKED: UNECE launches global photo contest showing ‎flora and fauna during lockdown to celebrate World Environment Day (05 June 2020)

As governments worldwide declared lockdowns in an attempt to contain the spread of COVID-19, animals and plants started reclaiming spaces previously seen as being reserved for human activities: fish, ducks and dolphins inhabited canals and approached shores, while deer, wild goats and monkeys began ...
UNECE to support the Kyrgyz Republic in harnessing trade facilitation reforms for a ‎sustainable post-COVID recovery ‎ (05 June 2020)

Trade facilitation is at the centre of the policy agenda for regional integration among the transition economies in Central Asia. UNECE has been a resolute partner, supporting countries’ efforts to achieve their trade-related policy-priorities. The Kyrgyz Republic is one of the Central Asian ...
Greening the transport sector in the post COVID-19 recovery could create up to 15 ‎million jobs worldwide (19 May 2020)

Investment in transforming the transport sector could create millions of new jobs and help countries move to greener, healthier economies, says new report. The recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic cannot be a return to business as usual. It must be an opportunity to push the advancement of the ...
UNECE releases new dataset for tram and metro statistics, ‎supporting informed policy responses for sustainable post-COVID ‎mobility (18 May 2020)

How will urban mobility change in the aftermath of COVID-19 lockdowns? In the short term, if passengers avoid public transport due to health fears, passenger car journeys could increase significantly, which would choke cities with traffic and pollution. Many cities have been reallocating space to ...
Governments in Pan-European region launch UN Task Force to make ‎post-COVID-19 pandemic mobility more environmentally sound, healthy ‎and sustainable ‎ (15 May 2020)

During the lockdown, city- and town-dwellers enjoyed clear blue skies and clean bodies of water thanks to reductions in air pollution and began to hear birdsong owing to lower levels of noise pollution. Pollution levels in Barcelona, for instance, dropped by an estimated 62 per cent. Similar ...
UNECE welcomes Fairtrade International amongst the signatories of the ‎Declaration for Gender Responsive Standards and Standards Development (14 May 2020)

Fairtrade International has signed UNECE’s Declaration for Gender Responsive Standards and Standards Development, on the anniversary of its opening. The Declaration, which has 64 signatories, aims to provide a practical framework for standard bodies seeking to make the standards they develop, and ...
Dirty air endangers UNESCO World Heritage Sites and produces high costs (11 May 2020)

Pollution in the air is not only harming human health and the environment but is also degrading surfaces of historical buildings and monuments. The impact of dirty air on materials is enormous and can destroy our cultural heritage, an important component of our individual and collective identity. ...
UNECE publishes new guidance for inclusion of older people living in ‎institutions in national social statistics (06 May 2020)

Statistics on social and demographic topics are usually produced from surveys of individuals living in private households. But what about older people who are not part of a private household, but who instead live in an institution, such as a care home or assisted living centre? Such people are ...
UN/CEFACT standards will support digitalization of maritime transport ‎ (02 May 2020)

When ships enter and leave ports, vital information about cargoes, dangerous goods, crews, vessel details and many other things has to be exchanged with the authorities ashore. Under International Maritime Organization’s (IMO) so-called FAL Convention, ...
Political cooperation across borders protects water resources in Drin Basin ‎ (29 April 2020)

Shared among Albania, Greece, Kosovo*, Montenegro and North Macedonia (the five ‘Riparians’), the Drin River Basin provides water resources for drinking, energy, fishing and agriculture, biodiversity, tourism and industry. The Strategic Action Programme (SAP) for the sustainable management of ...
Securing critical raw materials supply is key to the response to ‎COVID-19‎ (17 April 2020)

With almost half of the world under lockdown, the continued supply of certain critical raw materials needed for an effective response to the COVID-19 pandemic has become a concern.   The Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (APIs) and excipients of several drugs, including antibiotics such as ...
UNECE Industrial Accidents Convention celebrates 20 years of pan-‎European cooperation to strengthen prevention, preparedness and ‎response ‎ (15 April 2020)

Prevention, preparedness and response are key pillars of the UNECE Convention on the Transboundary Effects of Industrial Accidents which will celebrate its 20th anniversary of entry into force on 19 April 2020. The Convention was negotiated in response to the 1986 Sandoz chemical spill, which put ...
UNECE launches platform to help National Statistical Offices navigate ‎challenges for official statistics during COVID-19 crisis‎ (15 April 2020)

The world is facing a crisis like no other. Policymakers are pursuing the combined aims of saving lives and minimizing the adverse economic, social and environmental impacts, and to do so they must take hard decisions and bold moves, quickly and transparently. Such decisions depend on solid data ...
UN/CEFACT digital standards can help governments reduce the risk of disease transmission ‎from animals and facilitate legal trade (14 April 2020)

Coronaviruses, including the one responsible for the COVID-19 pandemic, are a large family of viruses that are common in animals, and can occasionally be transmitted to humans – a phenomenon known as “zoonosis”. Ensuring proper controls on the international trade in animals and animal ...
Let’s make post- COVID-19 mobility more sustainable: UNECE issues guidance on reducing car use in cities (07 April 2020)

It is clear that the recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic cannot simply be a return to business as usual. With the mobility that societies take for granted severely limited in many countries due to emergency measures, one area that calls for a critical re-assessment is how we can shift to more ...
Countries adopt blueprint to improve road safety systematically, harnessing UN legal instruments‎ (01 April 2020)

Faced with a road safety emergency that costs 1.35 million lives a year, the 3rd Global Ministerial Conference on Road Safety, held in Stockholm, launched a call for unprecedented efforts to halve road fatalities by 2030. The milestone Stockholm Declaration recognizes the urgent need for effective ...
Energy efficient buildings: UNECE guidelines aim to help close gap between technologies, ‎standards and implementation (01 April 2020)

Improving energy efficiency is one of the most cost-effective options for meeting growing energy demand, ensuring more rational use of energy, contributing to a better environment and to energy security in most countries, and securing economic well-being and improved quality of life. Today, ...
UNECE issues recommendations to unlock green and cost-saving potential of inland water transport (31 March 2020)

Scaling up the use of inland waterways can accelerate the decarbonisation of the transport sector, and offer a ‎sustainable complement to the shipping of goods by road and rail. Transport by water also improves safety, reliability ‎and reduces congestion. As a cost-effective and sustainable ...
In response to COVID-19, countries coordinate efforts to guarantee the delivery‎ ‎ of medical supplies, including oxygen (27 March 2020)

A variety of products used or produced daily by hospitals need to be handled and transported with special care because they are infectious, hazardous or radioactive substances. The United Nations have developed Recommendations for the Transport of Dangerous Goods to ensure their safe and efficient ...
Regional Forum 2020: “We have a mountain to climb over the coming decade”‎ (27 March 2020)

With only ten years left to deliver on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the Regional Forum 2020 kickstarted the Decade of Action and Delivery in the UNECE region. Attracting more than 300 key stakeholders for a virtual meeting on 19 March, this year’s Regional Forum demonstrated the ...
UNECE Recommendations help countries harness official statistics to ‎improve disaster response (26 March 2020)

Two stark trends are becoming ever-more present in today’s world: rapid urbanization, and a growing number and intensity of hazardous events related to climate change. The combination of these two forces makes for an increasing exposure to risk for people, the economy and the environment. The ...
UNECE launches Observatory on Border Crossings Status due to COVID-19 and calls ‎on all countries to ‎facilitate flow of goods to maximum extent possible (24 March 2020)

International movement and connectivity are facing unprecedented challenges as an increasing number of countries around the world close their borders and impose travel restrictions in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The patchwork of uncoordinated measures taken complicates compliance by ...
World Water Day 2020: how water and climate change are ‎inextricably linked and how UNECE instruments help (22 March 2020)

Water is crucial for climate change adaptation and mitigation, as well as health, hygiene, sustainable development and life. The global climate crisis is inextricably linked to water.: 90% of all disasters are water-related. Over two billion people live in countries experiencing high water stress, ...
Turkmenistan’s 2.2 million pledge to the Trees in Cities Challenge brings the initiative to ‎over 10 million trees (20 March 2020)

All over the world, mayors and local authorities are taking climate action through tree-planting in and around cities. The benefits of urban forests are plentiful: aside from filtering air pollutants, a single tree can absorb up to 150kg of CO2 per year, help regulate urban temperatures, reduce ...
First UNECE regional report on SDGs shows some good progress and many gaps ‎ (17 March 2020)

UNECE has today launched a first Regional report on progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). This comes at a key juncture in the follow-up and review of the 2030 Agenda since its adoption in 2015, and will help to sharpen efforts as we enter the Decade of Action to deliver the ...
UNECE launches Dashboard to track regional progress on SDGs ‎ (13 March 2020)

The Sustainable Development Goals’ globally-agreed framework of 232 indicators allows everyone—governments, researchers, civil society, business and beyond—to keep track of how our countries are progressing towards environmental, social and economic sustainability. A new UNECE Dashboard for ...
UNECE Conference of European Statisticians begins partnership for statistics on children, adolescents and youth (04 March 2020)

The 2030 Agenda sets the ambitious objective of eliminating inequalities among people on the planet. Many factors are linked with inequalities —people’s income level, where they live, their gender, their ethnicity, and their age, to name a few. To know where these inequalities exist, as well ...
UNECE calls for decisive action to close the Gender Pay Gap in the region (27 February 2020)

The gender pay gap remains a critical issue in all countries of the UNECE region. Although the gap has narrowed in most UNECE countries since 2012, it remains at 16% on average in hourly rates, and 21% in monthly earnings. Huge differences are seen across the region: the hourly rate pay gap ...
Transport Ministers make united call for universal climate action (25 February 2020)

The effects of climate change on transport — from compromised infrastructure, to reduced access and connectivity, to poor road safety and beyond — are already being felt in every region of the world. Improving the environmental performance of transport, in addition to improving accessibility, ...
UNECE study maps transport infrastructure at high risk due to climate change in Pan-European region and Canada (25 February 2020)

From road and rail networks to ports, airports and inland waterways, critical transport resources are facing unprecedented threats from a climate which is already changing. Spain, for example, has just suffered the most powerful storms experienced in decades, destroying bridges, cutting off roads ...
Montenegro becomes the 27th Party to the Protocol on Water and Health (20 February 2020)

Today, the Republic of Montenegro officially becomes the 27th Party to the Protocol on Water and Health, thus joining countries effectively working together within the framework of the Protocol to accelerate action on sustainable management of water resources and improve health and well-being for ...
UN Road Safety Fund will finance 10 projects to address gaps in 12 ‎countries’ road safety systems (19 February 2020)

The UN Road Safety Fund has unveiled ten new projects that will target key gaps in the road safety systems of 12 countries. With a total budget of nearly USD 4 million, these projects will scale the Fund’s geographical and programmatic footprint in the coming months. This announcement took place ...
Special Envoy Jean Todt and UNECE issue urgent call for new road safety ‎paradigm for 2030 ‎ (07 February 2020)

Over 3,700 people lose their lives on the world’s roads every single day, totalling a staggering 1.35 million fatalities each year. Road crashes are the leading cause of death for young people aged between 5 and 29, wiping out futures and destroying the lives of those they leave ...
Countries adopt legal provisions for the full computerisation of the TIR Convention (05 February 2020)

Countries have adopted provisions providing the legal basis for the paperless operation of the United Nations TIR Convention (the so-called eTIR) - the only global customs transit system, facilitating trade and the seamless and secure movement of goods across borders. The TIR system, ...
UNECE welcomes Kazakhstan’s accession to the Protocol on Pollutant ‎Release and Transfer Registers (29 January 2020)

On 27 January 2020, Kazakhstan acceded to the UNECE Protocol on Pollutant Release and Transfer Registers (PRTRs) to the Convention on Access to Information, Public Participation in Decision-making and Access to Justice in Environmental Matters (Aarhus Convention), becoming the thirty-seventh Party ...
UNECE Regional Forum 2020: Kickstarting the Decade of Action to deliver the SDGs by 2030‎ (28 January 2020)

What are the critical actions driving sustainable change? Gathering at the Regional Forum on Sustainable Development on 19-20 March 2020, policy makers and other key actors from the region will kickstart the Decade of Action and boost their efforts to deliver the Sustainable Development Goals ...
UNECE endorses stringent new vehicle emissions regulation ‎ (20 January 2020)

Consumers need to be confident in car manufacturers’ emissions information when choosing which new model to buy. UNECE will make it easier for countries around the world to implement state of the art emissions test procedures with a new UN Regulation featuring the Worldwide Harmonized Light ...
UN projects growth to pick up in the CIS and remain ‎stable in South-Eastern Europe (16 January 2020)

Policy easing will likely support growth in the CIS, but downside risks are high Against a backdrop of a challenging external environment, growth in the CIS is projected to pick up, while remaining stable in South-Eastern Europe, according to the United Nations World Economic Situation and ...
UN projects moderate growth for Europe amid multiple ‎downside risks (16 January 2020)

External conditions, policy uncertainty and structural changes are weighing on growth momentum Growth in Europe is projected to remain moderate, as the region continues to face multiple downside risks, according to the United Nations World Economic Situation and Prospects (WESP) 2020, which was ...
UN finds that prospects for economic growth in 2020 ‎hinge on reducing trade disputes and uncertainty (16 January 2020)

1 in 5 countries will see per capita incomes stagnate or decline this year Impacted by prolonged trade disputes, the global economy suffered its lowest growth in a decade, slipping to 2.3 per cent in 2019.  The world, however, could see a slight uptick in economic activity in 2020 if risks ...
Kyrgyzstan can tap into strategic location along ‎key transport corridors: UN report‎ (08 January 2020)

Improving the competitiveness and connectivity of Kyrgyzstan, which occupies a strategic location along key transport corridors between Europe and Asia, could enable the country to unlock significant untapped benefits from the increasing amount of freight that is choosing inland transport between ...