A presentation of the activities of the UN Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) was held at the Permanent Mission of the Republic of Kazakhstan to the United Nations in New York on 22 January. UN Under-Secretary-General and Executive Secretary of UNECE Christian Friis Bach addressed the Permanent Representatives and Experts to the UN from more than 50 countries of Europe and America on the work of UNECE on promoting the implementation of the 2030 sustainable development agenda, adopted in September last year.
He noted that thus far a solid base for joint coordinated efforts to achieve the common objectives of sustainable development at the regional level has been established. Hence, within the UNECE, some 58 intergovernmental agreements, including the general rules of the road traffic and transport system, classification and labeling of chemicals, 5 conventions and 12 protocols in the field of environmental protection were achieved. In addition, some 480 standards and recommendations on trade facilitation and e-business, and more than 100 international quality standards of agricultural products are adopted. These and other documents are the result of intensive intergovernmental negotiations that strengthen economic integration and serve the interests of all member countries.
Kazakhstan, in its capacity as the current Chair of the Commission, commended UNECE’s role in the modern system of economic relations. The ECE provides practical assistance on a wide range of issues of statistics, the transition to green economy, simplification of goods crossing borders, and improvement of legislation and other relevant aspects of economic development and entrepreneurship. All this contributes to the implementation of «100 concrete steps» of the Plan of the nation to implement large-scale institutional reforms proposed by the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev. The Kazakh side expressed willingness to share its experience in this area and invited the Member States of ECE to cooperate with the Eurasian Economic Union and actively participate in EXPO-2017 to be held in Astana.
Participants of the meeting expressed their readiness to cooperate in order to implement a new agenda for sustainable development. They also appreciated the efforts of Kazakhstan to strengthen cooperation in the framework of the UNECE.
The Economic Commission for Europe is one of five regional commissions of the United Nations. It was founded in 1947 to develop economic activity and strengthen economic relations within the region, between the various regions and the rest of the world. ECE, with its headquarters based in Geneva, is a platform for the development of conventions, norms and standards in order to harmonize actions and share experiences between the Member States. Currently 56 countries of Europe, Central Asia, and the United States and Canada are members of the ECE.