The 2030 Agenda with its 17 Sustainable Development Goals provides an ambitious and comprehensive framework that opens new perspectives for policymaking and international cooperation. While progress in its implementation is being made in the UNECE region, our recent statistical report showed that current efforts are far below the scale needed to deliver the SDGs by the end of this decade.
The challenges facing the region cut across most SDGs: environmental pressures persist; sustainable economic development requires further advances in connectivity; growing urbanization demands increased attention and new solutions to cities’ problems; and effective policies and inclusive dialogue cannot take place without robust data and monitoring mechanisms. Faced with the COVID-19 pandemic, accelerating progress is even more urgent: the SDGs provide our roadmap for a recovery that leads to greener, more inclusive and resilient economies.
Ahead of its 69th Commission session, UNECE will therefore hold on 19 April an action-oriented policy exchange focusing on the need for integrated strategies to tackle key sustainability challenges facing the region. The discussions will be informed by the presentation of key findings of a series of flagship publications, exploring the needs of member States, and identifying opportunities where UNECE tools could support enhanced efforts.
In line with the interlinked character of the SDGs and to capitalize on synergies, this will be based on integrated approach developed by UNECE that cuts across sectoral boundaries. Four high-impact “nexus” areas have been defined, grouping UNECE’s core contribution to nine SDGs, across four critical areas for the region:
- Sustainable use of natural resources
- Sustainable and smart cities for all ages
- Sustainable mobility and smart connectivity
- Measuring and monitoring progress towards the SDGs
The exchanges will be opened by UNECE Executive Secretary Olga Algayerova and Mr. Alexander Alimov, Deputy Permanent Representative of the Russian Federation to the UN Office and other international organizations in Geneva. Following the presentation of the four publications by UNECE experts, countries will have the opportunity to engage in an interactive discussion on the findings and recommendations and on further steps required for integrated policies to accelerate SDG implementation. This will be enriched by concrete perspectives from experts from UNECE member States, including:
- Mr. Seppo Rekolainen, Chair of the Task Force on the Water-Food-Energy-Ecosystems Nexus under the UNECE Water Convention, Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry (Finland)
- Ms. Maria Sokolenko, Chair of the UNECE Committee on Forests and the Forest Industry, Federal Forestry Agency (Russian Federation)
- Ms. Doris Andoni, Chair of the UNECE Committee on Urban Development, Housing and Land Management, Ministry of Finance and Economy (Albania)
- Mr. Michael Scrim, Chair of the UNECE Working Party on Transport Statistics, Statistics Canada.
By leveraging its norms, standards and conventions, and by building capacities and providing policy assistance, UNECE can help countries unlock the interlinked benefits of sustainable development action.
To register for the launch event, visit: https://indico.un.org/event/35761/