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COP26 was a positive step forward in the fight against climate change, but as the UN Secretary General pointed out in his comments: “it is not enough. We must accelerate climate action to keep alive the goal of limiting the global temperature rise…
Over the last two weeks at COP 26, governments, the private sector and a wide range of actors have unveiled plans for climate action in crucial areas ranging from methane, to forests, finance, fashion, transport and far beyond. As US Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry put it in our…
In a joint statement, the Executive Secretaries of the United Nations Regional Commissions have called for enhanced regional cooperation to develop nature-based and technological solutions for capturing CO2 emissions from the atmosphere and ensuring its long-term storage. …
With the UN Food Systems Summit taking place next week under the auspices of the UN General Assembly (23 September 2021), we must recognize that the food systems we have built over recent decades are unsustainable. The food choices we make…
August is wildfire season in many parts of the Northern Hemisphere. Many areas in the UNECE region, including North America, Siberia, and Mediterranean countries have experienced unusually hot and dry weather this year, and with that some of the biggest wildfires on record. Areas burned in Turkey…
By Ms. Olga Algayerova, UN Under-Secretary-General and Executive Secretary of UNECE, and Ms. Elisabete Quintas da Silva, Head of Department, Sustainable and Efficient Use of Resources Operational Programme, Government of Portugal, and Chair of the UNECE Committee on Environmental Policy.  This…
The importance of statistical information to help us cope with disasters has never been clearer than over the past year. As the Covid-19 pandemic has gripped the world, numbers have become our bread and butter. Yet the pandemic has also highlighted the challenges and imperfections in many systems; …
Mobility is a primary enabler of our economic and social life. However, despite its many benefits, the costs of mobility to societies around the world remain unacceptably high. These include greenhouse gas emissions (transport accounts for some …
The extraction of raw materials worldwide has more than doubled since 1990 and could double again by 2060 in the absence of corrective policies. According to the UN International Resources Panel, resource extraction and processing account for 90% of global biodiversity loss and water stress impacts…
Olga Algayerova Women’s Day Blog On the occasion of the International Women’s Day, I would like to pay tribute to all women leaders, and all women and men, girls and boys, who are empowering women and girls to build a better future for all! The theme of this year’s International Women’s Day is…
Achieving equality between women and men is a core goal of governments and the international community. The frameworks that guide us towards this goal—the Sustainable Development Agenda and The Beijing Platform for Action, among others—emphasize that for equality to be achieved, women and men must …
The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed dysfunctions in many systems, including those that affect the lives of older people and their communities. COVID-19 has disproportionately affected older persons – nearly 9 out of 10 COVID-19 deaths in the UNECE region have been among those aged 65 and older.…
After months of the COVID-19 crisis challenging healthcare systems and undermining economies, governments worldwide are looking for ways to jump-start the economic recovery. Without factoring in environmental concerns, recovery packages risk undermining the foundations for sustainable development, …
An estimated one billion people worldwide live with disabilities. In the European Union, one person in seven among the working age population reports a difficulty with a basic activity – such as…
We stand at a critical moment. More than ever, the great challenges we face – like COVID-19, the climate crisis, unsustainable resource use, and inequalities – cannot be faced by one country alone. The 75th anniversary of the United Nations is the time to reflect on how we can best work together to…
Data can be a matter of life and death. We have seen in recent years how statistical information about the structure of the communities affected by earthquakes or typhoons—how many people, in which age groups, and in which locations—is essential for making quick and informed decisions to mobilize…
The COVID-19 health crisis has caused wide-ranging socio-economic disruption worldwide. This has exposed and aggravated existing social imbalances. The pandemic has called for unprecedented measures to protect those so close to our heart: our parents, grandparents, the elderly and vulnerable.…
With the consequences of COVID-19 still unfolding, one area of major disruption has been to global food systems, resulting in significant increases in food loss and waste. Today, the first ever International Day of Awareness of Food Loss and Waste, is a wake-up call. We must access and make…
  While COVID-19-related disruptions may have impacted people’s mobility and slowed cross-border movements of people and goods this year, pollution knows no travel restrictions. Air pollutants, travelling through our atmosphere, can harm people and the environment even thousands of kilometres from…
In early March this year, the UN Secretary-General called for countries to step up their efforts and turn deforestation around in order to make 2020 a ‘super year’ for nature. This call arrived…
The COVID-19 pandemic and the lockdown measures implemented by most of the governments in the UNECE region have fundamentally changed the way we work, study, communicate, define priorities and function in our everyday life. Governments and international organisations have focused on immediate…
Most Governments have responded to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic by declaring a state of emergency and by adopting numerous measures to combat the spread of the virus, which have often included restrictions on the freedoms of assembly and movement. This has altered the way in which…
Like so much else in our societies that we had taken for granted before the COVID-19 crisis, the daily commute has for many been temporarily set aside in a makeshift home office. After weeks of lockdown and confinement, the priority now is to relaunch the economy, while maintaining the necessary…
By UNECE Executive Secretary Olga Algayerova and UN Women Regional Director for Europe and Central Asia Alia El-Yassir Since the global outbreak of COVID-19, essential workers have been risking their lives in order to protect ours. No expense should be spared to ensure the availability and…