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A coordinated response is necessary for promoting and implementing the circular economy agenda globally. Concrete commitments from governments, businesses, international organizations, civil society and other stakeholders will be key to building the sustainable, resilient and low-carbon economy…
UNECE is deepening its support to help countries of the region capitalize on innovation to recover from the pandemic and realize the ambitious vision of the 2030 Agenda.  The UNECE Innovation for Sustainable Development Review (I4SDR) of Uzbekistan, which is currently underway, will set out…
Countries of Central Asia, the Caucasus and Eastern Europe have been hit hard by the socioeconomic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, which threatens to derail sustainable development progress in the region. However, there is also a stronger momentum towards regional cooperation, and countries can…
Overfishing threatens the sustainability of maritime resources and endangers food security. In the last few years, the share of fish stocks that are within biologically sustainable levels has reached its lowest point in history, down …
World Ocean Day is a reminder of the growing depletion of maritime resources. Currently, FAO reports that 34.2% of all maritime stock is…
The economic and sanitary crisis caused by the pandemic calls for new ways of doing business. We need to digitalize data and document exchange in cross-border transport and supply chains to avoid person-to-person contacts, while increasing the efficiency of trade and transport operations. However,…
Between 1999 and 2018, nearly 6,000 different species of illegally-traded fauna and flora were seized worldwide. The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild…
In 2021, the volume of world merchandise trade is expected to increase by 8 per cent  after falling 5.3 per cent in 2020. How UN/CEFACT recommendations and e-business standards can help boost trade and e-commerce was one of the…
The Government of Ukraine is currently implementing a broad policy agenda aimed at achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and pursuing a resilient, inclusive and sustainable post-COVID recovery. UNECE, together with UNDP, UNICEF and WHO, is supporting these efforts through a Joint…
While consumer demand for sustainable goods is an important driver for change, regulation and policy change are essential if the world is to side-step a climate catastrophe and bend traditional linear economic models towards a circular economy and sustainable future. Until recently it wasn’t clear…
The COVID-19 pandemic has hit the economy hard. Global GDP is estimated to have fallen by 3.5 in 2020, and even more steeply in parts of the UNECE region. International trade has been disrupted. Progress towards the UN Sustainable Development Goals has slowed down at a time when it would be…
With the COVID-19 pandemic, Trade facilitation has acquired even greater importance for the land-locked countries of Central Asia, as it helps remove burdensome formalities for their trade and transport operations. Simplifying and digitalizing procedures helps diminish physical contacts along…
The days of voluntary measures to improve sustainability in the garment and footwear sector appear to be numbered, according to speakers at a recent event. With regulation and smart policy implementation, the sector has the potential to build back better post-COVID-19, prioritising the environment …
A circular economy is a paradigm which can contribute to reducing the economic, environmental and social costs of resource use, while at the same time strengthening economic competitiveness, reducing poverty, and providing better quality of life, in line with the United Nations 2030 Agenda for…
Waste has turned into one of humanity’s predominant challenges. The generation of hazardous waste increased from an estimated 259 metric tonnes in 2007 to 394 metric tonnes in 2015; the most…
Consumers are increasingly interested in making more environmentally and ethically aware choices when it comes to the clothes and shoes they wear, according to a series of recent studies. But the sector is awash with complex language and misleading labelling that makes it difficult for consumers to…
Technologies can play a key role in the transition from a linear towards circular economy. Circular strategies represent key investments to shape trade and logistics that are more resilient, resource-efficient and cost-effective, supporting the Sustainable Development Goals. However, the risk…
The risk that advances in digital technology benefit those who are already online and could contribute to greater inequality within and among countries needs to be addressed by effective policies, leaving no one behind.    The United Nations system is engaged to help address these challenges.…
The Western Balkans and Moldova are moving to modernize their trade and Customs procedures and roll out standardized trade data sharing and Single Window for export and import clearance. Building on years of capacity-building and technical cooperation efforts by UNECE, the World Bank, the CEFTA…
The COVID-19 pandemic stopped trade routes, disrupted supply chains, and impacted international trade globally. Kyrgyzstan is no exception. According to its Ministry of Economy, Kyrgyzstan’s…
COVID-19 has significantly changed the way UN/CEFACT works. As the focal point within the United Nations Economic and Social Council for trade facilitation recommendations and electronic business standards, UN/CEFACT typically convenes experts twice per year to a week-long Forum to discuss current…
Supporting countries in the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) is UNECE’s key priority. The SDGs are embedded in all UNECE workstreams, including trade. Sustainable trade reforms can promote inclusive growth, job creation and poverty reduction, thus contributing to the…
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…
The countries of the UN Special Programme for the Economies of Central Asia (SPECA) - Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan - gathered for a virtual session of the SPECA Working Group on Innovation and Technology for Sustainable Development (WG on…
In this time of economic slowdown, border closures and unemployment caused by COVID-19, transformative technologies can offer solutions to the public and private sectors in reviving international trade. Digital products and platforms, based on the world-wide standards and interoperability, can…