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United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres noted that two seismic shifts will shape the 21st century: the climate crisis and digital transformation. Just as international cooperation is crucial to preserving the health of the planet, it is also needed to reap the benefits of digital…
During its recent mission in Turkmenistan, a UNECE delegation presented a proposal for a new analytical project - “Trade and Innovation for Sustainable Development of Turkmenistan” - to the government and international stakeholders, aimed at supporting the country to enhance innovation governance…
“It's now or never, if we want to limit global warming to 1.5°C”, stated the IPCC authors earlier this year. “Without immediate and deep emissions reductions across all sectors, it will be impossible”, they continued. With worsening climate effects all over the world, all eyes turned to COP27…
UNECE and the QazTrade Center for Trade Policy Development are joining forces to advance sustainable trade and the circular economy in Kazakhstan. Kazakhstan is the first country in Central Asia to use the SPECA Principles of Sustainable Trade - a set of twenty principles, adopted by the countries…
The transition from linear to circular economies requires fundamental rethinking of trade policies and regulations. “Harmonized System” codes (HS codes) are a key pillar of the tariff infrastructure for international trade. These HS codes were designed at a time when circular economy considerations…
Eight years remain to achieve the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and yet, the world is not on track to attaining most of the targets. We are far from a fully realized circular economy transition, or from limiting the rise in global temperatures to 1.5 degrees Celsius. The…
This year marks the 30th anniversary of the UNECE Convention on the Transboundary Effects of Industrial Accidents. This unique international legal instrument, signed on 17 March 1992 and in force since 2000, helps to protect people and the environment from the devastating effects of industrial…
Innovation will be crucial for rebuilding Ukraine’s economic and social systems to ensure the country’s long-term prosperity, resilience and sustainability. To support Ukraine in addressing these challenges, UNECE organized a study tour to Geneva for three Ukrainian officials. The study tour (14-…
Technologies can enhance commerce if clear international standards are in place to ensure that their use is harmonized between trading partners, and if there is regulatory coherence among countries.   Ways in which digital and green transformations can improve quality infrastructure for trade in…
How to develop projects, initiatives and ideas to build resilient energy systems in Central Asia? This was the focus of the 2nd Almaty Energy Forum, held from 14-16 November at the Kazakh-British Technical University. The Forum, a joint effort of four UN organizations – Economic Commission for…
Today, according to United Nations estimates, the population of the world will for the first time reach the 8 billion mark.  Just 48 years ago, in 1974, our planet was home to four billion people. In less than half a century this has doubled, having passed through the milestones of five billion in…
The tenth meeting of the Task Force on Public Participation in Decision-making under the Aarhus Convention (Geneva (hybrid), 10–11 October 2022) focused on effective public participation in decision-making in the context of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic and on health-related issues…
Armenia has been a pioneer in the use of the Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) model in the Caucasus to improve its infrastructure and public services. In 2000, nine years since its independence, it concluded its first wave of water concession agreements for the provision of drinking water and…
The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and consequent economic slowdown, as well as the widespread negative repercussions of the regional conflicts, such as disruptions in international trade and investments, have made it increasingly difficult for the Eastern Europe and South Caucasus (EESC)…
The global economy must be urgently steered away from unsustainable production and consumption patterns, which fuel the climate crisis, deplete natural resources and negatively impact both people and the environment. Global value chains are predominantly linear in nature, and the lack of…
Premature mortality attributable to poor air quality results in high costs. For example, a study by WHO and OECD estimates that in 2010 costs of air pollution related premature deaths in Georgia were at about 9 billion USD. The main sources of air pollution are the transport and agricultural…
Kyrgyzstan has been one of the pioneers of Public-Private Partnerships (PPP) in Central Asia, with the introduction of a PPP model in its legal and regulatory framework since 2009, and the most recent PPP legislation enacted in 2021. On the back of this PPP experience, the Government has launched…
Standards are in everything that surround us. Just the mobile phone in your pocket uses hundreds of standards, from the cellular network and the cable connectivity to physical elements such as the processing chips and the LED screen, not to mention security testing and the process design. We rely…
The importance of clean air for the quality of our lives has recently been recognised by the United Nations General Assembly. What is more is that in the General Assembly session at the end of July, Member States overwhelmingly adopted a resolution recognising that a clean, healthy and sustainable…
In the face of rising prices of food and energy, and the persistence of the climate crisis, the sustainability of food systems is an issue of increasing global attention. While meat production provides an essential source of nutrition, and an important source of income for farmers, its impact on…
As part of UNECE’s effort to support innovation-led, sustainable development in Armenia, UNECE’s Innovative Policies Development (IPDS) makes progress in identifying binding constraints to innovation during a fact-finding mission to Yerevan. Aimed at providing a comprehensive assessment of…
Accidental water pollution, which can be sudden and heavy as a result of industrial accidents, endangers people and the environment where chemical activities take place near a river, lake or water body. Accidental water pollution events can be triggered by natural hazards, such as floods, lightning…
As Ministers from across the UNECE region gather in the Cypriot capital of Nicosia to outline new initiatives to work towards a sustainable and ecological future at the 9th Environment for Europe Conference (5-7 October), the final report on the Batumi Action for Cleaner Air (BACA), adopted 6 years…
The buildings and construction sector accounted for 36% of final energy use and 39% of energy and process-related carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions in 2018. According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, building materials including steel, cement and glass emitted over 2.2 Gigatonnes of…
Energy efficiency is the so-called first fuel – the one you do not have to use, yet it gives you the services you need. It is inexpensive and abundant. And it is key to achieving systems resilience and to enhancing industrial performance. At its 31st session held on 21 September 2022 in Geneva,…