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We all need clean air to live. It is one of the things that we don’t think much about, we breathe in and breathe out automatically and take the air around us for granted. But dirty air takes a heavy toll on human health and the environment, leading to 7 million premature deaths annually,…
The COVID-19 pandemic demonstrates the importance of an integrated approach to water management and the crucial role played by transboundary water cooperation in supporting recovery and prevention. Timely and sufficient availability of water of adequate quality is a prerequisite for the provision…
Over the past few years, Tajikistan has strengthened its efforts to boost its economy and improve its competitiveness in global markets. As a result of wide-ranging regulatory and economic reforms, the country has succeeded in improving its ranking in the Trading Across Borders Index, from…
When the amendments to the Protocol to Abate Acidification, Eutrophication and Ground-level Ozone (Gothenburg Protocol) under the Convention on Long-range Transboundary Air Pollution (Air Convention) were adopted in 2012, flexibilities were introduced to facilitate ratification by new Parties.…
The UNECE region is at the forefront of population ageing with rising numbers of people growing old in cities. If at the turn of 21st century just below 14 per cent of urban population in Europe were 65+, they accounted for 16.8 per cent in 2015 and in North America, the proportion of 65+ among…
The coronavirus has shown the importance of adequate housing for the health and wellbeing of the population. The housing affordability challenge became especially acute in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic when Governments throughout the world requested people to “stay home”. According to Ms…
The COVID-19 pandemic crisis will cost governments trillions of dollars, creating substantial burdens on taxpayers, together with huge macroeconomic imbalances and risks. This situation is likely to significantly constrain the investment in public infrastructure and services needed for the…
Who are the major actors engaged in a process of energy transition of buildings? What are the current and desirable data provision practices to support policy-making, energy planning and implementation of energy efficiency projects in buildings? Who are the major actors that collect data on…
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…
The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted access to water and sanitation as the first line of defence, enabling people to frequently wash their hands in line with good hygiene practices. Governments must take all efforts to ensure equitable access, especially for vulnerable groups (people living in…
Accelerating the transition to more sustainable and transparent global value chains needs to be at the heart of the fashion industry’s response to the severe socio-economic challenges and supply chain disruptions caused by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. According to the…
While the world is attempting to address major environmental problems of our times, such as climate change, biodiversity loss and deforestation, nitrogen pollution remains a major unresolved challenge, but has, so far, received very little attention from decision-makers. Everyone knows about…
The automation of information flows along digital trade and transport corridors has the potential to strengthen supply chains and help countries deal with the COVID-19 pandemic. Since May 2019, UNECE and its partners promoting trade facilitation in Ukraine, as well as Azerbaijan, Belarus, and…
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…
The UNECE region, in particular Europe and North America, has become the epicenter of the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition to the devastating impact on lives and health, countries in the region are suffering heavy socio-economic consequences. The Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is projected to fall by…
A new policy brief launched today by the Secretary-General highlights the particular risks COVID-19 presents to older persons. As has been widely reported, the fatality rate for…
Just about 6 months after the entry into force of amendments to the Gothenburg Protocol, representing an important step in international efforts to address the air pollution challenge, several expert groups under the UNECE Convention on Long-range Transboundary Air Pollution met virtually this…
In the global fight against COVID-19, how can we reconcile reducing physical interactions to limit virus transmission with the need to keep supply chains operating efficiently? This is particularly important for essential products like medical supplies and food. However, keeping goods moving…
UNECE and the European Union continue to support pilot applications of the Strategic Environmental Assessments (SEA) in Belarus and Georgia in the framework of the European Union Water Initiative Plus programme for the Eastern Partnership Countries (EUWI+). SEA is an essential planning tool for…
The current medical and economic emergency has sharply questioned the preparedness of our infrastructure to provide acute healthcare and other critical services. Could it have helped, if Governments, the private sector and civil society had at their disposal a tool to determine if they are…
We live in a world designed by men, for men. Women are widely under-represented in the committees that develop standards that lay out the specifications for products that we consume every day, for personal protective equipment and for the infrastructure on which economies depend upon.…
Informal settlements are a significant problem for Kyrgyzstan’s capital Bishkek. According to the estimates shared by the city government, between eighteen and twenty-five percent of almost one million inhabitants of the city live in the forty-seven informal settlements around Bishkek. These…