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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…
Transitioning towards a knowledge-based economy away from a resource-intensive model of economic growth is central for sustainable development among the seven countries of the UN Special Programme for the Economies of Central Asia (SPECA) - Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan,…
A decade after independence, Armenia embarked on a radical reform path to create a vibrant, market economy – triggering substantial economic growth, often reaching double digits.   As recent trends and volatility indicate, sustaining such growth requires addressing a range of structural challenges…
The COVID-19 pandemic restrictions have brought the benefits of paperless trading to the forefront of attention. Many countries are considering issuing, accepting and exchanging electronic documents for paperless trading. Issues related to paperless trading are also at the core of World Trade…
The need to digitalize information flows in international supply chains became clearer than ever during the pandemic, thanks to the reduced person-to-person contact this allows, on top of important efficiency gains. However, efforts to date have been fragmented. UNECE and its subsidiary body UN/…
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…
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…
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…
  Migration is an old and growing phenomenon – the United Nations Populations Division estimates that around 266 million people live outside their country of origin. In the UNECE region, by 2019 there were around 45 million people from Eastern Europe and Central Asia living abroad, with more than…
Both innovation and Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) are essential drivers of economic development, environmental sustainability and social inclusiveness. The UNECE region was hit hard by the COVID-19 crisis, not only because of the health crisis itself but also, even as the threat recedes…
Innovation has huge potential to drive sustainable development if supported by a vibrant innovation ecosystem. This requires effective linkages and collaboration at national level, and an innovation culture nurtured by a system of support to start ups and institutions such as business incubators.…
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,…
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 countries of Eastern Europe and the South Caucasus (the EESC sub-region), Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, the Republic of Moldova and Ukraine have come a long way in their transition from centrally planned towards market-based economies. After a difficult first decade following…
Uzbekistan has shown remarkable growth in its transition from a centrally planned to a market based economy, with annual growth rates between 5 and 9 per cent since 2004.…
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 …
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…
The economic downturn due to COVID-19 will hit the countries of the UN Special Programme for the Economies of Central Asia (SPECA) – Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan – hard and exacerbate existing vulnerabilities. As a region highly reliant on…
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…