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General introduction

Leveraging expertise for the SDGs: a “nexus” approach

The 2030 Agenda and its Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) provide an ambitious and comprehensive framework that opens new perspectives for policymaking and international cooperation. Its integrated character highlights the linkages and complementarities that exist between different goals and targets.

The challenges facing the UNECE region cut across most SDGs. Environmental pressures persist. Sustainable economic development requires further advances in connectivity across the region. Growing urbanization will demand increased attention and new solutions to cities’ problems. Effective policies and a broader and meaningful societal dialogue cannot take place in the absence of robust data and monitoring mechanisms.

UNECE is supporting countries to address these key sustainable development challenges through an integrated, multisectoral approach leveraging UNECE norms, standards and conventions, and by building capacities and providing policy assistance.

This cross-cutting work is helping to drive progress towards nine core SDGs where UNECE has particular strengths, namely SDGs 3, 6, 7, 8, 9, 11, 12, 13 and 15. Partnerships (SDG 17) and gender equality (SDG 5) underpin all UNECE activities.

At the crossroads of all UNECE programmes and expertise, four high-impact “nexus” areas have been identified where multiple SDGs converge:


By connecting sectoral expertise and capitalizing on synergies, this approach aims to help countries unlock the interlinked benefits of sustainable development action.