The United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) is one of five regional commissions of the United Nations and is the oldest of them: it turns 75 in 2022.
Based in Geneva, Switzerland, UNECE includes 56 member States in Europe, North America and Asia. However, all interested United Nations member States may participate in the work of UNECE. Over 70 international professional organizations and other non-governmental organizations take part in UNECE activities.
UNECE was set up in 1947 by the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), with the major aim to promote pan-European economic integration. Its terms of reference, as defined by ECOSOC, give it the mandate to facilitate concerted action for the economic development and integration of its member States both among themselves and with other countries of the world.
As a multilateral platform, UNECE fulfils its mandate through policy dialogue, negotiation of international legal instruments, development of regulations and norms, exchange and application of best practices as well as economic and technical expertise, and technical cooperation for countries with economies in transition. UNECE also conducts investigations and studies of economic and technological problems, collects, evaluates and disseminates information and data, makes recommendations to Governments and the specialized agencies.
UNECE contributes to enhancing the effectiveness of the United Nations through the regional implementation of outcomes of global United Nations Conferences and Summits. It gives focus to the United Nations global mandates in the economic field, in cooperation with other global players and key stakeholders, notably the business community.
UNECE portfolio comprises many sectors – environment, forests, housing, population, energy, statistics, trade, transport. To better carry out its diverse responsibilities, UNECE may establish subsidiary bodies. One of such subsidiary bodies, the UNECE Committee on Environmental Policy (CEP), oversees organizing the 9th Environment for Europe Ministerial Conference (Nicosia, Cyprus, 5-7 October 2022) in cooperation with the UNECE Steering Committee on Education for Sustainable Development and in partnership with UNEP and OECD.
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