Thematic discussions considered Strengthening Cross-Sectoral Action in Support of the Implementation of the 2030 Agenda and Mobilizing Resources in Support of the Implementation of the 2030 Agenda.
Decisions addressed the establishment of the Regional Forum on Sustainable Development, strengthening institutional arrangements on geospatial information management, supporting the development, of a proposal for the establishment of a Road Safety Fund, and recommending that the Inland Transport Committee report on an annual basis to the Commission and the Economic and Social Council.
27 April 2017: The 67th session of the UN Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) marked the Commission’s 70th anniversary, with speakers highlighting the norms, standards, and conventions created through regional cooperation among the UNECE Member States.
The meeting took place from 26-27 April 2017, in Geneva, Switzerland. In addition to a high-level dialogue, the session included two thematic discussions on the following topics: Strengthening Cross-Sectoral Action in Support of the Implementation of the 2030 Agenda; and Mobilizing Resources in Support of the Implementation of the 2030 Agenda.
A high-level statement developed during the meeting describes UNECE’s work as “a practical demonstration of how international cooperation can have a positive influence on both people and the planet, by increasing prosperity, contributing to peace and building partnerships.” The session adopted decisions on: establishing the Regional Forum on Sustainable Development (RFSD), which will serve as a regional mechanism to follow-up and review the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in 2018 and 2019; strengthening institutional arrangements on geospatial information management, to enrich the review of progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs); supporting the development, through multi-stakeholder and intergovernmental expert consultations, of a proposal for the establishment of a Road Safety Fund to be submitted to the UN Secretary-General for consideration; and recommending to the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) to mandate the Inland Transport Committee to report on an annual basis to both the Commission and, for information purposes, also to ECOSOC.
In a message to the meeting, UN Secretary-General António Guterres called attention to the efforts of UNECE, which was the first UN regional commission, to “build bridges and provide a unique platform for Member States to convene and cooperate.” He stressed the need for more economic integration and cooperation among countries in order to implement the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Paris Agreement on climate change.
In his opening statement, Christian Friis Bach, Executive Secretary of the UNECE, emphasized that the UNECE provides a “well-tested, reliable platform where a wide array of experts come together to develop common norms, standards and legal instruments to address real life obstacles and to ensure closer economic cooperation and integration.” He noted that the UNECE supports 218 bodies, including 31 convention bodies, 50 subsidiary bodies and 137 expert bodies. He also highlighted a number of examples in which progress can be made by 2030, including by fulling digitalizing freight transport, introducing smart and sustainable cities using digital solutions and shared services with affordable and energy efficient housing, creating millions of new jobs in the green economy, and fully integrating energy markets in Europe.
Michael Møller, Director-General of the UN Office at Geneva, welcomed the session’s focus on economic cooperation and integration towards the 2030 Agenda, including cross-sectoral linkages and resource mobilization. He said “it is clear that the SDGs cannot be achieved in isolation.” He emphasized the importance of partnerships, and said the UN System “must as a whole work together in a more productive manner.” In this context, he called attention to the recently launched SDG Lab.
On 25 April, the 67th session was preceded by the first Regional Forum on Sustainable Development (RFSD). [UN Secretary-General’s Statement] [UNECE Executive Director’s Statement] [UNOG Director-General Statement] [UNECE Press Release] [SDG Knowledge Hub Story on UNECE RFSD]