United Nations Economic Commission for Europe
The United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) was set up in 1947 by ECOSOC. It is one of five regional commissions of the United Nations. The others are the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) and the Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA).
Its major aim is to promote pan-European economic integration. To do so, UNECE brings together 56 countries located in the European Union, non-EU Western and Eastern Europe, South-East Europe and Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) and North America. All these countries dialogue and cooperate under the aegis of the UNECE on economic and sectoral issues.
To this end, it provides analysis, policy advice and assistance to governments; 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.
The UNECE also sets out norms, standards and conventions to facilitate international cooperation within and outside the region.
The area of expertise of the UNECE covers such sectors as: economic cooperation and integration,energy, environment, housing and land management, population, statistics, timber, trade, and transport. UNECE has 56 member States. However, all interested UN member States may participate in its work. Over 70 international professional organizations and other non-governmental organizations take part in UNECE activities.
The United Nations Economic Commission for Europe as a multilateral platform facilitates greater economic integration and cooperation among its fifty-six member States and promotes sustainable development and economic prosperity 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;
- technical cooperation for countries with economies in transition.
The Reform of UNECE that was embarked upon in 2005 and implemented in 2008 has led to a successful re-focusing of the organization on its key strengths and areas of structural comparative advantage in the region. The high level body of the UNECE is the Biannual Session of the Commission. Between the Commission sessions the UNECE activities are ruled by Executive Committee which consists of member-countries representatives and UNECE Secretariat officials.
For the period of 2002-2003 and 2006-2009 the Permanent Representative of Ukraine was elected for the vice-chairmanship of UNECE.