Cooperation of the UN system in the region
The 2030 Agenda and the SDGs require joint action and strengthened cooperation among United Nations organizations. In the UNECE region, more than 30 United Nations organizations are pooling their expertise and are joining hands to maximize the impact of their work across Europe and Central Asia. Joint analysis, advocacy, policy coordination and country support on a number of cross-cutting and operational issues has become standard practice in the region and has been further strengthened by the reform of the UN Development System.
What are the platforms of cooperation?
- Regional Collaborative Platform (RCP). The Regional Collaborative Platform for Europe and Central Asia (RCP-ECA) brings together the regional heads of the UN entities working on sustainable development and the implementation of the 2030 Agenda, addressing key challenges that transcend country borders and that are of common concern.
The RCP oversees a number of Issue-based Coalitions and other regional inter-agency groups as its main vehicles of substantive and operational work (see organigramme).
- Issue-based coalitions (IBCs) are the main vehicles of the substantive work of the RCP, pooling UN system-wide expertise in an agile manner to respond to changing regional and country needs. They are demand-driven and results-oriented, avoiding both siloed approaches and overlaps. As regional taskforces, the currently seven Issue-based Coalitions in the region are clustered around cross-cutting policy issues, facilitating concerted action between different UN entities and partners.
- Other regional inter-agency groups operating within or connected to the RCP architecture are promoting joint action and coordination on data and statistics; digitalization; quality assurance on country-level analytical and cooperation frameworks; and enhancing the efficiency of business operations.
What are the issues on the table?
Regional, cross-cutting policy issues are in the centre of the inter-agency cooperation. The regional UN system specifically focuses on supporting member States to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The Issue-based Coalitions and other substantive groups work towards:
- Promoting gender equality and women’s empowerment
- Enhancing opportunities and participation of youth and adolescents
- Promoting healthy lives and well-being for all at all ages
- Promoting social protection for all
- Influencing public policy dialogues and legislative changes affecting refugees and migrants
- Shaping sustainable and resilient food systems
- Strengthening environmental and climate change governance
- Furthering cooperation in data and statistics
- Harnessing the opportunities of digitalization for sustainable development
Furthermore, the RCP facilitates policy coherence of the regional UN system through joint research, advocacy and publications, inputs of the UN entities into regional intergovernmental meetings, e.g. the Regional Forum on Sustainable Development, and the regional follow-up to the Beijing Platform for Action and the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD), and operational support to the Resident Coordinators and the United Nations Country Teams.
What is the background?
The UN Secretary-General, as part of the broader reform of the UN Development System recommended to reposition the structures and assets of the UN at the regional level to promote collaboration and foster joined-up action for the 2030 Agenda. As a result and pursuant to ECOSOC resolution 2020/23 and General Assembly resolution 74/297, previous coordination mechanisms transitioned into the new RCP, effective 1 December 2020.
The RCP is chaired by the Deputy Secretary-General and co-chaired by two Vice-Chairs, the Executive Secretary of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) and the Regional Director of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). The RCP secretariat is jointly provided by DCO, UNDP and UNECE.
2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development
The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development requires different actors to work together in an integrated manner to achieve the 17 intertwined Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The visionary agenda also recognizes the importance of regional frameworks and their role in facilitating “the effective translation of sustainable development policies into concrete action at the national level”. The RCP and the Issue-based Coalitions and groups serve as tools to help achieve the 2030 Agenda: as a key platform to facilitate cross-sectoral cooperation and joint action, and as a bridge between the global and the country level.