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United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres noted that two seismic shifts will shape the 21st century: the climate crisis and digital transformation. Just as international cooperation is crucial to preserving the health of the planet, it is also needed to reap the benefits of digital…
Today, according to United Nations estimates, the population of the world will for the first time reach the 8 billion mark.  Just 48 years ago, in 1974, our planet was home to four billion people. In less than half a century this has doubled, having passed through the milestones of five billion in…
The extreme heat and drought that the region experienced this summer is a bleak reminder that current commitments under the Paris Agreement and those made last year at COP26 are nowhere near what is needed to limit global warming to below 1.5°C. Inaction is a policy choice that will lead to greater…
All too often we take the air we breathe and share for granted. Only when we breathe very polluted air, when we can smell and see the pollution, do we realize that the air around us is a precious good that needs to be protected, much like the water we drink. On the International Day of Clean Air…
At what point do we cease to be alarmed by a shocking reality? Many of you may already be familiar with the following figures, from the last WHO Global Status Report on Road Safety (2018). Every year 1.3 million people are killed and around 50 million injured on the world’s roads, often with…
Evidence, in the form of data and statistics, is essential for formulating and monitoring policies. The term ‘evidence-based decision-making’, so commonly used that sometimes we don’t even think about it, makes this abundantly clear.  But we don’t just need any old evidence. If we are to be sure…
As guests of the planet, we human beings can thrive only if our host environment is thriving. We are strongly connected to it, more than we probably understand and more than we probably dare to admit. Conversely, the ways humans treat the environment has clear negative effects on our health and…
Millions of people are experiencing the severe impacts of climate change, through unprecedented extreme weather episodes and more frequent disasters. According to the Chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Hoesung Lee, its latest report, released last week, “is a dire warning about…
Minerals such as lithium, cobalt, and copper are essential for digitalization, for renewable energy technologies, and for the further deployment of electric vehicles. Demand for these and other minerals – known as “critical raw materials” (CRMs) – is growing fast as governments and businesses act…
The COVID-19 pandemic and the lockdowns it triggered have affected mobility patterns in most countries and brought to the fore many issues that had not received enough policy attention until now.  For instance, the fear of the virus and the search for social distancing led to a historic decline in…
COP26 was a positive step forward in the fight against climate change, but as the UN Secretary General pointed out in his comments: “it is not enough. We must accelerate climate action to keep alive the goal of limiting the global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees.” The compromise deal reflects the…
Over the last two weeks at COP 26, governments, the private sector and a wide range of actors have unveiled plans for climate action in crucial areas ranging from methane, to forests, finance, fashion, transport and far beyond. As US Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry put it in our…
Transitioning towards a knowledge-based economy away from a resource-intensive model of economic growth is central for sustainable development among the seven countries of the UN Special Programme for the Economies of Central Asia (SPECA) - Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan,…
A decade after independence, Armenia embarked on a radical reform path to create a vibrant, market economy – triggering substantial economic growth, often reaching double digits.   As recent trends and volatility indicate, sustaining such growth requires addressing a range of structural challenges…
The COVID-19 pandemic restrictions have brought the benefits of paperless trading to the forefront of attention. Many countries are considering issuing, accepting and exchanging electronic documents for paperless trading. Issues related to paperless trading are also at the core of World Trade…
An exhibition of urban sketches by Architect Norman Foster is opening today at the Palais des Nations on the occasion of the UNECE Ministerial Meeting on Urban Development, Housing and Land Management (6-8 October).  The sketches present visions of city planning that incorporate concepts of…
In a joint statement, the Executive Secretaries of the United Nations Regional Commissions have called for enhanced regional cooperation to develop nature-based and technological solutions for capturing CO2 emissions from the atmosphere and ensuring its long-term storage. Version française This…
With the UN Food Systems Summit taking place next week under the auspices of the UN General Assembly (23 September 2021), we must recognize that the food systems we have built over recent decades are unsustainable. The food choices we make every day as consumers and producers of food are having a…
August is wildfire season in many parts of the Northern Hemisphere. Many areas in the UNECE region, including North America, Siberia, and Mediterranean countries have experienced unusually hot and dry weather this year, and with that some of the biggest wildfires on record. Areas burned in Turkey…
The new UNECE Guide on producing CPI under lockdown, published today, helps national statistical offices to produce the Consumer Price index (CPI) under periods of lockdown and other emergencies.   The Consumer Price Index, or CPI, is a key economic indicator in most countries, giving a …
Developing the capacity of statistical systems to respond to ever-changing demands is a core component of UNECE statistical work, linked directly to several of the targets of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Key tools used for capacity development have traditionally been face-to-face…
A coordinated response is necessary for promoting and implementing the circular economy agenda globally. Concrete commitments from governments, businesses, international organizations, civil society and other stakeholders will be key to building the sustainable, resilient and low-carbon economy…
Countries of Central Asia, the Caucasus and Eastern Europe have been hit hard by the socioeconomic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, which threatens to derail sustainable development progress in the region. However, there is also a stronger momentum towards regional cooperation, and countries can…
In 2022, we will celebrate 30 years since the formulation of the Fundamental Principles of Official Statistics and their adoption by UNECE. The Fundamental Principles were subsequently adopted in 1994 by the  United Nations Statistical Commission; endorsed by the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC…
By Ms. Olga Algayerova, UN Under-Secretary-General and Executive Secretary of UNECE, and Ms. Elisabete Quintas da Silva, Head of Department, Sustainable and Efficient Use of Resources Operational Programme, Government of Portugal, and Chair of the UNECE Committee on Environmental Policy.  This…