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Sustainable Development

Meetings of Parties to UNECE treaties stress role of environmental assessment to boost sustainable energy transition and SDGs

Gathering in Geneva for the Meetings of the Parties to the UNECE Convention on Environmental Impact Assessment in a Transboundary Context (Espoo Convention) and the Protocol on Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA), Ministers and high-level government officials emphasized the crucial importance of these instruments for the sustainable energy transition, as well as for the shift to a more resource-efficient circular economy and the mobilization of trillions of dollars of green financing to realize these changes. 

Governments in Europe and North America agree to revise Gothenburg Protocol to avoid long-term damage from air pollution to health, ecosystems, yields and climate

Parties to the UNECE Convention on Long-range Transboundary Air Pollution (Air Convention) have agreed to work to revise the Protocol to Abate Acidification, Eutrophication and Ground-Level Ozone (Gothenburg Protocol), which is expected to further strengthen efforts to reduce air pollution in Europe and North America.  

Sustainable infrastructure: a key to rebuilding economies and societies in line with the SDGs

Infrastructure is crucial for social and economic development. To achieve the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, infrastructure needs to be green, climate resilient, circular, inclusive and fiscally sustainable, with people as the main beneficiaries. Infrastructure is also needed to rebuild communities ravaged by natural disasters and armed conflicts, without compromising the broader goal of sustainable development. 

UNECE tools can pave the way for enhanced trade facilitation in the Republic of Moldova

Trade facilitation is a potent instrument that can multiply the benefits of trade. Beyond direct impact on economic growth through higher trade flows linked to improved efficiency at the borders, trade facilitation reforms can also contribute to other policy goals. For example, through the dematerialization of trade documents, it can help to improve supply chain efficiency, and safeguard public health, as experienced during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Water Convention and partners support efforts to mobilize public and private capital for cross-border water management

Cooperation and management of transboundary waters, which span over 45% of the world's surface and serve as vital resources for nearly half of the global population, face the imminent threat of underfunding. The last reporting exercise on Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) indicator 6.5.2 (2020), highlighted that out of 129 countries reporting on SDG indicator 6.5.2, 76 indicated “resources constraints” as one of the main challenges faced in cooperating on transboundary waters.  

Water cooperation must remain at core of climate action to address security and health risks, urges UNECE at COP28

Climate change is a major stress factor for the world’s water resources, heightening risks of conflict in shared basins, threatening health and undermining sustainable development.  

During high-level discussions held at COP28 on the thematic days on Peace, Security, and Health and on Agriculture, Food and Water, UNECE and its partners stressed the critical need for joint water management across borders at the centre of climate change mitigation and adaptation. Key measures discussed include strengthened cooperation under the UN Water Convention. 

75 years after adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, greater efforts are needed to uphold the rights of persons with disabilities in UNECE region

As the international community marks 75 years since the adoption of the groundbreaking Universal Declaration of Human Rights, UNECE calls for commitment and practical measures from governments and all stakeholders in the region to uphold the human rights of all persons including those with disabilities. 

Tracking pollution reduction and breaking down silos across sectors

The Protocol on Pollutant Release and Transfer Registers (Protocol on PRTRs) sets international standards for reporting on pollutant releases from a range of economic activities, such as mineral industry operations, plastic production, waste and wastewater management or the rearing of poultry or pigs and intense aquaculture. The Protocol also regulates how data are made publicly available.