UN Economic Commission for Europe

The United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) is one of the five regional commissions of the United Nations. Established in 1947 by the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) to develop economic activities and strengthen economic ties within the European region and beyond.

There are 56 countries in the UNECE. Kazakhstan became a member of the UNECE on January 31, 1994. The main UNECE body is the Secretariat.

UNECE holds regular sessions every two years. During these sessions, the Commission decides on its activities for the coming years and the recommendations that it submits to the higher body - ECOSOC.

The UNECE has seven sectoral committees: Committee on Environmental Policy, Inland Transport Committee, Committee on Sustainable Energy, Committee on Trade Capacity and Standards, Committee on Forests and Forest Industry, Committee on Housing and Land Management, Committee on Economic Cooperation and Integration, and Conference of European statisticians.

The UNECE secretariat is headed by the Executive Secretary. In July 2014, Christian Friis BACH was appointed to this position.

UNECE focuses its efforts on strengthening economic and social stability in Europe. Numerous UNECE activities in the fields of transport, environment, statistics, energy, trade, economic cooperation and integration, as well as technical assistance, enable it to solve most of the region's tasks. The UNECE serves as a regional forum for Governments to develop conventions, norms and standards in order to harmonize actions and facilitate an exchange of views among Member States.

Countries with economies in transition are provided with technical assistance to support efforts to apply the norms and conventions developed by the UNECE. This enables ECE member countries to make full use of the analytical, statistical and normative work of the UNECE.

In addition, together with the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP), UNECE leads the United Nations Special Program for the Economies of Central Asia (SPECA), promoting economic integration of the countries participating in the Program.

Cooperation between Kazakhstan and the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) includes cooperation in the fields of energy, environmental protection, efficient use of water resources, transport and trade.

Representatives of state bodies, scientific and public institutions of Kazakhstan actively participate in various UNECE meetings and conferences in Geneva and in other cities of member states. The UNECE leadership regularly participates in the Astana Economic Forum, as well as in other events held in Kazakhstan.

An important part of cooperation with the UNECE is the implementation of country reviews on its activities. Since early 2000, the ECE secretariat has prepared the following reviews: on environmental activities (2000, 2008), on financing energy efficiency and mitigation of climate change: Investor Guide (2005), on mainstreaming a gender perspective in economic policy Millennium Development Goals (2008), on Innovation Performance (2012), on regulatory and procedural barriers to trade (2013), on Renewable Energy (2015).

In 2017, a number of country profiles on housing and land management, on renewable energy sources are being conducted, as well as an update of the survey on innovation performance.

In 2017, within the framework of the international specialized exhibition Astana EXPO-2017 "Future Energy", the Government of Kazakhstan together with ECE and other UN regional commissions will hold the Ministerial Conference and the Eighth International Forum on Energy for Sustainable Development (Eighth Forum) June 11-14 in Astana. As a result of the Ministerial Conference, an International Center for the Development of Green Technologies and Investments under the auspices of the UN in Astana will be announced.

At the initiative of the Kazakh side in 2017, a Memorandum of Understanding will be signed between UNECE and the Government of Kazakhstan on the location of the International Water Resources Assessment Center in Kazakhstan.

During the elections held on April 16, 2015, within the framework of the 66th session of the UNECE, the Republic of Kazakhstan was unanimously elected to the post of the UNECE Chairman and the Executive Committee for a period of two years.

The evidence of productive cooperation with UNECE was the meeting of Mr. Kairat Abdrakhmanov, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Kazakhstan with Mr. Christian Friis Bach, the Executive Secretary of the UNECE as his part of the working visit to Geneva in February 2017. At the meeting, the sides discussed the results of Kazakhstan's chairmanship in the UNECE, as well as the development of bilateral cooperation in the water, energy and science-innovation spheres. In particular, an agreement was reached to provide technical assistance for the creation of an international technopark of IT-startups in Kazakhstan. Within the framework of the meeting, Christian Friis Bach received a jubilee medal «25 years of independence of the Republic of Kazakhstan» for his contribution to the development of relations between the Republic of Kazakhstan and the UNECE.

Created at : 30.03.2017, 09:25, Updated at : 30.03.2017, 09:25