|Formation||28 March 1947|
|Type||Primary Organ - Regional Branch|
|Executive Secretary of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe |
|United Nations Economic and Social Council|
The United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (ECE or UNECE) is one of the five regional commissions under the jurisdiction of the United Nations Economic and Social Council. It was established in order to promote economic cooperation and integrations among its member states.
The commission is composed of 56 member states, most of which are based in Europe, as well as a few outside of Europe. Its transcontinental Eurasian and non-European member states include: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Canada, Georgia, Israel, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, the United States of America and Uzbekistan.
The commission was established by the Economic and Social Council on 28 March 1947 in order to "Initiate and participate in measures for facilitating concerted action for the economic reconstruction of Europe," as well as to "maintain and strengthen the economic relations of the European countries, both among themselves and with other countries of the world."
It was established at the request of the United Nations General Assembly who called on the Economic and Social Council to create the commission, as well as the Commission for Asia and the Far East, in order to "give effective aid to countries devastated by war."
As the commission was established towards the beginning of the Cold War, it faced difficulties in achieving its mandate of economic reconstruction of Europe due to the Iron Curtain. The work of the commission had to concern itself only with questions that were of common interest to East and West, as to not cause confrontation. However, since the fall of the Soviet Union, the United Nation's economic commissions have been expanding their activities in the former Soviet republics.
The following are the member states of the commission, along with their date of admission:
|Countries||Date of membership|
|Albania||14 December 1955|
|Andorra||28 July 1993|
|Armenia||30 July 1993|
|Austria||14 December 1955|
|Azerbaijan||30 July 1993|
|Belarus||28 March 1947|
|Belgium||28 March 1947|
|Bosnia and Herzegovina||22 May 1992|
|Bulgaria||14 December 1955|
|Canada||9 August 1973|
|Croatia||22 May 1992|
|Cyprus||20 September 1960|
|Czech Republic||28 March 1947|
|Denmark||28 March 1947|
|Estonia||17 September 1991|
|Finland||14 December 1955|
|France||28 March 1947|
|Georgia||30 July 1993|
|Germany||18 September 1973|
|Greece||28 March 1947|
|Hungary||14 December 1955|
|Iceland||28 March 1947|
|Ireland||14 December 1955|
|Israel||26 July 1991|
|Italy||14 December 1955|
|Kazakhstan||31 January 1994|
|Kyrgyzstan||30 July 1993|
|Latvia||17 September 1991|
|Liechtenstein||18 September 1990|
|Lithuania||17 September 1991|
|Luxembourg||28 March 1947|
|Malta||1 December 1964|
|Republic of Moldova||2 March 1992|
|Monaco||27 May 1993|
|Montenegro||28 June 2006|
|Netherlands||28 March 1947|
|North Macedonia||8 April 1993|
|Norway||28 March 1947|
|Poland||28 March 1947|
|Portugal||14 December 1955|
|Romania||14 December 1955|
|Russian Federation||28 March 1947|
|San Marino||30 July 1993|
|Serbia||1 November 2000|
|Slovakia||28 March 1947|
|Slovenia||22 May 1992|
|Spain||14 December 1955|
|Sweden||28 March 1947|
|Switzerland||24 March 1972 (*)|
|Tajikistan||12 December 1994|
|Turkey||28 March 1947|
|Turkmenistan||30 July 1993|
|Ukraine||28 March 1947|
|United Kingdom||28 March 1947|
|United States of America||28 March 1947|
|Uzbekistan||30 July 1993|
(*) At that moment was not a UN member. Switzerland joined the United Nations in 2002.
This Committee promotes a policy, financial and regulatory environment conducive to economic growth, innovative development and higher competitiveness in the UNECE region, focusing mainly on countries with economies in transition. Its main areas of work are innovation and competitiveness policies, intellectual property, financing innovative development, entrepreneurship and enterprise development, and public-private partnerships.
UNECE's concern with problems of the environment dates back at least to 1971, when the group of Senior Advisors to the UNECE governments on environmental issues was created which led to the establishment of the Committee on Environmental Policy, which now meets annually. The Committee provides collective policy direction in the area of environment and sustainable development, prepares ministerial meetings, develops international environmental law and supports international initiatives in the region. CEP works to support countries to enhance their environmental governance and transboundary cooperation as well as strengthen implementation of the UNECE regional environmental commitments and advance sustainable development in the region.
Its main aim is to assess countries' efforts to reduce their overall pollution burden and manage their natural resources, to integrate environmental and socioeconomic policies, to strengthen cooperation with the international community, to harmonize environmental conditions and policies throughout the region and to stimulate greater involvement of the public and environmental discussions and decision-making.
CEP is the overall governing body of UNECE environmental activities. The Committee's work is based on several strategic pillars:
In 1947, UNECE set up a Panel on Housing Problems, which later evolved into the Committee on Human Settlements and after the reform in 2005/2006 into the Committee on Housing and Land Management. The Committee is an intergovernmental body of all UNECE member states. It provides a forum for the compilation, dissemination and exchange of information and experience on housing, urban development, and land administration policies; & in areas such as Birmingham, a more fiscal issue-UK.
The UNECE Transport Division has been providing secretariat services to the World Forum for Harmonization of Vehicle Regulations (WP.29). In addition to acting as secretariat to the World Forum, the Vehicle Regulations and Transport Innovations section serves as the secretariat of the Administrative Committee for the coordination of work, and of the administrative/executives committees of the three agreements on vehicles administered by the World Forum.
The UNECE Statistical Division provides the secretariat for the Conference and its expert groups, and implements the statistical work programme of the UNECE. The Conference brings together chief statisticians from national and international statistical organizations around the world, meaning that the word "European" in its name is no longer an accurate description of its geographical coverage. The Statistical Division helps member countries to strengthen their statistical systems, and coordinates international statistical activities in the UNECE region and beyond through the Conference and its Bureau, and the Database of International Statistical Activities. The Statistical Division develops guidelines and training materials on statistical methodology and practices, in response to demands from member countries. It works with different groups of specialists from national and international statistical organizations, and organizes meetings and on-line forums for statistical experts to exchange experiences on a wide range of topics. The UNECE Statistical Division also provides technical assistance to South-East European, East European, Caucasus and Central Asian countries.
The division also provides:
UNECE conducted the Fertility and Family Survey in the 1990s in 23 member states, with over 150,000 participants, with hundreds of resulting scientific publications. This activity has hence continued in the form of the Generations and Gender Programme.
Numerous private business entities and other international and European agencies support the program, including Environment Agency Austria (EAA), the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), UN-Habitat, and the International Society of City and Regional Planners (ISOCARP). The program promotes areas of strategic smart city policy and development. The key focus areas as detailed by the program are:
|2012-2014||Bosnia and Herzegovina||Sven Alkalaj|
|2014||Denmark||Michael Møller (acting)|
|2014-2017||Christian Friis Bach|
|ISO 4||Stat. J. U. N. Econ. Comm. Eur.|