United Nations Economic Commission for Europe
The United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) is one of five regional commissions of the United Nations. The others are the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) and the Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA).
UNECE serves as a regional arm of the United Nations. It ensures that regional problems are addressed at United Nations world conferences, and facilitates follow-up at the regional level.
UNECE is a forum where 55 countries of North America, Western, Central and Eastern Europe and Central Asia come together to forge the tools of their economic cooperation.
All interested UN member States have observer status and may participate in its work. Over 70 international professional organizations and other non-governmental organizations, which have consultative status with the Economic and Social Council, take part in UNECE activities.
The regional nature of UNECE facilitates agreement and understanding between its members, as well as between its members and other UN member States. Cooperation, information sharing and joint action take place across a wide range of activities.
The main areas of activity of UNECE are economic analysis, environment and human settlements, statistics, sustainable energy, trade, industry and enterprise development, timber and transport.
UNECE pursues its goals through policy analysis, the development of conventions, regulations and standards, and the provision of technical assistance.
UNECE has drawn up more than 30 conventions and protocols, and over 250 regulations and standards. These instruments eliminate obstacles and simplify procedures for trade throughout the region and with the rest of the world. A number of them also aim at improving the environment. UNECE in this way provides consumer guarantees of safety and quality, helps to protect the environment, and facilitates trade. It also strengthens the integration of member States at the regional and international level.
Member States benefit fully from the UNECE analytical, statistical and standardization work, which contributes to economic stability and to the harmonization of policies.
UNECE also provides technical assistance to countries and groups of countries, in particular to countries in transition.