The UNECE is one of the five regional economic commissions of the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), established on March 28, 1947, with headquarters in Geneva.
The structure includes 56 states. Along with European countries, the organization includes the United States, Canada, Turkey, Israel, the former Soviet republics of Central Asia.
The UNECE's key task is to promote economic cooperation in Europe, to strengthen economic integration and trade and economic ties within the UNECE region and between this region and the rest of the world. To this end, the UNECE implements a set of measures to analyze economic and technological potentials, develop recommendations aimed at solving regional problems of economic development. Traditionally, great attention is paid to the development of normative documents (multilateral agreements, conventions, recommendations, standards) and the issues of their practical implementation.
The UNECE helps to achieve the goals of sustainable development by transforming global objectives into norms, guidelines, standards and conventions, conducting reviews and studies (in the field of environment, innovation, regulatory barriers, housing, forestry, statistics), capacity building and building conditions of cooperation with the private sector and civil society.
The UNECE consists of 8 sectoral committees:
1) The Steering Committee on Trade Potential and Standards;
2) Committee on Innovation, Competitiveness and Public-Private Partnerships;
3) Committee on Environmental Policy;
4) Inland Transport Committee;
5) Committee on Sustainable Energy;
6) Committee on Housing and Land Management;
7) Committee on Forests and Forestry;
8) Conference of European Statisticians.
The UNECE Steering Body is the UNECE session, which takes place every two years.
In April 2017, during the 67th session of the UNECE, Belarus was elected UNECE Deputy Chairman and became a member of the Executive Committee of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe until 2019.
Belarus is a full UNECE member since its inception. Cooperation took place during the entire period of the Commission's activities.
General issues of UNECE activities are assigned to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, cooperation with sectoral committees of the Commission — for the relevant government bodies.
Belarus maintains extensive contacts with the UNECE.
With the assistance of the Commission, an initiative of public-private partnership is actively developing in our country, technical assistance projects are being implemented in such areas as environmental protection, trade, innovation policy, housing and land use, etc.
Belarus is an active participant in international agreements and conventions adopted by the UNECE and ensures fulfillment of its obligations (Belarus acceded to 23 out of 57 transport conventions and to all five UNECE environmental conventions).
6 visits of the UNECE heads to Belarus took place, three of which — in 2015-2016. (in 2001 — the visit of Danuta Hübner, in 2008 — Marek Belki, in November 2009 — Jan Kubish, in November 2015, June 2016, October 2016 – Christian Friis Bach).
Christian Friis Bach visited Belarus in November 2015 to summarize the results of the technical assistance project on the development of public-private partnership in Belarus, in June 2016 — to launch the 3rd Environmental Performance Review of Belarus in October 2016 — to participate in the conference Laying the groundwork in the UNECE region for economic integration and sustainable development by 2030, jointly organized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Belarus and UNECE.
Representatives of state bodies of Belarus actively participate in the work of all UNECE committees, which allows to ensure that Belarusian interests are taken into account when developing solutions to current pan-European economic problems.