United Nations Economic Commission for Europe

United Nations Economic Commission for Europe
United Nations Economic Commission for Europe

Map showing United Nations Economic Commission for Europe members`
Abbreviation ECE
Formation 1947
Type Primary Organ - Regional Branch
Legal status Active

Executive Secretary of ECE

Denmark Christian Friis Bach
(2014 - present)[1]
Parent organization
Website ECE Website

The United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE or ECE) was established in 1947[2][3] to encourage economic cooperation among its member States. It is one of five regional commissions under the administrative direction of United Nations headquarters. It has 56 member States, and reports to the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC). Besides countries in Europe, it also includes Canada, the Central Asian republics, Israel and the United States of America. The UNECE secretariat headquarters is in Geneva, Switzerland, and has an approximate budget of US$50 million.[4]

Member states

The 56 member countries are listed below. 18 of the UNECE's member countries are recipients of official development assistance.[5]

Member countries
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
 Macedonia 8 April 1993
 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
 Moldova 2 March 1992
 Monaco 27 May 1993
 Montenegro 28 June 2006
 Netherlands 28 March 1947
 Norway 28 March 1947
 Poland 28 March 1947
 Portugal 14 December 1955
 Romania 14 December 1955
 Russia 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 28 March 1947
 Uzbekistan 30 July 1993

Committee on Economic Cooperation and Integration

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.

Committee on Environmental Policy

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:[6]

Committee on Housing and Land Management

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.[8]

Inland Transport Committee

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.[9]

Conference of European Statisticians

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:

1) Free on-line data on the 56 UNECE member countries in Europe, Central Asia and North America in both English and Russian, on economic, gender, forestry and transport statistics.

2) A biennial overview of key statistics for member countries: UNECE Countries in Figures.

3) A set of wikis to support collaboration activities and disseminate information about good practices.

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.[10] This activity has hence continued in the form of the Generations and Gender Programme.[11]

Executive Secretaries

Years Country Executive Secretary
1947–1957  Sweden Gunnar Myrdal
1957–1960  Finland Sakari Tuomioja
1960–1967  Yugoslavia Vladimir Velebit
1968–1982 Janez Stanovnik
1983–1986  Finland Klaus Sahlgren
1987–1993  Austria Gerald Hinteregger
1993–2000  France Yves Berthelot
2000–2001  Poland Danuta Hübner
2002–2005  Slovakia Brigita Schmögnerová[12]
2005–2008  Poland Marek Belka[13]
2008–2012  Slovakia Ján Kubiš[14]
2012–2014  Bosnia and Herzegovina Sven Alkalaj[15]
2014  Denmark Michael Møller (acting)[16]
2014–present Christian Friis Bach[17]

Statistical Journal of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe

Statistical Journal of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe  
Abbreviated title (ISO 4)
Stat. J. U.N. Econ. Comm. Eur.
Language English
Publication details
Publication history
ISSN 0167-8000
LCCN 84642632
OCLC no. 900948641

From 1982 to 2007 the IOS Press published the Statistical Journal of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe on behalf of the UNECE.[18][19]

See also


  1. "Executive Secretary". UNECE.
  2. "Inception". UNECE.
  3. United Nations General Assembly Session -1 Resolution 46. Economic Reconstruction of Devastated Areas A/RES/46(I) page 2. 11 December 1946. Retrieved 2008-07-09.
  4. http://www.theyworkforyou.com/whall/?id=2006-04-18a.1.1
  5. UNECE, The UNECE Report on Achieving the Millennium Development Goals, 2011
  6. http://www.unece.org/env/
  7. - EPR Programme
  8. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on October 8, 2009. Retrieved September 28, 2009.
  9. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on September 26, 2010. Retrieved October 12, 2010.
  10. "Fertility and Family Survey (FFS)". unece.org. Retrieved 2016-01-31.
  11. "Fertility and Family Survey (standard country tables) , FFS". edac.eu, the European Data Center for Work and Welfare. Retrieved 2016-02-05.
  12. "Secretary-General Appoints Brigita Schmögnerová as New Executive Secretary of Economic Commission for Europe". UNECE.
  13. "Secretary-General appoints Marek Belka of poland as Executive Secretary of Economic Commission for Europe". UNECE.
  14. "Secretary-General appoints Ján KUBIŠ of Slovakia to head United Nations Economic Commission for Europe". UNECE.
  15. "EXCOM welcomes Executive Secretary". UNECE.
  16. "Acting Director-General of UNOG Michael Møller takes on functions of Acting Executive Secretary of UNECE". UNECE.
  17. "The Secretary-General appoints Christian Friis Bach of Denmark as the next Executive Secretary of UNECE". UNECE.
  18. "Statistical Journal of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe". EconBiz. Retrieved 11 June 2015.
  19. "Publications: STATISTICAL JOURNAL of the UNECE". UNECE. Retrieved 11 June 2015.
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