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12 December to 16 December 2022
In Focus
Executive secretaries of UN commissions issue joint statement to enshrine biodiversity protection in all their activities
The world’s biodiversity is being lost at an unprecedented rate, with one million animal and plant species now threatened with extinction. Biodiversity and ecosystem services are of critical importance in underpinning the fight against poverty, supporting inclusive sustainable economic growth, ensuring food security and sovereignty, and supporting implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. At the 15th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (COP-15), UNECE Executive Secretary Olga Algayerova presented a joint statement of the UN regional commissions’ executive secretaries, committing to mainstream biodiversity in their policies, programmes and operations.
Urban trees support global biodiversity and sustainable societies 
During the past two weeks, over 10,000 delegates have attended the second part of the Conference of Parties (COP-15) of the UN Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) as they seek to agree on the post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework. Unsurprisingly, forests are at the centre of many of these discussions as a critical resource and habitat for life on earth. To mark the importance of urban forests and ensure concrete coordinated commitment from cities to integrate trees and green spaces in their cityscapes to deliver their many benefits for biodiversity, climate change mitigation and sustainable development, UNECE joined ICLEI’s CitiesWithNature platform.
Air Pollution
Available air pollution reduction measures far cheaper than costs of damage to health, ecosystems and economy, confirms UN report 
New research on the costs of Inaction on air pollution reveals that in nearly half of 56 countries in the pan-European region and North America, the current monetary damage cost to health, ecosystems and the economy due to ambient air pollution corresponds to over 5% of GDP. In at least 6 countries, the damage is more than 10% of GDP. The largest part of the damage cost consists of reduced life expectancy, followed by morbidity costs, and damage to ecosystems. This means that in most cases, the cost of implementing available pollution reduction measures is far lower than the cost of damages.
UNECE standards contribute to new EU Single Window regulation 
Through recommendations of its subsidiary body, the United Nations Centre for Trade Facilitation and Electronic Business (UN/CEFACT), UNECE has contributed to the elaboration of the new regulation that establishes the European Union Single Window Environment for Customs. The new regulation entered into force on 12 December 2022 and became part of the EU’s acquis communautaire. This successfully completed years of work establishing the legal ground for a single window for export, transit and import clearance in the EU. It also marks an important milestone for the implementation of the Trade Facilitation Agreement of the World Trade Organization (WTO), which encourages the establishment of such systems.

UNECE issues study to guide use of novel data sources for measuring migration 

Ahead of the International Migrants Day (18 December) UNECE released a study on the use of new data sources for measuring people on the move. Global initiatives, including the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the 2018 Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration, highlight the need for new data to help the world tackle the many challenges posed by large-scale migration and other forms of cross-border mobility. UNECE’s new study answers calls from official statisticians to examine using new approaches and novel data to produce official migration statistics – a world first on this topic.

UNECE Youth Dialogue: Shaping the future of the region
Virtual, 20 December 2022

As UNECE marks its 75th anniversary, it seeks to enhance its engagement with young people to better address their needs and to co-create innovative solutions to regional challenges. The UNECE Youth Dialogue will be a platform for young people to bring their views, ideas, solutions and innovations to policy discussions on issues that matter to them and their future. The dialogue will focus on the longer-term vision for the future of the UNECE region and on a selection of key issues related to UNECE’s work and which are of relevance for young people.
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