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SG's Report on Regional Cooperation and the Summaries of the Work of the Regional Commissions


Report of the Secretary-General on regional cooperation in the economic, social and related fields and its Addenda.

The response to the COVID-19 pandemic will be the defining test of the international community’s determination to drive forward the 2030 Agenda and the Decade of Action to deliver on the SDGs. Against this background, the first part of the report focuses on demonstrating the value proposition of regional cooperation to contribute to an effective response to the COVID-19 crisis. On the basis of data and analysis generated by the Regional Commissions, the report summarizes the key socio-economic impacts of COVID-19 region by region and presents policy responses and solutions, highlighting the importance of regional cooperation and concerted action at regional and subregional levels.

The second part of the report provides updates on developments and outcomes in selected areas of regional and interregional cooperation, including in the context of the repositioning of the UN development system.

  • E/2020/15 (English)
  • E/2020/15/Add.1 (English)

  • Summaries of the work of the Regional Commissions

    Summary of the work of the Economic Commission for Africa, 2019-2020

    The Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean, 2019-2020

    Summary of the work of the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific, 2019-2020

    Summary of the work of the Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia, 2019-2020

    Summary of the work of the Economic Commission for Europe, 2019-2020

    Secretary-General Meets Heads of UN Regional Commissions Secretary-General Meets Heads of UN Regional Commissions Secretary-General António Guterres (centre left) meets with (left to right): Rola Dashti, Executive Secretary of the Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA); Alicia Bárcena, Executive Secretary of the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC); Armida Salsiah Alisjahbana, Executive Secretary of the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP); Olga Algayerova, Executive Secretary of the Economic Commission for Europe (ECE); and Vera Songwe, Executive Secretary of the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA). 21 February 2019 United Nations, New York

    Regional Coordination Mechanisms

    The Regional Coordination Mechanisms (RCM) were mandated by ECOSOC resolution 1998/46 of July 1998 (Annex III, B para 13).

    The role and functions of the RCM in promoting coherence in policy and in regional and sub-regional programming are being reinvigorated within the new parameters and frameworks of UNDS strategic engagement in the regions. Its role is increasingly relevant in order to meet the integrated policy advice needs of the 2030 Agenda, strengthen the policy-operational linkage including in strategic planning and regional and subregional programming, avoid duplication and overlaps, and ensure a more coherent and robust accountability to ECOSOC and its oversight of the regional level results.

    All five RCMs have taken action to align with the 2030 Agenda and their work feeds into the Regional Forums for Sustainable Development. While their working arrangements as well as the level of interaction with the regional-UNDG (R-UNDG) vary from region to region, efforts are being made now in all regions to convene the RCM and R-UNDG jointly or back to back, pending a broader repositioning of the regional level to be proposed and decided upon by Member States as an integral part of the UNDS repositioning to support implementation of the 2030 Agenda.

    Please click below for additional information on the five Regional Coordination Mechanisms. ECA ECLAC ESCAP ESCWA UNECE
    The Regional Forums for Sustainable Development

    The Regional Forums for Sustainable Development, convened annually by the Regional Commissions, have consolidated their status as the regional platforms for assessing progress and exchanging knowledge, best practices and solutions to support the implementation of the 2030 Agenda, in line with regional priorities and specificities. Countries have continued to receive support in the preparation of voluntary national reviews, benefiting from the wealth of knowledge and experiences shared in these forums.

    The Regional Forums are convened in collaboration with United Nations agencies and bring together stakeholders from across the three dimensions of sustainable development, including from Member States, as well as regional and sub-regional organizations, international financial institutions, the private sector, academia and civil society organizations.

    ECA: 6th session of the Africa Regional Forum on Sustainable Development 24–27 February 2020, Victoria Falls Town, Zimbabwe

    UNECE: 4th session of the Regional Forum on Sustainable Development for the UNECE Region 19 March 2020 Virtual Meeting

    ESCAP: 7th Asia-Pacific Forum on Sustainable Development 20 May 2020, Bangkok, Thailand

    ECLAC: 4th session of the Forum of the Countries of Latin America and the Caribbean on Sustainable Development “Postponed until further notice”

    ESCWA: 7th session of the Arab Forum for Sustainable Development 7-9 April 2020, Beirut, Lebanon “Postponed until further notice”

    THE UN REGIONAL COMMISSIONS