FAO Regional Office for Europe and Central Asia

UN agencies of Europe and Central Asia strengthen collaboration at Budapest meeting

©FAO/Soliman Ahmed

09/11/2023 , Budapest

Global goals – just like regional and national goals — can only be achieved if we work together. This is a reason that revitalizing partnerships is at the heart of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

With this in mind, under the umbrella of the Regional Collaborative Platform, regional representatives of 20 United Nations agencies convened on 6–7 November in Budapest to discuss the pressing issues of Europe and Central Asia, as well as to strengthen their partnership for a better future in the region. The meeting was hosted by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), and co-chaired by two Vice-Chairs, the Executive Secretary of the Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) and the Regional Director of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

Subjects covered at the meeting included political and human rights trends in the region, assistance to UN country teams, accelerating regional support to achieve the SDGs, climate action and green transformation, review of the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly, and Regular Migration, and others.

The Regional Collaborative Platform: Europe and Central Asia unites all UN entities working on sustainable development in the region to ensure full collaboration and coordination in addressing key challenges that transcend country borders. The platform provides policy support and access to expertise at the service of the specific needs and priorities of the Europe and Central Asia region and in support of the UN country teams at the country level.

“I hope that this discussion will help execute global priorities, specifically the Sustainable Development Goals through the six transformative entry points,” said Nabil Gangi, Officer in Charge for the FAO Regional Office for Europe and Central Asia, in his opening remarks. “FAO is committed to fostering good UN relations on all levels, working and engaging in global, regional and indeed country mechanisms under the leadership of UN resident coordinators.”

There are multiple challenges in the region of Europe and Central Asia for which effective mitigation requires a closer cooperation among UN entities. The increasing instability due to the war in Ukraine and other conflicts, the negative impact of climate change and natural disasters, and human rights issues are all calling for United Nations agencies to better coordinate their work, as well as their support to the UN country teams at national levels.

In the light of all the recent developments, participants agreed to continue channeling their support to the most vulnerable people and communities and live up to the promise of ‘leaving no one behind’.

Multi-partner coalitions within the UN system play a key role in responding to cross-cutting challenges in the region and helping realize synergies among related areas of work of different United Nations entities. 

This is the core idea of the establishment of the Issue-Based Coalitions (IBCs) – regional UN task forces coordinating cross-sectoral activities and developing plans for joint action, facilitating improved cooperation between different UN agencies, and with their partners. In Europe and Central Asia, these coalitions are specialized in topics, such as health and well-being, gender equality, adolescents and youth, social protection, large movements of people, displacement and resilience, environment and climate change, as well as in sustainable food systems. The work of the IBCs is guided by the Regional Collaborative Platform; therefore, the work of the regional Issue-Based Coalitions was also discussed at the meeting.