How can countries best harness transport and trade to drive progress in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)? How can enhancing countries’ statistics on trade and transport support this process?
This was the focus of discussions at a workshop organized last week by UNECE in collaboration with the Ministry of Transport and Maritime Affairs and Ministry of Economy of Montenegro, bringing together government representatives working on transport and trade policies in Western Balkan countries and the Republic of Moldova.
A key objective was strengthening countries’ knowledge of transport and trade-related SDGs, with UNECE highlighting the relevance of the SDG framework to the sustainability of national transport and trade policies.
Promoting rules and practices that foster the parallel advance of trade and sustainable development can lead to an efficient shift to sustainable trade in the region, creating more trade opportunities and larger scale efficiency for countries’ economies.
Representatives welcomed the initiative of UNECE to help the countries of the Western Balkans better understand the role of international trade in globalization and sustainable development, and plan effective actions to achieve the relevant SDGs and targets building on the work already initiated in many countries, especially Montenegro, to strengthen monitoring to support the achievement of the SDGs.
Ms. Mijuskovic from the Montenegrin Ministry of Sustainable Development underlined the commitment of the representatives of Western Balkan countries to implement the SDGs related to trade. Highlighting synergies across the UN System in supporting countries SDG progress, UN Resident Coordinator - Montenegro, Ms. McCluney, provided examples of how UNDP is assisting Montenegro in achieving the SDGs.
The workshop enabled countries to share good practices in the gathering of data on road transport, road safety and trade related statistics to support the monitoring of progress towards SDG targets and to assist in preparing robust transport and trade policies. It also helped to identify opportunities for mutually-beneficial exchange of knowledge, notably on the data collection mechanism for monitoring SDGs progress.