United Nations Environmental Program (UNEP)
In July 2004 new office of the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) was opened at the Vienna International Centre. This office acts as the Interim Secretariat of the Framework Convention on the Protection and Sustainable Development of the Carpathians. In addition, the office promotes environmental cooperation in Central and South Eastern Europe.
The primary task of the office is to inform and alert policy makers and the general public of global environmental trends and challenges, and to assist in translating these challenges into action on the ground. In addition, the UNEP Vienna contributes to better collaborations with sister agencies and partners in the region.
Three years ago, the Government of Ukraine took the lead in bringing its Carpathian neighbors (Czech republic, Hungary, Poland, Romania, Serbia and Montenegro, Slovak Republic) together to reach an agreement on the protection and sustainable management of the Carpathians. UNEP, trough its European office, was requested to moderate the process which led to the adoption and signing of the Carpathian Convention, on the occasion of the fifth Environment for Europe Conference in Kyiv, in may 2003.Upon its entry into force, the challenge will be to turn the framework Convention into concrete commitment and action on the ground.
UNEP Vienna will ensure the full integration of the Carpathian Convention process into the International Partnership on Sustainable Development of Mountain Regions. This partnership, hosted by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations in Rome, promotes international cooperation and exchange of experience and best practices between mountain regions in the world.
In addition, UNEP Vienna serves as UNEP’s focal point for other Austria-based international organizations, including the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), the Secretariat at the International Commission for the Protection of the Danube River (ICPDR) and the Secretariat of the Alpine Convention, based in Innsbruck. The Office will also facilitate UNEP’s collaboration with the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) Office in Bratislava, Slovakia, and the Regional Environmental Centre (REC), in Szentendre, Hungary.