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3rd Meeting, 69th Session of UNECE
21 Apr 2021 -  69th Session of the Commission Promoting Circular Economy and Sustainable Use of Natural Resources in the UNICE Region


Agenda Item 3 (continued)
Roundtable 3: Business perspectives
While governments shape policy in the pursuit of circularity, businesses are main drivers of economic growth and thus a core stakeholder in a circular economy transition. They are well-placed to develop innovative sustainable systems that will make a real difference in the journey towards circularity. There are opportunities to create value, resulting, for example, from by-products of recovered waste or resource-efficient design, which can open up new markets and sales. Additional sources of revenue can be tapped by offering new operation services i.e. repairs, refurbishing, remanufacturing, reselling and sharing. However, there are also challenges to overcome. This roundtable explores what it takes to unlock the potential of business towards a circular economy and the more sustainable use of natural resources.
Moderator: Mr. Jyrki Katainen, President, Finnish Innovation Fund, SITRA Participants
• Ms. Elisabeth Winkelmeier-Becker, Deputy-Minister, Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (Germany)
• Mr. Pär Larshans, Head of Sustainability and Public Affairs, Ragn-Sells
• Ms. Ardita Seknaj, Secretary General, ICC Albania
• Mr. László Borbély, State Counsellor to the Prime Minister (Romania)
• Mr. Stephan Sicars, Managing Director, Environment and Energy Directorate, UNIDO
• Ms. Natalia Stapran, Director, Department of Multilateral Economic Cooperation and Special Projects, Ministry of Economic Development (Russian Federation)
• Ms. Shakhlo Turdikulova, First Deputy Minister, Ministry of Innovative Development (Uzbekistan)

Agenda Item 4: Consideration of the high-level statement
Circular Cities: Local action towards a circular economy
The sixty-eighth Commission session discussed how cities could become smarter and more sustainable. Since then, cities had to face not only environmental and social challenges, but also address the heath emergencies and economic consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic. A growing consciousness of the importance of planning with nature stemmed from the ‘recovering better’ approach at the local level. The need for urban systems to become more circular, avoid waste of resources, recycle and share services is becoming a priority in many agendas of small as well as larger cities. As ‘smart’ means ’circular’ as well, this panel will connect the discussions held at the previous Commission session to the theme of this session. After a short video on how UNECE is addressing circularity at the city level, the session will hear from the cities of Grodno, Belarus; Lisbon, Portugal; and Athens, Greece; will discuss different aspects of circularity they are promoting and working on (e.g. water recycling, solid waste recovery, use of renewable energy, local and urban food).
• Mr. Mechislav Goi, Mayor of City of Grodno (Belarus)
• Mrs. Eleni Myrivili, Senior Advisor to the City of Athens (Greece), Chief Resilience Officer, and Former Deputy Mayor
• Mr. José Sá Fernandes, Deputy Mayor, Environment, Green Structure, Climate and Energy, City of Lisbon (Portugal) (tbc)

Agenda Item 5: Update on the work in the Nexus areas The work of the UNECE Nexus Teams
In the high-level statement adopted at the sixty-eighth session, member States inter alia decided that “ECE will leverage its in-house expertise to achieve a greater impact on sustainable development in the region. Working across the eight subprograms, cross-sectoral teams will engage in areas where multiple SDGs converge (nexus areas): (a) sustainable and smart cities; (b) sustainable use of natural resources; (c) sustainable mobility, and smart connectivity; and (d) measuring and monitoring progress towards the SDGs. This nexus approach will enable the development of integrated solutions to clusters of interrelated SDGs and deepen partnerships, including Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs). In line with the four nexus areas, ECE will expand and strengthen its network of knowledge partnerships with a wide range of actors, including with other organizations in the United Nations system.” The secretariat will provide an update on the work in the nexus areas.
Introduction: Executive Secretary, UNECE
• Mr. Yaroslav Demchenkov, Deputy Minister for European Integration, Ministry of Energy (Ukraine)
• Mr. Robert Thaler, Head of Division Active Mobility and Mobility Management, Federal Ministry for Climate Action, Environment, Energy, Mobility, Innovation and Technology (Austria)
• Mr. Jan Hoffmann, Head, Trade Logistics Branch, Division of Technology and Logistics, UNCTAD

Q&A, exchange of views.
Open Video Category
International Court of Justice (ICJ)