UNECE Regional Adviser Sarangoo Radnaaragchaa in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, at a workshop on strengthening action on water and sanitation and protection of water resources from accidental pollution in the face of climate change, 14 March 2024 © Mercury Services

Change in action
The work of UNECE regional advisers is both complex and rewarding; they plant the seed of many development projects and witness their completion
1 Jul 2024

UNECE regional advisers are experts in the thematic areas covered by UNECE: environment, transport, statistics, trade, economic cooperation and integration, sustainable energy, housing, land management and forestry. Working on capacity development and resource mobilization, they provide advisory services and expertise to UNECE program countries in their implementation of UNECE legal instruments, norms and standards. 

The 17 UNECE program countries include: Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Republic of Moldova, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Serbia, Tajikistan, Türkiye, Turkmenistan, Ukraine and Uzbekistan, and Kosovo (SCR 1244).

The work of regional advisers is the foundation of UNECE technical cooperation, which seeks to support national development priorities and foster regional integration by promoting multi-sectoral and transboundary solutions to shared problems, all with a common aim to achieve long-term sustainable impact.

With 20 years of experience in development cooperation and specialization in environmental affairs, Sarangoo Radnaaragchaa covers three UNECE program countries – Serbia, Ukraine and Uzbekistan – for which she serves as an ‘entry point’ both to identify potential areas of cooperation with UNECE, and to develop technical cooperation projects.

“Providing strong technical support based on countries’ requests underpins the work of UNECE regional advisers,” explains Ms. Radnaaragchaa. “We support the implementation of countries’ national development priorities by providing the link between the technical expertise at UN level, and political support for the implementation of projects at country level.”

In her daily work, she provides advisory services and technical assistance to the governments of these and other UNECE program countries, mostly with respect to accession and implementation of UNECE multilateral environmental agreements and other programs, as well as project and resource management, and supplying information and advice to top-level UNECE management.

She regularly briefs the UNECE Executive Secretary and Deputy Executive Secretary, division and section chiefs, about countries’ technical cooperation needs following her bilateral meetings with high-ranking government officials.

The most important part of Ms. Radnaaragchaa’s role, however, is the constant two-way communication between government officials and UNECE experts, because it helps to shape and define the focus of UNECE technical cooperation projects at country level.

It is regional advisers who help to identify national development priorities together with relevant government officials, and then formulate national capacity development activities in consultation with UNECE thematic experts.

This is also why UNECE regional advisers act as cross-sectoral focal points for UNECE with the UN Resident Coordinator Offices and respective UN Country Teams in program countries: they seek to maximize the impact of country-level technical cooperation through the United Nations Sustainable Development Cooperation Framework signed with each country. This is an important facet of how the UN Reform is implemented on the ground.

Ultimately, this is also why UNECE regional advisers fundraise and cooperate with other development partners, within and outside the UN system. Close cooperation with multiple UN and non-UN development partners has been an essential part of Ms. Radnaaragchaa’s field work on several occasions. Notably, when she supported Uzbekistan in the development of its latest National State of the Environment Report, which applied the UNECE environmental indicators and guidelines; and when she contributed to the development of a joint project proposal on both air quality and gender equality in Georgia.

This was also the case when she assisted in the implementation of and accession to the UNECE Industrial Accidents Convention across Central Asia, especially with respect to safety of tailing management facilities, and organization of the National Policy Dialogue on Industrial Safety in Serbia.

In addition, Ms. Radnaaragchaa represents UNECE in several regional and multi-stakeholder processes and platforms dealing with environment and climate change, thus promoting the important global role of UNECE as the custodian of five UN multilateral environmental agreements in the areas of air pollution, industrial accidents, water management, environmental impact assessment, access to information, public participation in decision-making, and access to justice in environmental matters.

“The work of UNECE regional advisers is fairly complex, due to the multiple levels of communication that we need to maintain at the country- and UN-level, including with various other international development stakeholders,” notes Ms. Radnaaragchaa. “Yet, this is also why this work is so rewarding. We get to plant the seed of many meaningful projects that help countries achieve their development needs. And in the end, we also get to contribute to and witness their completion.” 

* Jovana Miocinovic is a Public Information Assistant at UNECE.
Read more articles about INSIDE VIEW