18 September, New York, USA - This event, organized in conjunction with the Environmental Management Group (EMG) Senior Officials meeting, provided an informal platform for governments, UN agencies, donors and other stakeholders to share national experiences on recent initiatives and developments towards a green economy promotion in the context of sustainable development and poverty eradication.The panel consisted of Mr. Elliott Harris, Director of the UNEP New York Office; Mr. Heinz Leuenberger, the Director of the Environmental Management Branch of UNIDO; Mr. Peter Poschen, the Director of the Enterprises Department of the ILO and was moderated by Ms. Yvonne Lodico, the Head of the UNITAR New York office.

PAGE is a voluntary and demand-driven mechanism of support to meet the increasing requests from countries seeking to develop and implement inclusive green economy strategies. The Partnership is mandated to support interested member states and matching them up with suitable programmes. PAGE advises on guidelines and assistance in incorporating models for applicable for specific countries, and it serves as a platform for the overall knowledge on green economy.

Each partner explained their respective organization’s contribution in PAGE. Peter Poschen, from ILO enterprise department, pointed out that during the International Labor Conference in June 2013, the consensus among parties was that a green economy is a must. Therefore a policy framework is needed to help with the transition to a green economy. Heinz Leuenberger, UNIDO, illustrated the two pillars of the green industry development organization: one pillar consists of the “greening” of existing industry and the other one aims at creating new green industries.

A balanced greener economy is believed to create up to 1-2% more jobs than the current one. This offers major opportunities to improve the living conditions of workers. Still, the largest amount of workers is working within the agricultural sector. Speakers also illustrated how PAGE addresses the skepticism of Member States and civil society.  For the future, training is needed to empower workers with skills which are needed for a turn to a green economy – this is an area in which UNITAR can contribute its expertise. But cooperation and collaboration is needed in all aspects of ensuring a green economy that is appropriate for each country, and that promotes sustainable development and eradicates poverty.  As Mr Poschen pointed out that “there is so much more to do than just a single agency can do and we’re not looking to be a closed club”.