Gibraltar’s Commissioner for Sustainable Development, Professor Daniella Tilbury, has become the UK Representative on a Steering Committee of the United Nations Economic Council for Europe.

A letter, sent by the UK’s Department for Education to UNECE’s Chief of the Environment and Sustainable Development Section, confirmed that Prof Tilbury would be the UK national focal on matters relating to education and sustainable development.

As part of this responsibility, Daniella is involved with the drafting of the Committee’s new strategic plan and collaborating with UNECE official policy agendas set for the region.

The Steering Committee meets at the Palais des Nations in Geneva and brings together representatives from across Europe as well as Canada and the US. It plays an important advisory role to the UN Environmental Policy section and is the principal decision-making body for the activities on the Strategy in the UNECE region and is responsible for giving guidance and strategic directions to the implementation of the Strategy. Members can identify issues and propose corrective measures, where appropriate.

Prof Tilbury commented ‘I have much respect for the work of the UNECE as it is focused on solid values and effective action. It seeks greater economic integration to promote sustainable development. I value the opportunity to cooperate with other government representatives to advise on priority actions and assess progress of the implementation of the UNECE Strategy.’

Minister for Education, Heritage, Environment and Climate Change, Prof John Cortes added: ‘I believe this is the first time an Overseas Territory has represented the UK on an international body of this nature. This appointment brings opportunities for Gibraltar, making our needs and interest visible when international agreements and measures are being discussed. Daniella’s prior experience of working with UN bodies serves her well in this position.

Prof Tilbury has been attending the Regional Forum on Sustainable Development on the 21-22nd March that gathered Ministers, senior officials and members of the business and NGO community.

The 2019 High Level Political Forum is seeking to take concrete and collaborative steps to progress the Sustainable Development Goals. Over 700 participants including high level government delegates from 40 countries are expected to attend the Forum.

She has been asked to act as a moderator on a high level roundtable alongside, Mr Marco Keiner, the Director of the Environment Division at the UNECE. Her roundtable will hear speakers from: Ministry of Education and Culture, Cyprus; Journalists for Human Rights, North Macedonia; and, the Ministry of Agriculture, Nature Management and Food Quality, the Netherlands. It brings together UNESCO, UNEP and UNECE to discuss policy measures to meet Sustainable Development targets set for Europe.