Intergovernmental Decisions Major Groups

Major Groups: Decisions of the General Assembly and Commission on Sustainable Development. The following text is an excerpt. For the full reports, follow the links below.

UN Commission on Sustainable Development
17th Session
4 - 15 May 2009

Resolution 17/1

The Commission on Sustainable Development,

Emphasizing the urgent need to increase efforts at all levels to address food security and agricultural development in an economically, socially and environmentally sustainable manner, and emphasizing that achieving food security requires strengthening and revitalizing the agricultural sector in developing countries, including through enhanced international support, enabling environment at all levels, the empowerment of small-scale farmers, especially women, technical assistance, access to and transfer of technologies, capacity-building and exchange of knowledge and experience,

Recognizing the need to revitalize the agricultural and rural development sectors in developing countries in an economically, socially and environmentally sustainable manner in order to increase agricultural productivity, improve the livelihoods of rural communities and achieve food security,

Recognizing the importance of science and technology and the need to improve science policy interface at all levels, Appreciating that there are many successful experiences and best practices on the ground and that a key challenge we face is how to scale up, replicate and adapt what we know works,

Taking note of the United Nations Declaration of the Rights on Indigenous Peoples, Convinced that national implementation strategies should enhance the participation of all stakeholders, including women, youth, indigenous people, rural and other local communities, through, inter alia, the use of bottom-up approaches in decision-making, and stressing the need for the involvement of women, in particular, in decision-making,

Reaffirming the commitment, subject to national legislation, to respect, preserve and maintain the knowledge, innovations and practices of indigenous and local communities embodying traditional lifestyles relevant to the conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity, promote their wider application with the approval and involvement of the holders of such knowledge, innovations and practices and encourage the equitable sharing of the benefits arising from their utilization,

1. Decides to call upon Governments, and the United Nations system, within existing resources and through voluntary contributions, and invites international financial institutions and other international organizations, as appropriate, working in partnership with major groups and other stakeholders to take action as follows:

Agriculture

2. Boosting agricultural productivity, improving soil quality, ensuring the safety of food and, as appropriate, enhancing the nutritional quality of food is essential and needs to be done in ways that are socially, economically and environmentally sustainable. Moreover, a comprehensive approach integrating post-harvest storage and processing to reduce losses and add value, distribution and marketing infrastructure to link to markets and capacity-building at all stages, particularly in developing countries, is needed. Farmers and farm workers, female and male, especially small, and resource-poor, indigenous people and rural communities, need to be central actors in a green revolution in a sustainable way, with a sound balance and mutually beneficial linkages among small- and large-scale agricultural enterprises.

3. Such a revolution should be implemented by vitalizing sustainable agriculture and rural development in developing countries, in particular in Africa and the least developed countries. It needs to take into account national priorities and mutually beneficial linkages among farms enterprises of all scales adapted to site-specific agroecosystems and climate, building on local knowledge and experience while availing of the best available science, technology and know-how.

6. The following actions will be required at the local, national, regional and global levels in accordance with national priorities and legislations:

(a) Enhance agriculture production, productivity and sustainability. In that context:

(i) Employ science-based agricultural approaches, and local and indigenous knowledge, while undertaking research and development, to improve plant varieties, livestock, and soil. Encourage development and adoption of locally appropriate farming systems and agricultural practices;

(vi) Expand public investments and incentives, in particular for small-scale producers in developing countries, including women, to increase production of a wide spectrum of traditional and other crops and livestock, and to accelerate the transition to sustainable production;

(x) Conserve and use sustainably biodiversity in order to strengthen the resilience of agriculture and enhance food security in accordance with international obligations as well as national laws and regulations with regard to fair and equitable sharing of benefits;

(xii) Provide targeted and timely technical assistance and support to farmers, especially small-scale farmers, including women, in developing countries for accessing affordable inputs;

(xvi) Underline the need for greater access to microfinance, including microcredit, in developing countries, in particular for small farmers, which can contribute to increasing agricultural productivity and rural development;

(xix) Increase awareness of non-trade distorting models where farmers are encouraged to adopt practices that would restore, maintain and enhance ecosystem services;

(b) Create a strong enabling environment for sustainable agriculture. In that context:

(iii) Underscore the importance of support to agricultural research, and calls for continued support to international agricultural research systems, especially for sustainable agriculture, including through the international research centres of the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research, as well as other relevant international organizations;

(iv) Strengthen research education and extension that advances the practice of sustainable agriculture and rural development. Improve linkages among research, instruction in schools and universities, and diffusion of knowledge by extension services;

(v) Expand agricultural extension services to help smallholders to access and take advantage of modern information and communications technology;

(vi) Strengthen multi-stakeholder participation and partnerships in the development and implementation of the sustainable agriculture and rural development practices;

(vii) Provide increased technical assistance to developing countries to strengthen national innovation capacity, training and extension services in sustainable agriculture, fish, livestock and integrated crop-forest and crop-livestock production systems;

(ix) Provide access for small and resource-poor farmers to the legal system and legal services

(c) Manage sustainably competing uses of water and land resources. In that context:

(i) Support the implementation of sustainable and efficient water resources development and management schemes, including integrated water resources management within each country, and, where appropriate, through international cooperation, and improve irrigation efficiencies, ground water and on-farm soil, and water management practices, including for drinking water to overcome water shortages, improve water quality, and enhance food security;

(iii) Promote continued research and development with a view to continuously enhance the sustainability of biofuels and other bioenergy sources, including through South-South, North-South, and triangular cooperation, and through the exchange of information and technical cooperation;

(iv) Foster expanded scientific and technical cooperation, including North-South and South-South cooperation, in the development, inter alia, of sustainable bioenergy production, arid and semi-arid agriculture, and in combating desertification;

(d) Develop sustainable agricultural value chains and improve farmers' and agro-industry enterprises access to and participation in markets. In that context:

(i) Sustainably develop, in accordance with national circumstances and capabilities, the production and marketing of high-value and quality food staple crops and their processing. Create plans to increase the quantity and quality of the production of small-holder farmers as well as its value in local markets, including by increasing the contribution of local communities? products with the view to substantially increase the income of farmers, in particular smallholder and family farmers;

(ii) Assist developing countries to enhance their capacity to develop agro-industry;

(iii) Diffuse more widely pre- and post-harvest technologies to enab

le farmers in developing countries, including small-scale and women farmers, to realize greater value from their crops;

(iv) Support efforts to enhance food quality and safety and reduce wastage along the food chain by improving food handling, food testing, processing equipment, storage techniques, cold chain systems and transportation infrastructure;

(v) Encourage strong rural-urban linkages and partnerships between countryside and communities, to enhance livelihoods and food security;

(vi) As appropriate and in accordance with national conditions, build efficient and effective agricultural marketing institutions, including small-scale market infrastructure, and distribution networks, and enhance the availability of market information to farmers and farmer organizations through the effective use of information and communications technologies;

ix) Strengthen the assistance from the United Nations system and all relevant international organizations, appropriate to their mandates, to developing countries, to put in place the policies and measures to help farmers, particularly small-scale producers, increase production and integrate with local, regional and international markets;

(x) Enhance coordination and coherence among the United Nations system and all relevant international organizations, while respecting their individual mandates, in providing capacity building to small holder farmers in developing countries;

B. Rural development

8. A healthy and dynamic agricultural sector is an important foundation of rural development, generating strong linkages to other economic sectors. Rural livelihoods are enhanced through effective participation of rural people and rural communities in the management of their own social, economic and environmental objectives by empowering people in rural areas, particularly women and youth, including through organizations such as local cooperatives and by applying the bottom-up approach. Close economic integration of rural areas with neighbouring urban areas and the creation of rural off-farm employment can narrow rural-urban disparities, expand opportunities and encourage the retention of skilled people, including youth, in rural areas. There is considerable potential for rural job creation not only in farming, agro processing and rural industry but also in building rural infrastructure, in the sustainable management of natural resources, waste and residues. Rural communities in developing countries are still faced with challenges related to access to basic services, economic opportunities and some degree of incoherence with regard to planning related to rural-urban divide. Investments in environmental protection, rural infrastructure and in rural health and education are critical to sustainable rural development and can enhance national well-being. Beyond meeting basic needs, investments must be linked to the potential to raise productivity and income. The vulnerabilities of the rural poor to the economic and financial crisis and to climate change and water shortage must be addressed. The success of sustainable rural development depends on, inter alia, developing and implementing comprehensive strategies for dealing with climate change, drought, desertification and natural disaster. Related actions include:

(a) Promoting poverty eradication in rural areas;

(b) Promoting pro-poor planning and budgeting at the national and local levels;

(c) Addressing basic needs and enhancing provision of and access to services as a precursor to improve livelihoods and as an enabling factor of people's engagement in productive activities;

(d) Providing social protection programmes to benefit, inter alia, the vulnerable households, in particular the aged, persons with disabilities and unemployed many of whom are in rural areas. Actions are needed to:

(a) Build social capital and resilience in rural communities. In that context:

(i) Empower women and small-scale farmers, and indigenous peoples, including through securing equitable land tenure supported by appropriate legal frameworks;

(ii) Promote equitable access to land, water, financial resources and technologies by women, indigenous peoples and other vulnerable groups;

(iii) Support and promote efforts to harmonize modern technologies with traditional and indigenous knowledge for sustainable rural development;

(iv) Provide access to credit and other mechanisms as well as resources for farm-based activities, especially for small-scale farmers, including women in particular, in developing countries to better manage the various risks they face, including price, weather, climate, water shortages, land degradation and natural disasters, including by providing aid and promoting the development of agricultural insurance markets;

(v) Protect and ensure sustainable use of traditional knowledge, including indigenous knowledge in accordance with article 8 (j) of the Convention on Biological Diversity, for the management of natural resources to address the challenges of sustainable development;

(vi) Facilitate the active participation of vulnerable groups, including women, youth and indigenous peoples and rural communities, in the elaboration of local and national planning of rural development, taking into account national legislation;

(vii) Build the resilience of rural communities to cope with and recover from natural disasters;

(viii) Promote and scale up labour-intensive recovery activities in addition to capital-intensive programmes;

(ix) Support training and capacity-building of rural communities to effectively implement adaptation programmes to climate change at the local level;

(xi) Foster and strengthen capacities of rural communities for self-organization for building social capital, taking into account national legislation;

(b) Strengthen the human capacities of rural people. In that context:

(i) Strengthen rural health-care facilities and capacities, train and increase the number of health and nutrition professionals and sustain and expand access to primary health-care systems, including through promoting equitable and improved access to affordable and efficient health-care services, including provision of basic health-care services for the poor in rural areas, in particular in Africa, for effective disease prevention and treatment;

(ii) Create and develop educational programmes for rural communities aimed at disease prevention;

(iii) Eliminate old and new forms of illiteracy in rural communities and ensure provision of primary education and access to secondary and tertiary educational opportunities as well as vocational and entrepreneurship training including proactive and market-related elements to build capacities within rural communities, in particular for youth, young girls, women and indigenous people;

(iv) Encourage rural communities' participation in decision-making, promote rural communities' empowerment and rural leadership;

(v) Improve access by rural people and communities to information, education, extension services and learning resources, knowledge and training to support sustainable development planning and decision-making;

(c) Invest in essential infrastructure and services for rural communities. In that context:

(i) Increase public and private investments in infrastructure in rural areas, including roads, waterways and transport systems, storage and market facilities, livestock facilities, irrigation systems, affordable housing, water supply and sanitation services, electrification facilities, and information and communications networks;

(ii) Improve access to reliable and affordable energy services, including renewable and alternative sources of energy for sustainable rural development;

(iii) Enhance access of rural populations to safe drinking water and adequate sanitation;

(iv) Develop and improve access of rural populations to information and communications technologies, inter alia, to support Internet access and build capacities for an effective use of these technologies;

(v) Develop rural public and private services that realize the potential of those technologies, including cellular banking and e extension services;

(vi) Promote the development of rural organizations such as community-driven cooperatives to enhance investment in essential infrastructure and services, and recognize the role of urban areas in fostering rural development;

(d) Stimulate the creation of new jobs and income opportunities in rural areas. In that context:

(i) Support rural diversification, including on-farm diversification towards non-agricultural and other non-primary production activities;

(ii) Provide appropriate land-use frameworks in order to support the establishment of agricultural activities and both agricultural and non agricultural services related to sustainable rural development, while respecting the rights of rural communities and indigenous people;

(iii) Provide entrepreneurial training, credit and other support to off-farm and other non-primary production activities;

(iv) Strengthen the links between agriculture and other sectors of the rural economy;

(v) Develop sustainable ways to add value to agricultural products locally, subregionally and regionally to generate additional income;

(vi) Support the development, transfer and use of safe and environmentally sound construction technologies and practices, in particular for housing, to improve living standards and to create employment in rural areas;

(vii) Support as appropriate, sustainable tourism as a valuable source of employment and income supplement to farming and other primary production activities, as well as sustainable natural resource management;

(ix) Increase access of rural populations, particularly women, youth, indigenous people and other vulnerable groups, especially in disadvantaged areas, to markets as well as affordable financial and business advisory services, such as market literacy, microcredit, loan guarantees and venture capital;

(x) Expand access to markets by assisting rural producers, associations and firms, especially those from developing countries, to respond to market demand;

(xi) Increase employment opportunities through labour-intensive approaches including green jobs and development of rural infrastructure, taking into account the decent work agenda of the International Labour Organization as an important instrument to achieve the objective of full and productive employment and decent work for all;

(xiii) Support the development of integration into market of smallholder family agriculture and sharing of experiences and best practices;

(xiv) Promote non-agricultural industries such as mining, service industries, construction and commerce, in a sustainable manner, as a source of employment and income for rural populations;

(e) Ensure environmental sustainability in rural areas. In that context:

(i) Encourage the use of land resources in a sustainable manner to prevent land degradation that is caused by unsustainable exploitation of land resources;

(ii) Encourage the use of environmentally friendly practices;

(iii) Promote sustainable natural resources use and management, including ecosystem conservation through community-based programmes;

(iv) Promote safe and environmentally sound waste management practices;

(f) Promote women's empowerment and gender equality. In that context:

(i) Involve women in decision-making in all activities related to rural development;

(ii) Take measures that promote access to and ownership of means of production, including land, capital, entrepreneurship, by women;

(iii) Promote gender equality as well as take measures to achieve equal opportunities for women and men in all aspects of rural development;

(iv) Carry out extensive education, and awareness-raising on the rights of women and the concept of empowerment and gender equality in rural areas.

C. Land

(a) Promote sustainable and integrated land-use planning and land management practices. In that context

(ii) Encourage the development and implementation of systems to inventory, assess, monitor and further understand the capacity of the land to support ecosystem functions, including by integrating new tools such as the Global Soil Map with indigenous and local knowledge;

(v) Further strengthen the role of domestic authorities at all levels in implementing sustainable land policies consistent with national priorities;

(vi) Strengthen partnerships, networks and the participation of all relevant stakeholders in land planning and management, to facilitate a common understanding on community land resource management, including by taking into account community goals and traditional knowledge, including indigenous knowledge;

(ix) Provide science-based, targeted incentives, including financial resources, for public and private investment in infrastructure and research for sustainable land management and reducing land degradation, and enhance access to credit for farmers, especially for small-scale farmers, particularly in developing countries;

(x) Enhance access to microcredit to support initial start-ups of small-scale and especially resource-poor farmers in acquiring land management technologies and adopting sustainable practices

(xvii) Include key stakeholders in the establishment of knowledge management networks and a database of land experts to achieve optimum land-use sustainability while ensuring land ownership;

(d) Promote equitable access to land and clear and secure land tenure, in particular for women, indigenous peoples and other vulnerable groups. In that context:

ii) Recognizing the existence of different laws and/or systems of land access and tenure among States, strengthen the institutional and legal framework for the long-term administration of property rights and tenure systems, that take into account the established land tenure of indigenous peoples, smallholder farmers, and the rural poor as well as customary tenure arrangements and local practices, without discrimination against women and girls; and adopt policies and implement laws that promote secure and equitable access to land, and land tenure, particularly to the poor, through the recognition of equitable land rights and guarantee enforceable and secure land rights, in particular for women, indigenous people and other vulnerable groups;

(iii) Encourage the establishment of additional collaborative knowledge and information dissemination mechanisms and civic education campaigns on land rights;

(iv) Provide recognition for other use rights such as grazing and gathering wood, which are often critical sources of livelihood, especially for women;

(vi) Promote and enable women?s equitable role in decision-making related to land management and planning and access to land;

(e) Enhance capacity-building, technology transfer and financing. In that context:

(iii) Promote and scale up the development, transfer, as mutually agreed, dissemination and adoption, as appropriate, of safe and science-based practices, products and technologies, including advanced technologies and corresponding know-how, that enhance the sustainable use of land resources, particularly for developing countries taking into account local conditions;

(iv) Support countries' efforts, particularly in developing countries, to enhance the scientific understanding of land resources systems through strengthened technological capacity, including, as appropriate, support for testing research findings through pilot projects;

(v) Further develop and improve human resources and capacities, particularly in developing countries, for sustainable land management through education and training activities.

D. Drought

(b) Strengthen the knowledge base and information-sharing on drought, water stress and drought risk management. In that context:

(i) Invest in research and development, robust data collection, including through remote sensing, and information to assess and identify risk and to predict, plan for and manage droughts across time scales from seasonal to multi-year events, including short-, medium- and long-term events, taking into account traditional knowledge;

(ii) Promote the exchange of information, experiences and lessons learned in relation to drought risk management and reduction and increase public awareness about traditional and adaptable practices;

(iii) Encourage, and where appropriate, establish scientifically based drought- and desertification-related local, national, and where appropriate, regional indicators and benchmarks and related web-based information systems, bearing in mind the set of indicators under development within the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification regarding the ten-year strategic plan and framework

(v) Increase knowledge-sharing and information on weather forecasts and climatic conditions among relevant key stakeholders, and increase the capacity to use such information before, during and after drought events;

vi) Mobilize and enhance funding and support research and development on the underlying causes and effects of drought, including social, economic and environmental perspectives, as well as for improved techniques and practices that can improve food security and reduce human vulnerability;

(vii) Facilitate access to climate-related data relevant to mitigating the effects of drought, in accordance with national legislation, to relevant stakeholders for sustainable development;

(c) Enhance the resilience of communities to drought. In that context:

(i) Enhance social and economic resilience in drought-prone communities by encouraging community-based land tenure based on good governance principles, mixed livestock production and cropping, the implementation of water management schemes and the expansion of weather insurance schemes;

(iii) Encourage support for new and current strategies of rural communities to cope with and increase resilience to drought;

(v) Promote globally improved information communications and data sharing, modelling and forecasting capabilities, including indigenous knowledge and improved user-based community resilience planning and implementation for rural and other communities, particularly in developing countries;

(vi) Promote innovative technical solutions and practices, combining them with traditional knowledge, for drought forecasting, impact assessment and early warning information systems and sustainable integrated water management;

(vii) Promote the participation of local communities in mitigating the effects of drought, combating desertification and land degradation, in particular by encouraging the involvement of vulnerable groups, including women, youth, pastoralists and indigenous peoples in decision-making processes leading to policies related to drought risk reduction;

(d) Enhance capacity-building, technology transfer and financing. In that context:

(i) Promote access to affordable, appropriate and necessary technology, and provide corresponding capacity-building to enable drought forecasting and planning, development of user-based drought-related management triggers across time scales, and sustainable management, including efficient use of scarce resources and arable land, as mutually agreed;

E. Desertification

(b) Implement practical measures to combat land degradation and desertification. In that context:

(ii) Promote sustainable land use and livelihoods, enhanced soil productivity, water use efficiency and greater tenure security for people living in the affected areas, including pastoralists;

(iii) Protect land resources through community-based sustainable natural resources management, based on scientific and indigenous knowledge;

(iv) Promote the rehabilitation and improved management of degraded lands, including increased integration of pastoral and agricultural land uses and the use of best farming and rangeland management practices;

(vi) Encourage land users to invest in soil and water conservation, including through land tenure security and access rights to land and natural resources for the rural population, particularly women, indigenous people and other vulnerable groups;

(viii) Undertake measures and provide international assistance, promote national action and encourage subregional, regional and international cooperation to prevent sand dune movement, and reduce the frequency and severity of sandstorms, inter alia, by strengthening early warning systems and restoring vegetation and supporting related initiatives of rural communities in affected areas, particularly in developing countries;

(ix) Support appropriate traditional practices and local knowledge concerning land use, water management and agricultural activities;

(c) Enhance capacity-building, transfer technology and financing. In that context:

(i) Promote scientific research and strengthen the scientific base on desertification and drought, which is essential for informed decision-making on sustainable land management and to measure the results and monitor the impact of programmes combating desertification

(vi) Build the capacity of affected communities to address the impacts of desertification by promoting participation, including through participatory approaches that involve civil society, local communities, indigenous people and other major groups, in particular women in decision-making and policy formulation;

(iv) Expand access to appropriate technologies to assess, analyse and quantify the nature, severity and impacts of land degradation and desertification and remedial actions, using remote sensing and Geographical Information Systems;

F. Africa

(a) Revitalize agriculture as the basis for sustainable rural development. In that context:

(v) Encourage and facilitate investment in rural infrastructure specifically to address the socio-economic development of rural communities and vulnerable groups;

(vi) Stimulate private investments in agriculture while supporting small farmers, gender equality, and promoting corporate social responsibility and environmental sustainability;

(ix) Support the revision and implementation of sustainable public agricultural policies, involving civil society and the private sector, for strengthening smallholder farms;

(x) Promote equitable access to land and clear and secure land tenure, in particular for women, indigenous peoples and other vulnerable groups;

(xii) Take measures to boost productivity and sustainability, including by access to microfinance and skills development for farmers, especially women farmers;

(xiv) Incorporate the social aspects of agricultural transformation into policy decisions, including managing rural-urban migrations, including through strong urban and rural job creation;

(b) Integrate African farmers and local entrepreneurs into agricultural supply chains. In that context:

(i) Provide timely access by farmers to affordable public and private inputs and credit and access to public and private insurance instruments;

(ii) Support further the participation of farmer organizations into decision-making processes at all levels;

(iii) Facilitate and support the strengthening of commercial and technical capacity of farmer organizations, including through extension services;

(iv) Increase support, from all sources, to the improvement of market infrastructure and market information systems, including the development and strengthening of rural-urban linkages;

(v) Increase efforts to lower barriers and improve infrastructure to create and expand sustainable domestic and regional food markets;

(vi) Develop national systems incorporating both public and private initiatives to reduce pre- and post- harvest losses, especially through infrastructure and transport development, improvement of storage capacity and supply chains functioning and technology transfer where mutually agreed;

(vii) Foster agro-industries and generate local value added;

(viii) Encourage agro-ecological practices, including the promotion of traditional agricultural practices and, in general, indigenous knowledge, as some of the resources to develop sustainable agricultural production models;

(c) Promote an enabling environment for sustainable development. In that context:

(ii) Welcome and further encourage the progress many African countries have made with respect to implementing pro-poor economic policies, deepening democracy, protecting human rights and strengthening active participation of civil society and other major stakeholders;

(iii) Stress the importance of African-led initiatives to strengthen political, economic and corporate governance, such as the Africa Peer Review Mechanism;

(d) Ensure the integration of Africa into world trade. In that context:

(i) Improve the access and integration of farmers into local, regional and world markets;

(f) Increase development aid to Africa. In that context:

(i) Scale up international community support for the implementation of various programmes under the auspices of the New Partnership for Africa's Development, in particular its Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme and its environment programme;

(ii) Encourage private capital to increase flows to Africa by developing a conducive investment climate through international cooperation and global partnership

(h) Improve income distribution and promote social development. In that context:

(i) Increase socio-economic benefits to the general population, in particular rural communities and women;

(ii) Promote actions to improve the access of African populations, in particular the most vulnerable ones, to basic primary services and support sustainable economic growth in order to improve the livelihoods of African populations;

(iii) Prioritize, where appropriate, national expenditures on and international aid flows to water and sanitation, as well as for capacity-building, the promotion of integrated water resources management and public-private partnerships;

(iv) Encourage support in strengthening health systems, in particular on reducing infant and maternal mortality and addressing HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria, and highlight the need to provide access to adequate nutrition to affected communities and households;

(v) Encourage all efforts to support access to basic primary education and promote improvements in the quality of education in all African countries at all levels, focusing in particular on women's and girls? education and education in post-conflict areas;

(vi) Support existing centres of excellence and encourage the establishment of new centres; (vii) Support efforts to generate and deepen knowledge and research, inclusive of technical and vocational training and higher education systems;

G. Interlinkages and cross-cutting issues, including means of implementation

16. National sustainable development strategies should address in an integrated manner the social, economic and environmental pillars. These strategies should address, inter alia, the social dimension of globalization, the challenges of international migration, gender equality, multi-stakeholder engagement and policy coherence, as well as strategic assessments, in accordance with national legislation.

17. Revitalizing agriculture and promoting rural development can make an important contribution to eradicating poverty and hunger and to achieving food security as well as to improved health, the empowerment of women and the creation of productive employment opportunities for women, youth, indigenous peoples and local communities. Actions are needed to:

(b) Increase investment in education infrastructure, and promote universal and free access to primary education and development of human resources capacity through appropriate education and training programmes in particular for rural youth in poor and vulnerable communities and expand access to education opportunities at all levels;

(c) Promote education and extension services related to agriculture and the food value chain in rural areas at all levels;

(e) Undertake measures to improve and sustain the livelihoods of vulnerable groups such as women, youth, children, seniors, nomadic pastoralists, indigenous peoples, persons with disabilities and people living in very remote areas in developing countries;

(f) Empower rural women and promote land ownership and secure land tenure for women farmers; target capacity-building strategies at women farmers and women-headed households;

(g) Strengthen the human resources and institutional capacity of small island developing States and Africa for integrated rural development and sustainable management of natural resources, including in coastal zones and marine fisheries, wetlands, and build the capacity of small island developing States and Africa's rural communities to help themselves, including by empowering women and youth;

(h) Promote the role of local authorities in partnership with other major groups to exchange information, build networks and create markets for small farmers, especially women and youth

(e) Promoting education, awareness raising and information, as these can change consumers' behaviour and thus function as a means towards more sustainable lifestyles.

19. The Johannesburg Plan of Implementation sets out three overarching objectives of, and essential requirements for, sustainable development. Fundamental changes in the way societies produce and consume are indispensable for achieving global sustainable development. Actions include:

(e) Promoting education, awareness raising and information, as these can change consumers' behaviour and thus function as a means towards more sustainable lifestyles.

(a) Enhance availability and effective use of finance for sustainable development. In that context:

(vi) Improve access to finance, including microfinance, in particular to local communities, farmers, and small businesses;

(c) Enhance and promote capacity-building efforts and promote the transfer of technologies to developing countries. In that context:

(i) Implement targeted capacity-building programmes in areas relevant to the thematic cluster, their interlinkages and the cross-cutting issues, in coordination with local, national and regional institutions;

(iv) Increase investments in training, research and development, in particular on sustainable practices and technologies, including agricultural technologies, and accelerate the transfer and diffusion of such technologies, information, methods, practices to reach all users, including farmers, women, youth and indigenous people and those in remote rural areas;

(v) Build capacity for land-use planning aimed at managing land within ecological capacity taking into account long-term potential, soil information and integrating scientific and indigenous knowledge;

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UN Commission on Sustainable Development
15th Session
30 April - 11 May 2007

* CSD-15 outcome does not include an intergovernmental consensus: you may refer to the Chairman's Summary as contained in the above CSD-15 Report.

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UN Commission on Sustainable Development
13th Session
11 - 22 April 2005

Resolution 13/1

Policy options and practical measures to expedite implementation in water, sanitation and human settlements*

The Commission on Sustainable Development,

3. Decides to call upon Governments, and the United Nations system, within existing resources and through voluntary contributions, and invites international financial institutions and other international organizations, as appropriate, working in partnership with major groups and other stakeholders, to take action as follows:

A. Water

Access to basic water services

(a) Sustain and accelerate progress towards the water access goal, supported by increased resources from all sources, including official development assistance, in response to countries' needs, with a focus on the following actions:

i) Prioritizing water in national development plans and facilitating access to water for all;

ii) Strengthening capacities of national and local authorities in resource allocation and management, quality control, development and implementation of water supply projects, and monitoring of service provision;

iii) Promoting support for water infrastructure planning and development;

iv) Involving all stakeholders, particularly women and youth, in the planning and management of water services and, as appropriate, decision-making processes;

v) Instituting economic incentives to encourage the participation of smallscale water service providers;

vi) Employing the full range of policy instruments, including regulation, voluntary measures, market and information-based tools and cost recovery of water services, that contribute to the sustainability of services provision, without cost-recovery objectives, becoming a barrier to access to safe water by poor people;

vii) Targeting subsidies for the poor, including connection costs;

(b) Develop and strengthen human and institutional capacities for effective water management and service delivery, through:

i) Building capacities of local communities in operation and maintenance of water systems, and training educators, managers and technicians in different aspects of water management;

ii) Tapping local and indigenous knowledge in project development and implementation;

iii) romoting and strengthening commercial capacities of local suppliers;

iv) Improving monitoring and analytical capabilities of water information management agencies;

(c) Develop and transfer low-cost technologies for safe water supply and treatment, in accordance with countries' needs, with a focus on the following:

i) Promoting access to appropriate low-cost and environmentally sustainable water use and supply technologies through North-South and South-South cooperation and partnerships;

ii) Developing capacities in the area of water desalination, treatment of contaminants, rainwater harvesting and water efficiency through technology transfer and sharing of best practices;

iii) Investing in research and development projects;

iv) Addressing the special needs of countries with arid and semi-arid areas due to water scarcity;

Integrated water resources management

(d) Recognizing that the 2005 target on integrated water resources management may not be met by all countries, accelerate the provision of technical and financial assistance to countries in preparing nationally owned integrated water resources management and water-efficiency plans tailored to country-specific needs, paying particular attention to economic development, social and environmental needs, supporting implementation through learning-by-doing, directed, inter alia, towards the following:

i) Improving water governance through strengthening of institutional and regulatory reforms, capacity development and innovation;

ii) Providing technical and management support to local authorities and community-based organizations, taking into account research, traditional knowledge and best practices, to improve water resources management within national policy frameworks;

iii) Providing additional resources, as appropriate, for regional and subregional initiatives, such as the African Water Facility;

iv) Encouraging effective coordination among all stakeholders in water related decision-making;

v) Enhancing the sustainability of ecosystems that provide essential resources and services for human well-being and economic activity in water related decision-making;

vi) Facilitating information exchange and knowledge-sharing, including indigenous and local knowledge

vii) Strengthening the prevention of pollution resulting from wastewater, solid waste, and industrial and agricultural activities;

viii) Developing preventive and preparedness measures, as well as risk mitigation and disaster reduction, including early warning systems;

ix) Protecting and rehabilitating catchment areas for regulating water flows and improving water quality, taking into account the critical role of ecosystems;

x) Raising awareness of the importance of water use efficiency and conservation;

xi) Involving all stakeholders, including women, youth and local communities, in integrated planning and management of land and water resources;

xii) Encouraging, where appropriate and within their mandates, the use of multilateral environmental agreements to leverage additional resources for integrated water resources management;

xiii) Promoting higher priority and greater action on water quality;

(e) Support African initiatives in the area of water, within the framework of the African Ministerial Conference on Water, with particular reference to basin-wide initiatives in Africa;

(f) Enhance cooperation among riparian States through relevant arrangements and/or mechanisms with the consent of the States concerned, taking into account the interests of the riparian States;

(g) Develop and strengthen national monitoring systems on the quantity, quality and use of surface- and groundwater resources at national and local levels, and for measuring progress towards internationally agreed goals and targets, as appropriate, as well as for assessing the impact of climate variability and change on water resources, through the following actions:

i) Establishing and managing water information systems;

ii) Installing networks for monitoring water resources and quality;

iii) Standardizing methodologies and developing monitoring indicators;

iv) Transferring monitoring technologies adaptable to local conditions;

v) Disseminating information to relevant stakeholders;

(h) Support more effective water demand and water resource management across all sectors, especially in the agricultural sector, by:

i) Using efficient irrigation and rainwater harvesting technologies;

Implementing irrigation projects with a focus on the poor, particularly in Africa; Training farmers and water user associations in efficient water use and sustainable agricultural land management; Promoting the use of wastewater for certain irrigation purposes, subject to health and environmental standards; Increasing the efficiency and, where appropriate, the use of rain-fed agriculture;

B. Sanitation

(i) Provide adequate sanitation, recognizing the interlinkages among water, sanitation, hygiene and health, including water-borne disease vectors, as well as the positive impacts of access to sanitation on poverty reduction, privacy, dignity, security and education;

Access to basic sanitation

(j) Sustain and accelerate progress towards the sanitation target of the Johannesburg Plan of Implementation, supported by increased resources from all sources, including official development assistance, in response to countries' needs, with a focus on the following actions:

i) Establishing an institutional home for sanitation, prioritizing sanitation in national development plans, and incorporating sanitation in integrated water resources management plans;

ii) Allocating a specific and adequately resourced budget for sanitation;

iii) Prioritizing investments directed towards areas of greatest need and greatest impact, notably in schools, workplaces and health centres;

iv) Employing cost recovery, where appropriate, to contribute to the sustainability of services, with targeted subsidies for the poor;

v) Instituting economic incentives to encourage the participation of smallscale sanitation and hygiene service providers;

vi) Conducting assessment of the health impacts of the lack of sanitation at community level;

vii) Supporting existing regional and interregional initiatives such as the Global Water, Sanitation and Hygiene for all (WASH) programme for water and sanitation;

viii) Promoting and supporting on-site sanitation infrastructure, especially in rural areas;

ix) Supporting the provision and maintenance of sanitation services to refugees and refugee host countries;

(k) Ensure effective capacity for building, operating and maintaining sanitation and sewerage systems, including by:

i) Providing managerial and technical training to public utilities, community-based organizations and small-scale providers for development, operation and maintenance of sanitation systems;

ii) Strengthening the role of women in planning, decision-making and management of sanitation systems;

iii) Tapping local and indigenous knowledge in project development and implementation;

iv) Promoting and strengthening commercial capacities of local suppliers in establishing sustainable sanitation delivery models;

v) Improving monitoring and analytical capabilities of information management agencies;

(l) Ensure access to culturally appropriate, low-cost and environmentally sound sanitation technologies, including by:

i) Promoting research, development and dissemination of information on low-cost sanitation options;

ii) Investing in research and development projects including applications of indigenous technologies and ecological sanitation;

iii) Providing technology transfer for sanitation, wastewater treatment, reuse and residuals management;

iv) Strengthening North-South and South-South cooperation in developing and applying sanitation technology;

Sanitation and hygiene education

(m) Support countries in promoting sanitation and hygiene education and awareness-raising, focusing on the following measures:

i) Promoting gender-sensitive sanitation and hygiene education and awareness, including through social marketing and public information campaigns such as Water, Sanitation and Hygiene for all (WASH), and improving understanding of the linkages among sanitation, hygiene and health;

ii) With an emphasis on children and youth, incorporating gender-sensitive hygiene education in school curricula and ensuring the provision of separate sanitation facilities for boys and girls in all schools;

iii) Promoting the involvement of women, youth and community groups in sanitation and hygiene education programmes;

Wastewater collection, treatment and reuse

(n) Expand and improve wastewater treatment and reuse, with a focus on the following:

i) Financial and technical assistance to national and local authorities in deploying cost-effective and environmentally sound sewerage and wastewater treatment systems, including decentralized urban systems;

ii) Meeting operation and maintenance costs through an appropriate mix of measures including user charges, wastewater reuse and budgetary allocations;

iii) Establishing sustainable business models and financing mechanisms linked to capital markets such as revolving funds for sewerage services;

iv) Education and training in building, operating and maintaining wastewater collection and treatment systems;

v) Research, development and dissemination of information on low-cost and efficient wastewater treatment technologies, including on water quality and reuse;

vi) Dissemination of information and guidelines on surface- and groundwater quality and the safe reuse of treated wastewater;

vii) Establishing regional project development facilities to provide seed capital, training and technical assistance;

(o) Support regional and subregional arrangements, to protect water resources from pollution, addressing the specific needs of arid, semi-arid and coastal countries;

C. Human settlements

(p) Provide an enabling policy and regulatory environment and mobilize the requisite means of implementation, including through regional cooperation and international support, including increased financial resources to promote sustainable human settlements development in both urban and rural areas, in accordance with national priorities;

Integrated planning and management

(q) Support integrated planning and management of human settlements, incorporating land use, housing, water supply and sanitation, waste management, energy, employment and income-generation, education and health-care services, transportation and other infrastructure, giving due consideration to urbanization trends, in particular, to the needs of the urban poor in implementing the Millennium Declaration, with a view to preventing new slum formation, by:

i) Integrating urban-rural linkages into national planning processes and promoting further research to inform policies and measures to manage urbanization;

ii) Integrating slum upgrading and slum prevention into national development planning, taking into account social, economic, cultural and environmental aspects;

iii) Including natural disaster risk mitigation, early warning, preparedness and post-disaster considerations and related capacity-building measures in human settlements planning and development, including at regional level;

iv) Establishing and strengthening regional and subregional initiatives for human settlements planning and development, and supporting such initiatives through capacity-building and resource mobilization;

v) Strengthening capacities for waste management, including through implementation of the relevant international instruments including the Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and Their Disposal (United Nations, Treaty Series, vol. 1673, No. 28911);

vi) Promoting increased participation of all stakeholders, in particular women and youth as well as slum-dwellers and their organizations, in planning, implementation and, where appropriate, decision-making processes;

vii) Decentralizing responsibilities to local authorities depending on national circumstances, specificities and legal frameworks accompanied by capacity building and corresponding transfer of resources;

viii) Promoting international networking for information exchange among local authorities and stakeholders, including for the implementation of Local Agendas 21;

ix) Resolving to take further effective measures to remove obstacles to the full realization of the rights of the peoples living under colonial and foreign occupation, which are incompatible with the dignity and worth of the human person and must be combated and eliminated;

Access to affordable land, housing and basic services

(r) Assist in providing access for the poor, in urban and rural areas, to decent and affordable housing and basic services, in accordance with the Habitat Agenda, through:

i) Achieving, by 2020, a significant improvement in the lives of at least 100 million slum-dwellers, as proposed in the "Cities without slums" initiative;

ii) Designing pro-poor policies, with a focus on tenure security and access to affordable serviced land;

iii) Promoting stable and transparent land markets and strengthening land administration;

iv) Targeting subsidies to poor people for housing and basic services, including the consideration of loans and subsidies that reflect the payment capabilities of the poor for housing and basic services;

v) Improving equal access to basic services and land tenure, with particular attention to the equal rights of women to own and inherit land and other property and to access credit markets;

vi) Promoting public-private partnerships for financing and developing infrastructure and affordable housing;

vii) Strengthening enforcement capacity for building codes and laws in the housing sector;

viii) Promoting research, production and use of local construction technologies and building materials and integrating traditional knowledge and practices, as appropriate, in national housing policies;

ix) Facilitating transfer of technology for low-cost housing construction using local materials;

x) Strengthening the capital base and building the financial capacity of community savings and microfinance institutions serving the poor;

xi) Encouraging donors and international financial institutions to provide innovative financing for low-income housing and community improvement, including through loan guarantees, seed capital for revolving funds, and facilitating access of local authorities to capital markets;

xii) Providing increased financial assistance, including by multilateral and regional development banks, for slum prevention and upgrading;

xiii) Providing support to refugee host countries in developing and rehabilitating infrastructure and environment, including affected ecosystems and habitats;

Employment and enterprise promotion

(s) Support national measures encouraging private sector investment, entrepreneurship and job-creation, including the following:

i) Incorporating employment and enterprise development policies into national planning and slum prevention and upgrading programmes;

ii) Facilitating the development of the microfinance sector;

iii) Enhancing capacity in managerial, environmental and technical skills of small and medium-sized enterprises, including in the informal economy, to improve their access to finance and marketing opportunities;

iv) Providing education and vocational training to women and youth, particularly the urban poor, to improve their access to decent jobs, combining provision of financial services with mentoring, business training and counselling;

D. Interlinkages and cross-cutting issues

(t) Address water, sanitation and human settlements in an integrated manner, taking into account economic, social and environmental aspects, related sectoral policies and cross-cutting issues as identified at the eleventh session of the Commission, as well as national, subregional and regional specificities, circumstances and legal frameworks, with particular attention given to the requirements of women, youth and workers, through a range of measures and approaches such as:

i) Interlinking measures on water, sanitation and human settlements to increase their synergy, efficiency and impact by developing integrated and inclusive policies of planning and management in water, sanitation and human settlements;

ii) Improving national coordination efforts to address water and sanitation, to manage the competing demands for water, including those for agricultural production;

iii) Enhancing inter-ministerial and cross-sectoral coordination and planning mechanisms, as well as mechanisms for coordination between different levels of administration;

iv) In accordance with paragraph 14 of the Johannesburg Plan of Implementation, promoting sustainable consumption and production patterns in all countries, with developed countries taking the lead and with all countries benefiting from the process, including through the Marrakech Process, in the areas of water, sanitation and human settlements;

(u) Devise water, sanitation and human settlements policies and actions taking account of the need to address the impacts of rapid urbanization, desertification, climate change and climate variability and natural disasters, including by:

i) Assessing the impact of natural disasters, climate change and climate variability on water resources, water supply, sanitation and human settlements;

ii) Supporting the implementation of monitoring and early warning systems and of relevant mitigation and adaptation technologies;

(v) Noting that the water and sanitation targets are to halve the proportion of people who lack access to safe drinking water and sanitation by 2015, and that the target for slum-dwellers is to improve the lives of at least 100 million slum-dwellers by 2020, support countries, including through the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat), in their ability to provide data and information on existing slums with a projection on new slum formation by 2020, and thereafter to adopt and implement plans to achieve these targets, linked to poverty reduction strategies, national sustainable development strategies or other relevant policy plans;

(w) Resolve to take further effective measures to remove obstacles to the full realization of the rights of people living under colonial and foreign occupation, which are incompatible with the dignity and worth of human persons and must be combated and eliminated;

(x) Concerning the means of implementation, mobilize adequate resources to meet the water, sanitation and human settlements goals and targets, tapping both domestic and international sources through a range of financing approaches, such as:

Increasing donor financial support, upon request, to water, sanitation and human settlements initiatives in developing countries;

i) Identifying and promoting innovative and sustainable means of financing;

ii) Enhancing the sustainability of ecosystems that provide essential resources and services for human well-being and economic activity and developing innovative means of financing for their protection;

iii) Encouraging the Bretton Woods institutions, the Global Environment Facility within its mandate and the regional banks to enhance their assistance to the water, sanitation and human settlements sectors;

iv) Establishing and promoting public-private and public-public partnerships;

v)Increasing allocations from national and subnational budgets;

vi) Developing and supporting local financial institutions and markets, including pooled financial facilities, revolving funds, loan guarantees and microcredit facilities;

vii) Providing support to regional and subregional initiatives such as the African Ministerial Conference on Housing and Urban Development and the Meeting of Ministers of Housing and Urban Development of Latin America and the Caribbean;

viii) Providing support for capacity-building in developing countries;

ix) Providing environmentally sound technology to developing countries in accordance with paragraph 105 of the Johannesburg Plan of Implementation;

E. International institutional arrangements for monitoring and follow-up of decisions on water, sanitation and human settlements taken by the Commission at its thirteenth session

(y) Reaffirm that the Commission for Sustainable Development should continue to be the high-level commission responsible for sustainable development within the United Nations system;

(z) Also reaffirm the mandate of the Commission as stipulated in Agenda 21, General Assembly resolution 47/191 of 22 December 1992 and the Johannesburg Plan of Implementation as well as Economic and Social Council resolution 2003/61 of 25 July 2003 on the future programme, organization and methods of work of the Commission;

(aa) Support, strengthen and implement voluntary monitoring, reporting and assessment of the thematic areas of water, sanitation and human settlements at the national and regional levels and through existing mechanisms at the global level to keep track of progress in achieving sustainable development, bearing in mind the specific needs of developing countries, by the following measures:

i) Improving data collection at all levels;

ii) Enhancing the comparability of data at the regional and global levels;

iii) Facilitating the contribution of major groups to national reporting activities;

iv) Requesting the Commission secretariat to update the policy options and practical measures contained in the Chairman's summary of the interactive discussions held at the Intergovernmental Preparatory Meeting, on a regular basis, so as to make it a living document, and to develop web-based tools to disseminate information on implementation and best practices;

(bb) Encourage Member States to continue to work on the development and application of indicators for sustainable development at the national level, including integration of gender aspects, on a voluntary basis, in line with their national conditions and priorities, and in this regard invites the international community to support the efforts of developing countries;

Follow-up on water and sanitation

(cc) Requests UN-Water to give equal consideration to the thematic issues for the Commission?s thirteenth session of sanitation and water in its terms of reference, and to promote, within its mandate, system-wide inter-agency cooperation and coordination among relevant United Nations organizations, funds and programmes on these issues, and requests the Secretary-General to include in his report to the Commission the activities of UN-Water as they relate to the aforementioned thematic areas, including the roles and responsibilities of relevant United Nations organizations, funds and programmes in implementing and monitoring the water and sanitation agenda, including identifying duplication, overlap and gaps;

4. Decides to devote, in 2008 and 2012, without prejudice to the programme, organization and methods of work of the Commission adopted at its eleventh session, a separate segment at the end of its review sessions, for a duration to be determined by the Bureau in advance, using one to two days as a benchmark, to monitor and follow up the implementation of decisions on water and sanitation, and their interlinkages, taken at the Commission's thirteenth session;

Follow-up on human settlements

5. Requests UN-Habitat as the focal agency for human settlements, to facilitate, in close collaboration with relevant United Nations organizations and programmes as well as other partners, effective global monitoring of progress in the implementation of human settlements goals and targets, as well as measures agreed at the thirteenth session of the Commission concerning human settlements;

6. Calls upon Member States to strengthen the capacities of UN-Habitat to provide, within its mandate, increased assistance to developing countries, and countries with economies in transition, including through the current pilot phase of the Slum Upgrading Facility;

Follow-up on small island developing States

7. Decides, recalling the decision taken by the Commission at its eleventh session that small island developing States-related issues were to be both considered cross-cutting issues at each session of the Commission and included in the thematic cluster for the Commission in 2014/2015, to devote one day of the review sessions of the Commission to the review of the implementation of the Mauritius Strategy for the Further Implementation of the Programme of Action for the Sustainable Development of Small Island Developing States11 focusing on that year's thematic cluster, as well as on any new developments regarding the sustainable development efforts of small island developing States using existing modalities. In this regard, the Secretary-General is requested to submit a report to the Commission at its review session concerning progress and obstacles in respect of sustainable development in small island developing States and making recommendations on enhancing its implementation.

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UN Commission on Sustainable Development
11th Session
New York, 27 January 2003 & 28 April - 9 May 2003

20. Contributions to Commission from major groups, should be further enhanced:

a) Strengthening major group involvement in the activities of the Commission, including through the participation of representatives from major groups at the appropriate level in an interactive dialogue during high-level segments, taking into account paragraphs 139 (g) and 149 (c) and (d) of the Johannesburg Plan of Implementation;

b) Making multi-stakeholder dialogues more action and implementation-oriented:

c) Enhancing the participation and effective involvement of civil society and other relevant stakeholders in the implementation of Agenda 21, the Programme for the Further Implementation of Agenda 21 and the Johannesburg Plan of Implementation, as well as promoting transparency and broad public participation;

d) Striving for a better balance and better representation of major groups from all regions at the Commission;

e) Active involvement in partnership-related and capacity-building activities at all levels, including the partnerships fairs and learning centers organized as part of the meetings of the Commission.

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World Summit on Sustainable Development
Johannesburg, South Africa 26 August - 4 September 2002

I. Introduction

3. We recognize that the implementation of the outcomes of the Summit should benefit all, particularly women, youth, children and vulnerable groups. Furthermore, the implementation should involve all relevant actors through partnerships, especially between Governments of the North and South, on the one hand, and between Governments and major groups, on the other, to achieve the widely shared goals of sustainable development. As reflected in the Monterrey Consensus,6 such partnerships are key to pursuing sustainable development in a globalizing world.

IX. Other regional initiatives

A. Sustainable development in Latin America and the Caribbean

74. The Initiative envisages the development of actions among countries in the region that may foster South-South cooperation and may count with the support of groups of countries, as well as multilateral and regional organizations, including financial institutions. As a framework for cooperation, the Initiative is open to partnerships with governments and all major groups.

XI. Institutional framework for sustainable development

D. Role of the Economic and Social Council

144. Pursuant to the relevant provisions of the Charter of the United Nations, the provisions of Agenda 21 regarding the Economic and Social Council and General Assembly resolutions 48/162 and 50/227, which reaffirmed the Council as the central mechanism for the coordination of the United Nations system and its specialized agencies and supervision of subsidiary bodies, in particular its functional commissions, and to promote the implementation of Agenda 21 by strengthening system-wide coordination, the Council should:

(c) Make full use of its high-level, coordination, operational activities and the general segments to effectively take into account all relevant aspects of the work of the United Nations on sustainable development. In this context, the Council should encourage the active participation of major groups in its high-level segment and the work of its relevant functional commissions, in accordance with the respective rules of procedure;

E. Role and function of the Commission on Sustainable Development

149. With regard to the practical modalities and programme of work of the Commission, specific decisions on those issues should be taken by the Commission at its next session, when the Commission.s thematic work programme will be elaborated. In particular, the following issues should be considered:

(b) Continuing to provide for more direct and substantive involvement of international organizations and major groups in the work of the Commission;

I. Participation of major groups

168. Enhance partnerships between governmental and non-governmental actors, including all major groups, as well as volunteer groups, on programmes and activities for the achievement of sustainable development at all levels.

169. Acknowledge the consideration being given to the possible relationship between environment and human rights, including the right to development, with full and transparent participation of Member States of the United Nations and observer States.

170. Promote and support youth participation in programmes and activities relating to sustainable development through, for example, supporting local youth councils or their equivalent, and by encouraging their establishment where they do not exist.

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UN Commission on Sustainable Development
9th Session
New York, 5 May 2000 & 16-27 April 2001

Decision 9/1
Energy for sustainable development

B. Issues and options

10. Governments, continuing to have responsibility to develop and apply energy policies to achieve sustainable development, are invited to consider the following options, as appropriate

(m) Strengthening the role of major groups, including women, inter alia, through participation in decision-making, as appropriate;

Decision 9/2. Protection of the atmosphere

10. At the national level, Governments, taking into account their respective national priorities and circumstances, are encouraged, with the support of the international community, to consider, as appropriate:

(f) Increasing public participation of and access of all persons, including major groups, to information on how to reduce health risks caused by air pollution and ozone depletion;

Decision 9/3. Transport

6. A further challenge facing policy makers is the wide variety of stakeholders whose input is relevant in formulating policies and whose assistance is often essential in implementing them effectively. Within and between Governments, coordination and consultation are essential in moving towards sustainable development. Dialogue with major groups is encouraged.

Decision 9/4. Information for decision-making and participation

4. At the national level, Governments, taking into account their priorities and respective national circumstances, with the support of the international community, as appropriate, are encouraged to consider to:

(f) Incorporate sustainable development performance information produced by major groups, including the private sector, in relevant decision-making processes;

Decision 9/5. International cooperation for an enabling environment

3. The process of globalization is one of the elements of the international economic environment and presents opportunities as well as challenges and risks for sustainable development. Globalization has, in principle, the potential to benefit all of the world's people. However, the recent period of rapid globalization has seen an increase in inequality among countries and to some extent within countries. This is due primarily to the fact that the benefits of globalization have not been shared in an equitable manner. Answers must be found to the question of how to advance economic growth and sustainable development in all countries, particularly in developing countries, and to spread the benefits of globalization equitably. Expanding international trade and productive investment, and the accompanying technology transfer, while protecting the environment, as well as strengthened partnerships between developed and developing countries and between the State and major groups, in particular the private sector, can contribute to sustainable development. The international community and Governments have a key role in taking steps to help ensure that globalization supports sustainable development.

8. At the national level, Governments, taking into account their national circumstances and priorities and with the support of the international community, as appropriate, are encouraged to:

(c) Improve opportunities for the private sector, NGOs and other major groups to contribute to sustainable development, economic planning and poverty eradication, including through the formulation and implementation of national sustainable development programmes and/or strategies;

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UN Commission on Sustainable Development
8th Session
New York, 24 April - 5 May 2000

Decision 8/1

Preparations for the 10-year review of progress achieved in the implementation of the outcome of the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development

The Commission on Sustainable Development decides to bring to the attention of the Economic and Social Council and the General Assembly the following recommendations:

(d) The Commission stresses the importance of early and effective preparations for the 2002 review and assessment of progress achieved in the implementation of Agenda 21 and the other outcomes of the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development, to be carried out at the local, national, regional and international levels by Governments and the United Nations system, so as to ensure high-quality inputs to the review process. The Commission encourages effective contributions from, and involvement of, all major groups;

(e) While specific decisions on the preparatory process will be determined by the General Assembly at its fifty-fifth session, the Commission invites early preparations at the local, national and regional levels which should commence immediately after the conclusion of the eighth session of the Commission. In this context, the Commission invites all Governments to undertake national review processes as early as possible. The national reports that have been prepared by Governments since 1992 on national implementation of Agenda 21, and to which major groups have contributed, could provide a fair basis for guiding the national preparatory processes;

(l) The Commission stresses that the preparatory meetings and the 2002 event itself should be transparent and provide for effective participation and input from Governments, and regional and international organizations, including financial institutions, and for contributions from and active participation of major groups, consistent with the rules and regulations established by the United Nations for the participation of major groups in intergovernmental processes;

(m) The Commission recommends that necessary steps be taken to establish a trust fund and urges international and bilateral donors to support preparations for the 10-year review through voluntary contributions to the trust fund and to support participation of representatives from developing countries in the regional and international preparatory process and the 2002 event itself. The Commission encourages voluntary contributions to support the participation of major groups from developing countries in regional and international preparatory processes and the 2002 event itself;

Decision 8/4. Agriculture

46. As part of the ongoing review of progress towards SARD and within existing structures and resources, FAO and the Commission secretariat, in consultation with Governments, relevant international organizations and all major groups, are invited to continue the stakeholder dialogue on SARD, including facilitating the adequate and meaningful participation of stakeholders from developing countries. In preparing for the tenth session of the Commission and the 10-year review of the outcome of the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development, this dialogue should emphasize the identification of specific examples and the development of case studies that illustrate or support the principles of SARD.

Decision 8/5. Financial resources

18. The private sector can play a major role in promoting and contributing to sustainable development. International organizations and Governments should initiate further innovative pilot projects and partnership arrangements that encourage the private sector and other major groups to finance sustainable development.

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UN Commission on Sustainable Development
7th Session
New York, 19-30 April 1999

Decision 7/2. Changing consumption and production patterns

Effective policy development and implementation

7. Governments, in cooperation with relevant international organizations and in partnership with major groups, should:

(a) Further develop and implement policies for promoting sustainable consumption and production patterns, including affordable, more eco-efficient consumption and production, through disincentives for unsustainable practices and incentives for more sustainable practices. A policy mix for this purpose could include regulations, economic and social instruments, procurement policies and voluntary agreements and initiatives to be applied in the light of country-specific conditions;

(b) In order to achieve sustainable consumption and production, promote measures to internalize environmental costs and benefits in the price of goods and services, while seeking to avoid potential negative effects for market access by developing countries, particularly with a view to encouraging the use of environmentally preferable products and commodities. Governments should consider shifting the burden of taxation onto unsustainable patterns of production and consumption; it is of vital importance to achieve such an internalization of environmental costs. Such tax reforms should include a socially responsible process of reduction and elimination of subsidies to environmentally harmful activities;

(c) Work to increase understanding of the role of advertising and mass media and marketing forces in shaping consumption and production patterns, and enhance their role in promoting sustainable development, inter alia, through voluntary initiatives and agreed guidelines;

(d) Develop and implement public awareness programmes with a focus on consumer education and access to information, in particular addressing youth, through, inter alia, integrating the issue of sustainable consumption and production into teaching curricula at all levels, as appropriate, and taking into account gender perspectives and the special concerns of older people;

(e) Improve the quality of information regarding the environmental impact of products and services, and to that end encourage the voluntary and transparent use of eco-labelling;

(f) Further develop, test and improve the preliminary set of indicators for sustainable consumption and production developed under the Commission's work programme, focusing on the practical use of the indicators for policy development, taking into account the special needs and conditions of developing countries;

(g) Ensure that implementation of measures for the above do not result in disguised barriers to trade;

(h) Ensure that implementation of measures for the above take fully into account the ongoing deliberations in relevant international forums.

8. Developed countries should promote and facilitate the transfer of technical know-how, environmentally sound technologies and capacity-building for implementation to developing countries, in accordance with chapter 34 of Agenda 21, and also to countries with economies in transition so as to foster more sustainable consumption and production patterns. Furthermore, private-sector involvement should also be encouraged and promoted. Natural resource management and cleaner production

9. Governments, in cooperation with relevant international organizations and in partnership with major groups, should:

(a) Develop and apply policies to promote public and private investments in cleaner production and the sustainable use of natural resources, including the transfer of environmentally sound technologies to developing countries, in accordance with chapter 34 of Agenda 21, and also to countries with economies in transition;

(b) Collect and disseminate cost-effective best practice experiences in cleaner production and environmental management;

(c) Undertake further analysis of the costs and benefits of demand-side management, and where there is still insufficient information, of supply-side management, including cleaner production and eco-efficiency, and assess the positive and negative impacts on developing and developed countries and countries with economies in transition;

(d) Further develop and implement, as appropriate, cleaner production and ecoefficiency policy approaches, through, inter alia, environmental management systems, integrated product policies, life-cycle management, labelling schemes and performance reporting, and in this context, taking fully into account the national circumstances and needs of the developing countries as well as the relevant ongoing deliberations of the Committee on Technical Barriers to Trade and the Committee on Trade and Environment of the World Trade Organization (WTO). Best practices and results should be shared within the wider community and used for capacity-building, in particular in small and medium-sized enterprises, including in developing countries and countries with economies in transition;

(e) Engage industries and economic sectors, in both public and private sectors, and all other major groups at the national and international levels, as appropriate, in activities relating to sustainable consumption and production with the objective of developing optimal strategies and/or programmes, including targets and timetables, at the appropriate levels for more sustainable consumption and production, including cleaner production and affordable eco-efficiency.

10. The United Nations Environment Programme and the United Nations Industrial Development Organization should, inter alia, through their cleaner production centres, enhance their support to enterprises, in particular small and medium-sized enterprises, in developing countries and countries with economies in transition, especially in the areas of auditing and certification, loan applications and financing, and the marketing of their products on international markets as well as dissemination of information on environmentally sound technology and technical know-how.

11. Recognizing that the implementation of cleaner production and eco-efficiency approaches can lead to reduced costs and improved competitiveness, as well as reduced environmental impacts, business and industry should be encouraged to implement these approaches as a contribution to the achievement of sustainable production. Globalization and its impacts on consumption and production patterns

12. Governments, in cooperation with relevant international organizations and in partnership with major groups, should:

(a) Undertake studies of the impacts of globalization, including both positive and negative impacts of trade, investment, mass media, advertising and marketing in all countries, in particular developing countries. The studies should examine ways and means to mitigate negative impacts and use opportunities to promote more sustainable consumption and production patterns and open and non-discriminatory trade;

(b) Undertake studies on the role of the financial sector in promoting sustainable consumption and production, and further encourage voluntary initiatives suited to national conditions for sustainable development by that sector;

(c) Increase their efforts to make policies on trade and policies on environment, including those on sustainable consumption and production, mutually supportive, without creating disguised barriers to trade;

(d) Study the benefits of traditional values and local cultures in promoting sustainable consumption. Urbanization and its impacts on consumption and production patterns

13. Governments, in cooperation with relevant international organizations and in partnership with major groups, while particularly taking into account the work of the Commission on Human Settlements, should:

(a) Assess and address, in the context of sustainable development, the impacts of urbanization, in particular those related to energy, transport, sanitation, waste management and public health;

(b) Increase efforts to address the critical issues of fresh water and sanitation in human settlements in developing countries through, inter alia, the transfer of environmentally sound technologies and the provision of financial resources for implementation, as elaborated in Agenda 21, as a priority of the international agenda on sustainable consumption and production;

(c) Assess and address the impacts of urbanization on economic, environmental and social conditions. In-depth studies on the key determining factors of quality of life should be undertaken and used to strengthen appropriate human settlement development strategies suited to national conditions, in the context of urbanization.

Decision 7/3. Tourism and sustainable development

3. The Commission urges Governments:

(a) To advance sustainable tourism development, inter alia, through the development and implementation of policies and national strategies or master plans for sustainable tourism development based on Agenda 21, which will encourage their tourism industry, assist in attracting foreign direct investment and appropriate environmentally sound technologies, and also provide focus and direction for the active participation of major groups, including national tourism councils and, as appropriate, tourism agencies and organizations, and the private sector as well as indigenous and local communities;

(b) To consult, as appropriate, with all major groups and local communities in the tourism development process, including policy formulation, planning, management and sharing of benefits, which could reflect the need to harmonize the relationship among the people, the community and the environment;

(c) To work in partnership with major groups, especially at the local level, to ensure active participation in tourism-related planning and development;

(d) To undertake capacity-building work with indigenous and local communities in order to facilitate their active participation, at all levels of the tourism development process, including transparent decision-making and sharing of benefits, and to create awareness of the social, economic and environmental costs and benefits that they are bearing;

(e) To create the appropriate institutional, legal, economic, social and environmental framework by developing and applying a mix of instruments, as appropriate, such as integrated land-use planning and coastal zone management, economic instruments, social and environmental impact assessment for tourist facilities, including gender aspects, and voluntary initiatives and agreements;

(f) To maximize the potential of tourism for eradicating poverty by developing appropriate strategies in cooperation with all major groups, and indigenous and local communities;

(g) To welcome the major groups' agreement to promote sustainable tourism development through music, art and drama and to participate in such educational activities;

5. The Commission invites, as appropriate, Governments and major groups, as well as the United Nations system, in close collaboration with the World Tourism Organization, while building on relevant work carried out by the United Nations Environment Programme, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, the International Labour Organization and the United Nations Development Programme and under the Convention on Biological Diversity and other relevant conventions and organizations, and taking note of the Programme of Action for the Sustainable Development of Small Island Developing States, adopted at Barbados in 1994, 16 to consider undertaking the following initiatives and to keep the Commission on Sustainable Development informed on progress achieved:

(a) To promote sustainable tourism development in order to increase the benefits from the tourism resources for the population in the host communities and maintain the cultural and environmental integrity of the host community; to encourage cooperation of major groups at all levels with a view to facilitating Local Agenda 21 initiatives and promoting linkages within the local economy in order that benefits may be more widely shared; to this end, greater efforts should be undertaken for the employment of the local workforce, and the use of local products and skills;

(b) To support national efforts by countries, especially developing countries and countries with economies in transition, and major groups towards sustainable tourism development through relevant capacity-building activities and programmes as well as multilateral and bilateral financial and technical assistance, and appropriate technologies in all aspects of sustainable tourism development, including environmental impact assessment and management and education in the field of tourism;

(c) To encourage more responsible behaviour among tourists through ensuring respect for national laws, cultural values, social norms and tradition as well as by increasing public awareness, in addition to other measures;

(d) To promote the application of integrated planning approaches to tourism development at the local level, including through encouraging the use of Local Agenda 21 as a process for planning, implementing and monitoring sustainable tourism development and recognizing the potential for integration of Local Agenda 21 with Agenda 21 for the Travel and Tourism Industry as well as other such initiatives;

(e) To provide relevant direction on research activities, and collect and disseminate information on best practices and techniques, including an appropriate mix of instruments to minimize negative and to promote positive environmental, social and cultural impacts from tourism in developed and developing countries and in countries with economies in transition;

(f) To promote the exchange of information on transportation, accommodation and other services, public awareness-raising programmes and education, and various voluntary initiatives and ways to minimize the effects of natural disasters on tourism. Possible forms of this information exchange should be explored in consultation with relevant partners, utilizing, inter alia, such means as bilateral and multilateral arrangements;

(g) To undertake studies on appropriate measures for promoting sustainable tourism development, such as community planning in fragile ecosystems, including in coastal areas, and to develop tools to assist local authorities in determining appropriate management regimes and their capacity for tourism development;

(h) To further develop or support integrated initiatives, preferably through pilot projects, to enhance the diffusion of innovations and to avoid, wherever possible, duplication and waste of resources;

(i) To undertake activities that would be supportive of the preparations for both the International Year of Ecotourism and the International Year of Mountains, as well as activities of the International Coral Reef Initiative;

(j) To clarify further the concepts of sustainable tourism and eco-tourism;

(k) To develop core indicators for sustainable tourism development, taking into account the work of the World Tourism Organization and other relevant organizations, as well as the ongoing testing phase of indicators for sustainable development;

(l) To undertake a comprehensive survey and assessment of the results of implementing existing voluntary initiatives and guidelines relating to the economic, socio cultural and environmental sustainability of tourism, to be reported to the Commission on Sustainable Development in order to identify best practices with respect to raising awareness of sustainable tourism development;

(m) To consider establishing a global network, taking into account the work of the World Tourism Organization, regional mechanisms and all major groups, as appropriate, to promote an exchange of information and views on sustainable tourism development, including on ecotourism;

(n) To cooperate with the United Nations Environment Programme in further developing guiding principles for sustainable tourism development;

(o) To encourage business and industry to take steps to implement eco-efficiency approaches, in order to reduce environmental impacts associated with travel and tourism activities, in particular the volume of packaging waste, especially in small island developing States.

6. The Commission invites the World Tourism Organization to consider informed major groups' participation, as appropriate, in the development, implementation and monitoring of its Global Code of Ethics for Tourism, including those provisions relating to a code of conduct for tourists.

9. The Commission welcomes the work of major groups, especially the business community, trade and tourism industry associations, non-governmental organizations and other groups involved in travel and tourism, to contribute to efforts to achieve sustainable tourism development, including through educational initiatives and action plans based on Agenda 21 and other related documents, and particularly welcomes their commitment through the continuation of their work with all major groups, to do more, and to report to the Commission on Sustainable Development on their progress.

10. The Commission invites the United Nations Secretariat and the World Tourism Organization, in consultation with major groups and other relevant international organizations, to jointly facilitate the establishment of an ad hoc informal open-ended working group on tourism to assess financial leakages and determine how to maximize benefits for indigenous and local communities; and to prepare a joint initiative to improve information availability and capacity-building for participation, and address other matters relevant to the implementation of the international work programme on sustainable tourism development.

Decision 7/4. Education, public awareness and training

1. The Commission on Sustainable Development:

(e) Recognizes the need to broaden cooperation at the international level, building on past experience, and involving all relevant bodies of the United Nations system, Governments and major groups, including non-governmental organizations, business and industry, and youth, as well as the educational community, taking into account national plans and priorities;

Decision 7/6. Voluntary initiatives and agreements

1. The Commission on Sustainable Development:

(d) Also recognizes the potential value of processes which involve Governments and all relevant major groups and other stakeholders for addressing sustainable development issues, and encourages future work on voluntary initiatives and agreement

(e) Encourages all relevant major groups and other stakeholders, in cooperation with relevant United Nations bodies, to continue generating information about voluntary initiatives and agreements, including the most appropriate means for possible reviews, and to make this information widely available, and requests its secretariat to facilitate these efforts, inter alia, through its Internet site;

(f) Stresses the need for better understanding and analysis of the possible impact of voluntary initiatives and agreements on developing countries, and requests all relevant major groups and other stakeholders to report periodically, through the Commission?s secretariat, on steps they have taken or progress they have made in assisting developing countries in understanding and making use of, as appropriate, the lessons to be learned from the use of voluntary initiatives and agreements;

(g) Takes note of the key elements discussed by the various major groups at the Toronto meeting, and encourages further dialogue among all relevant major groups and other stakeholders on voluntary initiatives and agreements and information products, such as the toolkit proposed by the International Chamber of Commerce, that may assist countries and interested organizations in understanding the uses and potential value of voluntary initiatives and agreements in the context of sustainable development.

2. The Commission requests its secretariat to ensure wider participation by the developing countries in the inter-sessional consultative processes.

3. The Commission also requests the Secretary-General to report to it at its eighth session on the progress and developments made in this area.

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UN Commission on Sustainable Development
6th Session
New York, 13 April - 1 May 1998

Decision 6/1. Strategic approaches to freshwater management

B. Institutions, capacity-building and participation

13. The Commission on Sustainable Development:

(a) Urges Governments to establish national coordination mechanisms across all sectors, as already envisaged in the Mar del Plata Action Plan, providing for contributions 13 from government and public authorities and the participation of civil society, including communities affected, in the formulation and implementation of integrated water resources development and management plans and policies. Such mechanisms should also provide for participation by communities and water users. This involves the participation at the appropriate levels, of water users and the public in planning, implementing and evaluating water resources activities. It is particularly important to broaden women's participation and integrate gender analysis in water planning;

Decision 6/2. Industry and sustainable development

1. The Commission on Sustainable Development reaffirmed that in order to achieve sustainable development, Governments, in cooperation with non-State actors, need to undertake greater efforts to integrate economic, social and environmental goals into industrial policy and decision-making. Towards this end, Governments need to expand and intensify cooperation with industry, trade unions and other groups of civil society. The Commission took note of the Chairman's summary of the industry segment of its sixth session. The following recommendations of the Commission are based on the report of the Secretary- General on industry and sustainable development and the report of the Inter-sessional Ad 15 Hoc Working Group on Industry and Sustainable Development (see annex).

10. The Commission acknowledged that, in dealing with the problems of industrialization, social policy has not always been gender neutral. In view of persistent gender disparities in areas such as income, employment, education and health, Governments, industry, trade unions, women's organizations and other organizations of civil society should work together towards the elimination of discrimination against women.

C. Industry and environmental protection

14. The Commission stressed that the overriding task facing Governments is to maximize the positive influence of industrial activities on economic and social development, while minimizing the negative impact of production and consumption on the environment. To this end, Governments should review their regulatory policies and systems of economic incentives and disincentives and undertake other actions such as capacity-building, environmental data collection and enforcement that support the environmental protection efforts of industry and civil society. Governments should encourage the wider dispersion and implementation of industry's voluntary initiatives and agreements and sharing of best practices.

8. Since the role of the private sector has expanded in most economies, effective sustainable development policies require constructive dialogue and partnerships between Government at all levels, industry, trade unions and civil society, including women's organizations. There is a need to build and extend this dialogue. There are many good examples of the new partnerships that are required. They include partnerships between Government and industry to tackle global challenges like climate change, partnerships between companies in developed and developing countries to create and spread cleaner technologies and improved environmental management, partnerships at national and local levels between companies and all of their stakeholders, and increased dialogue between industry and the United Nations system.

Decision 6/3. Transfer of environmentally sound technology, capacity-building, education and public awareness and science for sustainable development

1. The Commission on Sustainable Development:

(g) Welcomes the trend demonstrated in each of the areas towards greater public participation and decentralization, including broader civil society consultations, citizen empowerment and increasing public/private partnership and networks, resulting in more demand-driven efforts at capacity-building, education and public awareness, science development and transfer of environmentally sound technology;

(h) Recognizes the special needs, skills and experience of girls and women, youth, indigenous people and local communities, as well as vulnerable and marginalized groups, in all areas of capacity-building, education and training, science and the use of environmentally sound technology and stresses the need to ensure their equal access to educational and capacity-building opportunities and greater involvement in decision-making at all levels;

C. Education, public awareness and training

6. The Commission on Sustainable Development:

(g) Welcomes the contributions of major groups in sharing case studies of innovative practices in promoting, in particular, education, public awareness and training within their respective contexts, including youth-sponsored initiatives, encourages their continued action through such activities, and requests that the Commission continue to be informed of such work at future sessions;

7. Taking into account the work programme on education, public awareness and training initiated at its fourth session, the Commission:

(f) With regard to identifying and sharing innovative practices:

(i) Invites the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization to continue to work on the international electronic registry and knowledge management system for chapter 36 and requests that this information be made available in both electronic and conventional formats to all countries, in particular the developing countries. Innovative programme and projects from all sources, such as various major groups, including industry, women, youth and non-governmental organizations, should be encouraged and included in this inventory;

D. Science for sustainable development

9. The Commission on Sustainable Development:

(d) Urges the scientific community to work with government authorities, the education community, major groups and international organizations to strengthen science education at all levels and to overcome the communication gaps within the scientific community and between scientists, policy makers and the general public;

(e) Invites Governments, the United Nations system and major groups to provide information on best practices and other illustrative examples related to the future sectoral themes of the Commission where science has been effectively employed to support the development and implementation of policies in these sectors;

D. Future work:

17. The Commission recognized the value of the interactive dialogue between representatives of Governments, industry, trade unions, non-governmental organizations and international organizations in the industry segment of its sixth session, which focused on four themes: responsible entrepreneurship, corporate management tools, technology cooperation and assessment, and industry and freshwater. Similar dialogues should be held in the future, taking into account that their preparation must take place in the intergovernmental process and with balanced representation of all major groups from developed and developing countries.

18. The Commission noted the potential value of a review of voluntary initiatives and agreements to give content and direction to the dialogue between Governments and the representatives of industry, trade unions, non-governmental organizations and international organizations. As a first step, representatives of industry, trade unions and non-governmental organizations should examine voluntary initiatives and agreements to identify those elements that can be considered for this review. The Department of Economic and Social Affairs of the United Nations Secretariat could provide assistance in this process. Special attention should be given to the balanced involvement in the process of representatives from all major groups from developed and developing countries. The Secretariat should make the results of this review available to Governments. The Commission invited the Department, in cooperation with the United Nations Environment Agency and the United Nations Industrial Development Organization to examine how voluntary initiatives and agreements could contribute to the future work of the Commission and to report on the result of this work to the Commission at its seventh session.

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United Nations General Assembly
19th Special Session
New York, 23-27 June 1997

II. ASSESSMENT OF PROGRESS MADE SINCE THE UNITED NATIONS CONFERENCE ON ENVIRONMENT AND DEVELOPMENT

12. The major groups have demonstrated what can be achieved by taking committed action, sharing resources and building consensus, reflecting grass-roots concern and involvement. The efforts of local authorities are making Agenda 21 and the pursuit of sustainable development a reality at the local level through the implementation of "local Agenda 21s" and other sustainable development programmes. Non-governmental organizations, educational institutions, the scientific community and the media have increased public awareness and discussion of the relations between environment and development in all countries. The involvement, role and responsibilities of business and industry, including transnational corporations, are important. Hundreds of small and large businesses have made "green business" a new operating mode. Workers and trade unions have established partnerships with employers and communities to encourage sustainable development in the workplace. Farmer-led initiatives have resulted in improved agricultural practices contributing to sound resource management. Indigenous people have played an increasing role in addressing issues affecting their interests and particularly concerning their traditional knowledge and practices. Young people and women around the world have played a prominent role in galvanizing communities into recognizing their responsibilities to future generations. Nevertheless, more opportunities should be created for women to participate effectively in economic, social and political development as equal partners in all sectors of the economy.

IV. INTERNATIONAL INSTITUTIONAL ARRANGEMENTS

D. Methods of work of the Commission on Sustainable Development

133. Based on the experience gained during the period 1993-1997, the Commission, under the guidance of the Economic and Social Council, should:

(e) Strengthen its interaction with representatives of major groups, including through greater and better use of focused dialogue sessions and round tables. These groups are important resources in operationalizing, managing and promoting sustainable development and contribute to the implementation of Agenda 21. The major groups are encouraged to adopt arrangements for coordination and interaction in providing inputs to the Commission. Taking into account the Commission's programme of work, this could include inputs from:

(i) The scientific community and research institutions, relating to the greater understanding of the interactions between human activity and natural ecosystems and on how to manage global systems sustainably;

(ii) Women, children and youth, indigenous people and their communities, non-governmental organizations, local authorities, workers and their trade unions and farmers on the elaboration, promotion and sharing of effective strategies, policies, practices and processes to promote sustainable development;

(iii) Business and industry groups on the elaboration, promotion and sharing of sustainable development practices and the promotion of corporate responsibility and accountability;

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UN Commission on Sustainable Development
4th Session
New York, 18 April - 3 May 1996

Decision 4/9. Major groups

1. The Commission on Sustainable Development:

(a) Welcomes the contributions of major groups to its fourth session and their continued participation in Agenda 21 follow-up at the local, national, regional and international levels. Their commitment to sustainable development objectives strengthens the Commission's work and efforts in this direction throughout the world;

(b) Also welcomes the work of the major group sectors in preparing the Day of the Workplace and the youth panel/exhibition for the fourth session of the Commission. The Commission also welcomes the financial and other support provided by Governments and international organizations to these special events and calls on Governments, international organizations and the private sector to continue assisting through these activities in the preparations for future events;

(c) Stresses the positive experience gained from the special events focusing on particular major groups and recognizes that the success of these events was due in part to the partnerships catalysed among the major group partners and their networks;

(d) Welcomes General Assembly resolution 50/113 of 20 December 1995, in which the Assembly recognized the important role played by major groups at the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development and in the implementation of its recommendations and recognized the need for their active involvement in preparations for the special session, as well as the need to ensure appropriate arrangements for their contribution during the special session;

(e) Recognizing the important contribution by all major groups on issues related to sustainable development, invites their active participation during the preparations for and at both the 1997 session of the Commission on Sustainable Development and the 1997 special session of the General Assembly for the five-year comprehensive review of Agenda 21;

(f) Welcomes the initiative of the International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives, together with the Department for Policy Coordination and Sustainable Development of the United Nations Secretariat, to assess the state of local Agenda 21 initiatives through a worldwide survey, and invites Governments and the national sustainable development coordination institutions to give their full support in gathering this valuable information for the 1997 review process;

(g) Emphasizes the need to preserve and expand major group participation, as appropriate, in the Commission on Sustainable Development and in relevant international organizations whose work is an essential part of the Agenda 21 follow-up process;

(h) Recognizing the efforts of major groups organizations, in particular non-governmental organizations, in mobilizing technical and financial assistance to support the sustainable development initiatives of developing countries, encourages further action in this regard, particularly by those organizations that are able to effect such action.

2. The Commission therefore:

(a) Encourages all parties to uphold the objective of partnership in their collaboration with major groups at all levels and in preparation for the special events that may be organized in the context of the 1997 review;

(b) Encourages Governments and international organizations to actively support the initiatives of major groups aiming to make contributions to the 1997 review;

(c) Encourages Governments to involve major group representatives in the preparations for the 1997 review process at the national level and to favourably consider including major group representatives in national delegations to the fifth session of the Commission on Sustainable Development, and, as appropriate, to the special session of the General Assembly in June 1997;

(d) Supports the recommendations agreed to at the second session 11/ and the third session 12/ of the Commission and endorsed by the Economic and Social Council in its decisions 1994/300 and 1995/235 concerning the accreditation of non-governmental organizations to the Commission, and recommends that the Council, at its substantive session of 1996, decide to keep those non-governmental organizations accredited to the Commission by Council decision 1993/220 on the Roster, as envisaged in Council decision 1993/215;

(e) Invites the General Assembly, through the Economic and Social Council, to ensure, in conformity with Assembly resolution 50/113, appropriate arrangements for the most effective contribution to and active involvement of major groups, including non-governmental organizations, in the special session of the Assembly in 1997;

(f) Requests United Nations organizations to foster the emerging trends towards greater openness and transparency with respect to major groups, and calls upon them, as appropriate, to broaden the scope of their cooperation with major groups;

(g) Requests major groups to report to the Commission on Sustainable Development on positive examples of recent international meetings, conferences and panels where innovative approaches to major group participation have been taken;

(h) Emphasizes the need to achieve comprehensive reporting as well as independent assessments as prepared by major groups, and requests the secretariat of the Commission as well as other United Nations bodies to maintain continuous collaboration with major groups;

(i) Requests further efforts by Governments, United Nations organizations and other bodies to develop simple and accessible information materials related to Agenda 21 so as to assist people at the local level in taking a more active role both in assessing social, economic and environmental conditions, and in participating in decision-making processes for sustainable development at the local level.

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UN Commission on Sustainable Development
3rd Session
New York, 11-28 April 1995

3. Major groups

19. The Commission noted that major group organizations were forging strong linkages between their activities and contributions to Agenda 21 and international conference processes and expressed its appreciation of the efforts of those organizations to maintain Agenda 21 as the umbrella framework for achieving sustainable development.

20. The Commission noted with appreciation the series of events highlighting the role of local authorities and the local Agenda 21 process, under the banner of "A Day of Local Authorities", during the current session, and requested that similar projects and activities highlighting the role of other major group sectors be carried out in future years. One such activity, for the fourth session, in 1996, could involve case-studies on partnerships in the workplace, involving two major group sectors: workers and trade unions and business and industry. It could also involve case-studies of successful environmental management/sustainable development policies of small- and medium-sized enterprises. In that context, a programme of events focusing on the role and contribution of major groups could be organized on the margins of the fourth session. Governments, international organizations and private sources were invited to provide voluntary funding support for such special events.

21. The Commission welcomed and encouraged the emerging practice of including representatives of major groups in national delegations to the Commission as an effective way of increasing the participation of such groups at the international level.

22. The Commission reiterated the importance of enabling and empowering partnerships between the governmental, intergovernmental and non-governmental sectors in achieving the goals of Agenda 21. It emphasized national-level participation of major groups in the implementation and monitoring of Agenda 21 inter alia, through national coordinating mechanisms, including national councils on sustainable development or national networks of major groups, and recommended that such participation needed to be further encouraged, strengthened and expanded. The Commission:

a) Noted with appreciation the efforts of those countries that had supported major group participation in the national coordinating mechanisms;

b) Recommended that both the existing and the to-be-established national coordination mechanisms should strive to achieve the representation of all relevant major group sectors in their composition;

c) Recommended that in establishing these mechanisms, national and local major group organizations should choose their own representatives, in accordance with national consultative mechanisms;

d) Recognized the importance of efforts to enable the participation of major groups at the international and regional levels.

23. The Commission recognized the efforts of Governments, United Nations organizations and major groups that had promoted major group involvement in inter-sessional meetings and other meetings relevant to the work of the Commission, and:

a) Recommended that all concerned continue to involve major groups in inter-sessional events and other relevant meetings, particularly with the aim of enabling a multiplier effect in terms of the diversity of major-group sectors and organizations invited;

b) Encouraged partnerships among Governments, intergovernmental organizations and the major groups in jointly organizing future inter-sessional activities and other relevant meetings.

24. The Commission recognized the desirability of increased funding to undertake efforts that increased major-group participation in the Commission's sessions, its inter-sessional activities and other meetings relevant to the follow-up of Agenda 21. This would be particularly desirable in the case of major-group organizations from developing countries and countries with economies in transition. The Commission urged interested institutions to explore the possibility of creating suitable arrangements to that end.

25. The Commission emphasized the importance of regular information exchange. Electronic networks were pointed out as an effective and efficient mode of channelling information between major groups and intergovernmental and governmental organizations. The Commission requested Governments and international organizations, in collaboration with such major groups as business and industry and the academic communities, to explore ways of increasing the availability of and access to such electronic systems, especially in developing countries, and urged all countries to seek and enable appropriate public-private partnerships.

26. The Commission, having noted the important contribution of major groups to its work, recommended that the overall access of major groups, including non-governmental organizations, to the work of the Commission throughout the year be defined. Without prejudice to the outcome of the general review of arrangements for consultation with non-governmental organizations to be carried out by the Economic and Social Council, the Commission recommended that:

a) In reviewing the arrangements for consultation with non-governmental organizations, the Economic and Social Council ensure that major groups, including non-governmental organizations, relevant to the work of the Commission were given the opportunity to participate in the Commission's work;

b) The implementation of Economic and Social Council decision 1994/300 concerning chapter I, paragraph 24, of the report of the Commission on its second session 4/ not result in the interruption of the participation of non-governmental organizations in the work of the Commission. To this end, Roster status should be continued through the completion of any processes resulting from the Council review.

27. The Commission, while noting the increase in the quantity and quality of inputs from major groups, felt that there was a need to ensure that the information submitted by major-group organizations for the Commission's reporting process was fully utilized in the analyses under the various sectoral and cross-sectoral reports. The Commission requested the Inter-Agency Committee on Sustainable Development to elaborate on that issue to achieve the best and coordinated use of major-group submissions, and to submit the results to the Commission at its fourth session.

28. The Commission reaffirmed that recognizing and strengthening the role of major groups at the national and local levels were important for their effective participation in the process of sustainable development. It requested the Secretary-General to include information and developments in that area in his report on major groups to be submitted to the Commission at its fourth session.

29. The Commission stressed the particular role of youth groups in the context of sustainable development: the young were those who would suffer if long-tern development was not sustainable; their enthusiasm and sense of commitment were necessary elements in all strategies for sustainable development.

30. In view of the convening of the Fourth World Conference on Women: Action for Equality, Development and Peace, to be held in Beijing in September 1995, the Commission stressed the central role played by women in creating appropriate conditions for sustainable development and invited the Conference to fully include the need for sustainable development in its deliberations.

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UN Commission on Sustainable Development
2nd Session
New York, 6-27 April 1994

3. Major groups

15. The Commission recognizes the indispensable role that major groups and their representatives play in the implementation of Agenda 21, but acknowledges the need to improve the quality of information about the problems, needs and contributions of major groups to the implementation of Agenda 21 and other commitments made at the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development.

16. The Commission stresses the vital role of womeLaunch Internet Explorer Browsern, in particular, in bringing about sustainable development. The Commission is of the view that the forthcoming United Nations conferences, such as the International Conference on Population and Development, the World Summit for Social Development, the Second United Nations Conference on Human Settlements (Habitat II) and the Fourth World Conference on Women: Action for Equality, Development and Peace, will be conducive to the empowerment of women, which is necessary to enable them to play that vital role.

17. The Commission also stresses the central place of future generations within the concept of sustainable development and encourages the participation of children and youth, and their organizations, in the implementation of Agenda 21. It notes the need to increase efforts in relevant education and training to attain the changes in attitude of present and future generations necessary for sustainable development.

18. Governments and international organizations, as well as major groups themselves, particularly those from the developing countries, are encouraged to take concrete steps to enhance the involvement of major groups and to provide information on the extent of the involvement of major group organizations, comprising, inter alia, non-governmental organizations and the private sector, in efforts and programmes to realize the goals of Agenda 21. The Commission suggests that such information, submitted on a voluntary basis, might include:

a) The extent of major group involvement in sustainable development activities, including participation in project design and implementation and evaluation of projects at the local, national, regional, subregional and international levels;

b) Innovative methods that have increased the quality and quantity of consultations with major group representatives and organizations;

c)Indicators of major group involvement, including financial and resource allocations made to them, as well as their own involvement in the provision of technical assistance and other types of support for Agenda 21 activities;

d)Identification of obstacles and difficulties related to major group participation and steps taken to overcome them;

e) Compilation and publication of case-studies, preferably undertaken in the four regional areas, by major groups and Governments, on the successful or unsuccessful efforts of major groups, in sustainable development programmes and activities; these case-studies should also include a one-page executive summary.

19. Such information should be provided annually, in the context of reports and periodic communications on the activities relevant to the Agenda 21 clusters to be discussed at future sessions of the Commission in accordance with the multi-year programme of work of the Commission.

20. The Secretary-General is requested to continue to include relevant information received from major groups in the documentation prepared for future sessions of the Commission.

21. The Commission stresses the need for major groups, their representatives and organizations to play an active and substantive role in the implementation of Agenda 21, including the holding of seminars, round tables and multi-stakeholder meetings on the yearly thematic topics discussed by the Commission.

22. The Commission calls upon international organizations, particularly those with field offices, within their respective mandates and in compliance with the laws, sustainable development strategies and priorities of the countries concerned, to enhance the contribution of major group organizations to sustainable development and to encourage more active involvement of major group representatives in their activities.

23. The Commission encourages all major groups, in particular those in the private sector, to engage in creating multi-stakeholder partnerships and to carry out concrete partnership projects.

24. The Commission recommends that the overall access of major groups, including non-governmental organizations, to the Commission's work throughout the year be clarified and enhanced, and, without prejudice to the outcome of the general review of arrangements for consultations with non-governmental organizations to be carried out by the Economic and Social Council, recommends that:

(a) The Economic and Social Council at its substantive session of 1994 place non-governmental organizations accredited to the Commission by Council decision 1993/220 on the Roster, as envisaged in Council decision 1993/215;

(b) The Council continue to grant Roster status to those non-governmental organizations that were accredited to the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development and that confirm their interest in being accredited to the Commission.

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UN Commission on Sustainable Development
1st Session
New York, 14-25 April 1993

MULTI-YEAR THEMATIC PROGRAMME OF WORK OF THE COMMISSION

I. AGENDA 21 CLUSTERS AS RECOMMENDED AT THE ORGANIZATIONAL SESSION OF THE COMMISSION

E. Roles of major groups

1. Preamble to section III on strengthening the role of major groups (chapter 23).

2. Global action for women towards sustainable and equitable development (chapter 24).

3. Children and youth in sustainable development (chapter 25).

4. Recognizing and strengthening the role of indigenous people and their communities (chapter 26).

5. Strengthening the role of non-governmental organizations: partners for sustainable development (chapter 27).

6. Local authorities - initiatives in support of Agenda 21 (chapter 28).

7. trengthening the role of workers and their trade unions (chapter 29).

8. Strengthening the role of business and industry (chapter 30).

9. Scientific and technological community (chapter 31).

10. Strengthening the role of farmers (chapter 32).

II. PROPOSED PROGRAMME OF WORK

1994 Session
E. Roles of major groups

Chapters 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32.
Review of sectoral clusters, first phase.

1995 Session
E. Roles of major groups

Chapters 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32.
Review of sectoral clusters, second phase.

1996 Session
E. Roles of major groups

Chapters 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32:
Review of sectoral clusters, third phase.

1997 Session

Overall review and appraisal of Agenda 21 in preparation for the special session of the General Assembly in 1997 envisaged in resolution 47/190.

Issues relating to the future work of the Commission

18. The consideration of contributions from non-governmental organizations should be based on the procedural arrangements for the Commission set out in Economic and Social Council decision 1993/215. The Commission may decide on specific arrangements for holding special informal meetings during its sessions in order to have a direct informal dialogue with representatives of non-governmental organizations and major groups.

26. The Secretariat should take into account the particular clusters of the multi-year thematic programme of work of the Commission and be guided by the following list of issues as regards the information to be included in the analytical reports envisaged in paragraph 28 below:

(b) Institutional mechanisms to address sustainable development issues, including the participation of non-governmental sectors and major groups in those mechanisms;

(m) Other relevant environment and development issues, including those affecting youth, women and other major groups.

28. In order to organize the information provided by Governments, the Secretary-General is requested to prepare, taking into account regional and subregional dimensions, the following analytical reports for future sessions of the Commission:

(b) Thematic reports, corresponding to the Agenda 21 sectoral clusters to be included on the agendas of forthcoming sessions of the Commission, in accordance with its multi-year programme of work. These reports should address the interrelationships between sectoral and cross-sectoral issues, reflecting the integrated nature of environment and development, including its social dimensions, and should include the following information:

(v) Specific problems and constraints encountered by Governments at all levels, including local Agenda 21 activities and activities related to major groups;

38. The Commission stresses the importance of enhancing cooperation between the organs, programmes and organizations of the United Nations system and non-governmental organizations and major groups, under relevant United Nations rules of procedure. The Commission expresses support for the convening of inter-agency consultations with major groups, where specifically provided for in Agenda 21.

39. The Commission invites all international organizations, including international financial institutions, to undertake further measures to fully incorporate the outcome of the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development in their work programmes, and to provide it with further reports on their activities to follow up the Conference, focusing on the clusters of its multi-year thematic programme of work. The Commission requests the Secretary-General to ensure that the reports requested in section B above will, inter alia:

(b) Identify gaps and opportunities for cooperation, including cooperation with non-governmental organizations and major groups;

50. Recognizing that the Commission has been mandated to review progress concerning the transfer of environmentally sound technologies, cooperation and capacity-building for the implementation of Agenda 21, the Commission has decided to prepare for the discussion at its second session through the establishment of an inter-sessional ad hoc open-ended working group, for a trial period of one year, to be composed of Governments that will nominate experts to assist in the task of assessing and suggesting specific measures to support and promote access to and transfer of technology, as indicated in paragraph 34.18 of Agenda 21, in particular subparagraphs (a) and (e), and on the basis of the above, in the development of the policy framework to facilitate, promote and finance technology transfer, particularly in relation to the sectoral clusters under consideration. The Commission calls on its Bureau to coordinate the work of the ad hoc open-ended working group, as well as the inputs from other experts in relevant fields, including non-governmental organizations, the private sector and other major groups. The Commission requests the Secretary-General to provide support, within existing resources, to organize the above-mentioned working group. The Commission will decide on the agenda and procedures for the working group, which will report on its findings to the Commission.

51. In accordance with Economic and Social Council decision 1993/215, the ad hoc working group should have a dialogue and interaction with representatives of non-governmental organizations and major groups, under the relevant rules of procedure, ensuring equitable participation of non-governmental organizations from developed and developing countries and from all regions.

54. The Commission emphasizes the importance of engaging in dialogue and interaction with other relevant intergovernmental organizations, non-governmental organizations, the private sector, including the relevant transnational corporations, and other major groups, to encourage new forms of technology cooperation and partnership in technological areas of particular relevance to developing countries.

64. In accordance with Economic and Social Council resolution 1993/215, the ad hoc working group should have a dialogue and interaction with representatives of non-governmental organizations and major groups, under the relevant rules of procedure, ensuring equitable participation of non-governmental organizations from developed and developing countries and from all regions.

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