Issues Brief 10 - Regional, national and local level governance for sustainable development
UN-DESA, 2011
This Brief addresses the main issues involved in strengthening governance for sustainable development below the international level. At the regional level, it considers how to strengthen coherence among the UN bodies engaged in providing normative and operational support to Member States, but it also looks at the question of broader coherence and coordination with other relevant institutions. At the national and local levels, the focus is principally on how country-specific institutions can be strengthened and coordinate more closely in implementing aspects of the sustainable development agenda. Finally, the question of coordination and linkage across governance levels ? what we call ?vertical integration? ? is addressed.


Subsidiarity is a useful starting point in considering governance at different levels. It states that matters ought to be handled by the smallest, lowest or least centralized competent authority. This applies in sustainable development governance as in other areas, with the possible qualification that by its nature sustainable development governance involves effective horizontal and vertical coordination among institutions.

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