The Division for Sustainable Development Goals (DSDG) in the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA) acts as the Secretariat for the SDGs, providing substantive support and capacity-building for the goals and their related thematic issues, including water, energy, climate, oceans, urbanization, transport, science and technology, the Global Sustainable Development Report (GSDR), partnerships and Small Island Developing States. DSDG plays a key role in the evaluation of UN systemwide implementation of the 2030 Agenda and on advocacy and outreach activities relating to the SDGs.
The Division's work provides analytical inputs for intergovernmental deliberations on sustainable development, including through its science-policy interface. The Division leads the drafting of Secretary-General’s reports on sustainable development topics. It contributes studies and analytical inputs to the review of major conferences related to sustainable development. For this purpose, it undertakes reviews of assessments of sustainable development challenges. The Division has led the pilot versions of the Global Sustainable Development Report, which aims to strengthen the science-policy interface at the HLPF. It investigates integrated policy responses in a number of priority areas such as sustainable development goals, technology facilitation, green economy, sustainable transport, sustainable cities, oceans, climate change in the context of sustainable development and the nexus among energy, food and water. The Division also co-hosts - on behalf of DESA - the secretariat for the Technology Facilitation Mechanism, including its annual multi-stakeholder forum on Science, Technology and Innovation for SDGs (STI Forum), together with UNEP.
Capacity development is targeted towards translating decisions of UN intergovernmental bodies related to sustainable development into actual policies and actions on the ground. The Division, with support from its three offices away from the Headquarters, and in collaboration with other UN entities and UN country teams, focuses on supporting Member States in preparing their voluntary national reviews at the High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development, as well as building capacity for integrated planning and policy design, linking to the national planning process key sectoral areas such as transport, agriculture, energy, water and sanitation, sustainable cities, waste management and disaster reduction, as appropriate. These activities in turn allow the Division to inform intergovernmental bodies on the relevance and impact of normative and analytical efforts at the national, regional and global levels.
The Division works to mobilize the UN system and other relevant organizations to support sustainable development strategies and the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The Division provides Secretariats for several inter-agency mechanisms, namely UN-Water and UN-Energy, and contributes closely to the inter-agency process on Oceans and Transport. It also co-chairs an informal mechanism, the Inter-Agency Consultative Group on SIDS.
Sustainable development decision making requires broad participation of all. The Division therefore aims to support the effective participation of Major Groups (as defined in Agenda 21) and other stakeholders in the UN political processes, including through efforts to build their capacity, knowledge and skills base.
It also supports, facilitates and monitors multi-stakeholder partnerships and voluntary commitments announced at various international sustainable development conferences through its Partnerships for SDGs online platform.
The Division serves Member States, Major Groups and other stakeholders, as well as the general public, by providing wide access to information and knowledge for sustainable development, through its online Sustainable Development Knowledge Platform and social media outlets.