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Intergovernmental Decisions

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

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

(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;


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

Paragraph 14. Underscores that reporting to the Commission should be guided by the following considerations:

(a) Reporting should reflect the overall progress made on the three dimensions of sustainable development, focusing on the thematic cluster of issues for the cycle, and should include inputs from all levels, as appropriate, including the national, subregional, regional and global levels, and drawing on those sources as the following:

(ii) The contributions of United Nations agencies, programmes and funds, the Global Environment Facility and international financial and trade institutions;
(iii) The outcomes of regional and subregional meetings and activities, as appropriate;
(iv) The contributions of major groups, including scientific experts, as well as educators, taking into account paragraphs 139 (g) and 149 (c) and (d) of the Johannesburg Plan of Implementation, on their results-oriented activities concerning the implementation of Agenda 21, the Programme for the Further Implementation of Agenda 21 and the Johannesburg Plan of Implementation;

(b) The existing reporting systems should be used to the fullest extent possible and will be expected to provide the bulk of information required;

(c) Reporting should focus on concrete progress in implementation, taking into account the three dimensions of sustainable development and their integration, and should include information-sharing, lessons learned, progress made and best practices, identifying actions taken, constraints, challenges and opportunities;

(d) The effective use of indicators, as described in paragraph 13 above;

(e) Country reporting should provide information on the status of national strategies for sustainable development;

15. Requests the secretariat of the Commission, working in close cooperation with other organizations of the United Nations system, to:

(a) Take measures to streamline reporting in order to avoid duplication and unnecessary burden on States, including in accordance with the Secretary-General’s report on United Nations reform;

(b) Provide focused information that highlights relevant trends, constraints, challenges and emerging issues;

(c) Provide technical assistance to countries, upon their request, in national reporting through regular and extrabudgetary sources;

16. Invites the secretariat of the Commission to improve national reporting guidelines and questionnaires with the intention of making reporting more efficient and less burdensome on countries and more focused on implementation, bearing in mind the provisions of the present resolution, in consultation with Governments, United Nations organizations and secretariats of multilateral environmental agreements, and to report to the Commission for its consideration.


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

Johannesburg Plan of Implementation

E. Role and function of the Commission on Sustainable Development

145. The Commission on Sustainable Development should continue to be the high-level commission on sustainable development within the United Nations system and serve as a forum for consideration of issues related to integration of the three dimensions of sustainable development. Although the role, functions and mandate of the Commission as set out in relevant parts of Agenda 21 and adopted in General Assembly resolution 47/191 continue to be relevant, the Commission needs to be strengthened, taking into account the role of relevant institutions and organizations. An enhanced role of the Commission should include reviewing and monitoring progress in the implementation of Agenda 21 and fostering coherence of implementation, initiatives and partnerships.

148. In relation to its role in facilitating implementation, the Commission should emphasize the following:

(d) Provide a forum for analysis and exchange of experience on measures that assist sustainable development planning, decision-making and the implementation of sustainable development strategies. In this regard, the Commission could give consideration to more effective use of national and regional reports.


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