Decisions by Topic: Institutional Frameworks and international cooperation for Sustainable Development
A/RES/70/1 - Transforming our world: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development

Goal 16. Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for
all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels

16.1 Significantly reduce all forms of violence and related death rates everywhere
16.2 End abuse, exploitation, trafficking nd all forms of violence against and torture of children
16.3 Promote the rule of law at the national and international levels and ensure equal access to justice for all
16.4 By 2030, significantly reduce illicit financial and arms flows, strengthen the recovery and return of stolen assets and combat all forms of organized crime
16.5 Substantially reduce corruption and bribery in all their forms
16.6 Develop effective, accountable and transparent institutions at all levels
16.7 Ensure responsive, inclusive, participatory and representative decision-making at all levels
16.8 Broaden and strengthen the participation of developing countries in the institutions of global governance
16.9 By 2030, provide legal identity for all, including birth registration
16.10 Ensure public access to information and protect fundamental freedoms, in accordance with national legislation and international agreements
16.a Strengthen relevant national institutions, including through international cooperation, for building capacity at all levels, in particular in developing countries, to prevent violence and combat terrorism and crime
16.b Promote and enforce non-discriminatory laws and policies for sustainable development

A/RES/69/313- Addis Ababa Action Agenda of the Third International Conference on Financing for Development (Addis Ababa Action Agenda)

50. International public finance plays an important role in complementing the efforts of countries to mobilize public resources domestically, especially in the poorest and most vulnerable countries with limited domestic resources. Our ambitious agenda puts significant demands on public budgets and capacities, which requires scaled-up and more effective international support, including both concessional and non-concessional financing. We welcome the increase of all forms of international public finance since Monterrey and are determined to step up our respective efforts in support of the post-2015 development agenda. We recognize that we share common goals and common ambitions to strengthen international development cooperation and maximize its effectiveness, transparency, impact and results. In this regard, we welcome the progress achieved in elaborating the principles that apply to our respective efforts to increase the impact of our cooperation. We will continue to strengthen our dialogue to enhance our common understanding and improve knowledge-sharing.

51. We welcome the increase in volume of ODA since Monterrey. Nonetheless, we express our concern that many countries still fall short of their ODA commitments and we reiterate that the fulfilment of all ODA commitments remains crucial. ODA providers reaffirm their respective commitments, including the commitment by many developed countries to achieve the target of 0.7 per cent of ODA/GNI and 0.15 to 0.20 per cent of ODA/GNI to least developed countries. We are encouraged by those few countries that have met or surpassed their commitment to 0.7 per cent of ODA/GNI and the target of 0.15 to 0.20 per cent of ODA/GNI to least developed countries. We urge all others to step up efforts to increase their ODA and to make additional concrete efforts towards the ODA targets. We welcome the decision by the European Union which reaffirms its collective commitment to achieve the 0.7 per cent of ODA/GNI target within the time frame of the post-2015 agenda, and undertakes to meet collectively the target of 0.15 to 0.20 per cent of ODA/GNI to least developed countries in the short term, and to reach 0.20 per cent of ODA/GNI to least developed countries within the time frame of the post-2015 agenda. We encourage ODA providers to consider setting a target to provide at least 0.20 per cent of ODA/GNI to least developed countries.

52. We recognize the importance of focusing the most concessional resources on those with the greatest needs and least ability to mobilize other resources. In this regard we note with great concern the decline in the share of ODA to least developed countries and commit to reversing this decline. We are encouraged by those who are allocating at least 50 per cent of their ODA to least developed countries.

53. We stress the importance of mobilizing greater domestic support towards the fulfilment of ODA commitments, including through raising public awareness, and providing data on aid effectiveness and demonstrating tangible results. We encourage partner countries to build on progress achieved in ensuring that ODA is used effectively to help to achieve development goals and targets. We encourage the publication of forward-looking plans which increase clarity, predictability and transparency of future development cooperation, in accordance with national budget allocation processes. We urge countries to track and report resource allocations for gender equality and women’s empowerment.

54. An important use of international public finance, including ODA, is to catalyse additional resource mobilization from other sources, public and private. It can support improved tax collection and help to strengthen domestic enabling environments and build essential public services. It can also be used to unlock additional finance through blended or pooled financing and risk mitigation, notably for infrastructure and other investments that support private sector development.

55. We will hold open, inclusive and transparent discussions on the modernization of the ODA measurement and on the proposed measure of “total official support for sustainable development” and we affirm that any such measure will not dilute commitments already made.

56. South-South cooperation is an important element of international cooperation for development as a complement, not a substitute, to North-South cooperation. We recognize its increased importance, different history and particularities, and stress that South-South cooperation should be seen as an expression of solidarity among peoples and countries of the South, based on their shared experiences and objectives. It should continue to be guided by the principles of respect for national sovereignty, national ownership and independence, equality, non-conditionality, non-interference in domestic affairs and mutual benefit.

57. We welcome the increased contributions of South-South cooperation to poverty eradication and sustainable development. We encourage developing countries to voluntarily step up their efforts to strengthen South-South cooperation, and to further improve its development effectiveness in accordance with the provisions of the Nairobi outcome document of the High-level United Nations Conference on South-South Cooperation. We also commit to strengthening triangular cooperation as a means of bringing relevant experience and expertise to bear in development cooperation.

58. We welcome continued efforts to improve the quality, impact and effectiveness of development cooperation and other international efforts in public finance, including adherence to agreed development cooperation effectiveness principles. We will align activities with national priorities, including by reducing fragmentation, accelerating the untying of aid, particularly for least developed countries and countries most in need. We will promote country ownership and results orientation and strengthen country systems, use programme-based approaches where appropriate, strengthen partnerships for development, reduce transaction costs, and increase transparency and mutual accountability. We will make development more effective and predictable by providing developing countries with regular and timely indicative information on planned support in the medium term. We will pursue these efforts in the Development Cooperation Forum of the Economic and Social Council and in this regard we also take account of efforts in other relevant forums, such as the Global Partnership for Effective Development Cooperation, in a complementary manner. We will also consider not requesting tax exemptions on goods and services delivered as government-to-government aid, beginning with renouncing repayments of value-added taxes and import levies.

59. We acknowledge that the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Conference of the Parties thereto is the primary international, intergovernmental forum for negotiating the global response to climate change. We welcome the Lima call for climate action and we are encouraged by the commitment of the Conference of the Parties to reaching an ambitious agreement in Paris in 2015 that is applicable to all parties and that reflects the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities, in the light of different national circumstances.

60. We reaffirm the importance of meeting in full existing commitments under international conventions, including on climate change and related global challenges. We recognize that funding from all sources, including public and private, bilateral and multilateral, as well as alternative sources of finance, will need to be stepped up for investments in many areas including for low-carbon and climate resilient development. We recognize that, in the context of meaningful mitigation actions and transparency on implementation, developed countries committed to a goal of mobilizing jointly $100 billion a year by 2020 from a wide variety of sources to address the needs of developing countries. We recognize the need for transparent methodologies for reporting climate finance and welcome the ongoing work in the context of the Convention.

61. We welcome the successful and timely initial resource mobilization process of the Green Climate Fund, making it the largest dedicated climate fund and enabling it to start its activities in supporting developing country parties to the Convention. We welcome the decision of the Board of the Green Climate Fund to aim to start taking decisions on the approval of projects and programmes no later than its third meeting in 2015 as well as its decision regarding the formal replenishment process for the Fund. We also welcome the Board’s decision to aim for a 50:50 balance between mitigation and adaptation over time on a grant equivalent basis and to aim for a floor of 50 per cent of the adaptation allocation for particularly vulnerable countries, including least developed countries, small island developing States and African countries. We note the importance of continued support to address remaining gaps in the capacity to gain access to and manage climate finance.

62. We acknowledge the importance of taking into account the three dimensions of sustainable development. We encourage consideration of climate and disaster resilience in development financing to ensure the sustainability of development results. We recognize that well-designed actions can produce multiple local and global benefits, including those related to climate change. We commit to investing in efforts to strengthen the capacity of national and local actors to manage and finance disaster risk, as part of national sustainable development strategies, and to ensure that countries can draw on international assistance when needed.

63. We acknowledge the critical importance of biodiversity and the sustainable use of its components in poverty eradication and sustainable development. We welcome the implementation of the global Strategic Plan for Biodiversity for 2011-2020 and its Aichi Biodiversity Targets by the parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity and we invite all parties to attend the thirteenth meeting of the Conference of the Parties, to be held in Mexico in 2016. We encourage the mobilization of financial resources from all sources and at all levels to conserve and sustainably use biodiversity and ecosystems, including promoting sustainable land management, combating desertification, drought, dust storms and floods, restoring degraded land and soil, and promoting sustainable forest management. We welcome the commitment of States parties to the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification to support and strengthen its implementation. We commit to supporting the efforts of countries to advance conservation and restoration efforts, such as the African Union Great Green Wall Initiative, and to providing support to countries in need to enhance the implementation of their national biodiversity strategies and action plans.

64. We recognize that oceans, seas and coastal areas form an integrated and essential component of the Earth’s ecosystem and are critical to sustaining it and that international law, as reflected in the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, provides the legal framework for the conservation and the sustainable use of the oceans and their resources. We stress the importance of the conservation and sustainable use of the oceans and seas and of their resources for sustainable development, including through the contributions to poverty eradication, sustained economic growth, food security, creation of sustainable livelihoods and decent work, while at the same time protecting biodiversity and the marine environment and addressing the impacts of climate change. We therefore commit to protecting, and restoring, the health, productivity and resilience of oceans and marine ecosystems, and to maintaining their biodiversity, enabling their conservation and sustainable use for present and future generations, and to effectively applying an ecosystem approach and the precautionary approach in the management, in accordance with international law, of activities impacting on the marine environment, to deliver on all three dimensions of sustainable development.

65. We acknowledge that increases in global temperature, sea level rise, ocean acidification, and other climate change impacts are seriously affecting coastal areas and low-lying coastal countries including many least developed countries and small island developing States, while extreme climate events endanger the lives and livelihoods of millions. We commit to enhanced support to the most vulnerable in addressing and adapting to these critical challenges.
66. Development finance can contribute to reducing social, environmental and economic vulnerabilities and enable countries to prevent or combat situations of chronic crisis related to conflicts or natural disasters. We recognize the need for the coherence of developmental and humanitarian finance to ensure more timely, comprehensive, appropriate and cost-effective approaches to the management and mitigation of natural disasters and complex emergencies. We commit to promoting innovative financing mechanisms to allow countries to better prevent and manage risks and develop mitigation plans. We will invest in efforts to strengthen the capacity of national and local actors to manage and finance disaster risk reduction, and to enable countries to draw efficiently and effectively on international assistance when needed. We take note of the establishment of the Secretary-General’s High-level Panel on Humanitarian Financing and the World Humanitarian Summit to be held in Istanbul, Turkey, on 26 and 27 May 2016.

67. We recognize the major challenge to the achievement of durable peace and sustainable development in countries in conflict and post-conflict situations. We recognize the peacebuilding financing gap and the role played by the Peacebuilding Fund. We will step up our efforts to assist countries in accessing financing for peacebuilding and development in the post-conflict context. We recognize the need for aid to be delivered efficiently through simplified mechanisms, increased strengthening and use of country systems, as well as strengthening of the capacity of local and national institutions as a priority in conflict-affected and post-conflict States while stressing the importance of country ownership and leadership in both peacebuilding and development.

68. We welcome ongoing work in relevant institutions to support efforts by least developed countries, landlocked developing countries and small island developing States to build their national capacity to respond to various kinds of shocks including financial crisis, natural disasters, and public health emergencies, including through funds and other tools.

69. We welcome the progress made since Monterrey to develop and mobilize support for innovative sources and mechanisms of additional financing, in particular by the Leading Group on Innovative Financing for Development. We invite more countries to voluntarily join in implementing innovative mechanisms, instruments and modalities which do not unduly burden developing countries. We encourage consideration of how existing mechanisms, such as the International Finance Facility for Immunisation, might be replicated to address broader development needs. We also encourage exploring additional innovative mechanisms based on models combining public and private resources such as green bonds, vaccine bonds, triangular loans and pull mechanisms, and carbon pricing mechanisms.

70. We recognize the significant potential of multilateral development banks and other international development banks in financing sustainable development and providing know-how. Multilateral development banks can provide countercyclical lending, including on concessional terms as appropriate, to complement national resources for financial and economic shocks, natural disasters and pandemics. We invite the multilateral development banks and other international development banks to continue providing both concessional and non-concessional stable, long-term development finance by leveraging contributions and capital, and by mobilizing resources from capital markets. We stress that development banks should make optimal use of their resources and balance sheets, consistent with maintaining their financial integrity, and should update and develop their policies in support of the post-2015 development agenda, including the sustainable development goals. We encourage the multilateral development finance institutions to establish a process to examine their own role, scale and functioning to enable them to adapt and be fully responsive to the sustainable development agenda.

71. We recognize that middle-income countries still face significant challenges to achieve sustainable development. In order to ensure that achievements made to date are sustained, efforts to address ongoing challenges should be strengthened through the exchange of experiences, improved coordination, and better and focused support of the United Nations development system, the international financial institutions, regional organizations and other stakeholders. We therefore request those stakeholders to ensure that the diverse and specific development needs of middle-income countries are appropriately considered and addressed, in a tailored fashion, in their relevant strategies and policies with a view to promoting a coherent and comprehensive approach towards individual countries. We also acknowledge that ODA and other concessional finance is still important for a number of these countries and has a role to play for targeted results, taking into account the specific needs of these countries.

72. We also recognize the need to devise methodologies to better account for the complex and diverse realities of middle-income countries. We note with concern that access to concessional finance is reduced as countries’ incomes grow, and that countries may not be able to access sufficient affordable financing from other sources to meet their needs. We encourage shareholders in multilateral development banks to develop graduation policies that are sequenced, phased and gradual. We also encourage multilateral development banks to explore ways to ensure that their assistance best addresses the opportunities and challenges presented by the diverse circumstances of middle-income countries. In this regard, we acknowledge the World Bank’s small island State exception as a noteworthy response to the financing challenges of small island developing States. We also underscore the importance of risk mitigation mechanisms, including through the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency.

73. We recognize that the graduation process of least developed countries should be coupled with measures to ensure that the development process will not be jeopardized and that progress towards the sustainable development goals will be sustained. We further note that the level of concessionality of international public finance should take into account the level of development of each recipient, including income level, institutional capacity and vulnerability, as well as the nature of the project to be funded, including the commercial viability.

74. We underline the important role and comparative advantage of an adequately resourced, relevant, coherent, efficient and effective United Nations system in its support to achieve the sustainable development goals and sustainable development, and support the process on the longer-term positioning of the United Nations development system in the context of the post-2015 development agenda. We will work to strengthen national ownership and leadership over the operational activities for development of the United Nations system in programme countries, United Nations coherence, relevance, effectiveness and efficiency, to improve coordination and results, including through achieving further progress on the “Delivering as one” voluntary approach, among other operational modalities and approaches, and to improve United Nations collaboration with relevant stakeholders and partners.

75. Development banks can play a particularly important role in alleviating constraints on financing development, including quality infrastructure investment, including for sub-sovereign loans. We welcome efforts by new development banks to develop safeguard systems in open consultation with stakeholders on the basis of established international standards, and encourage all development banks to establish or maintain social and environmental safeguards systems, including on human rights, gender equality and women’s empowerment, that are transparent, effective, efficient and time-sensitive. We encourage multilateral development banks to further develop instruments to channel the resources of long-term investors towards sustainable development, including through long-term infrastructure and green bonds. We underline that regional investments in key priority sectors require the expansion of new financing mechanisms, and call upon multilateral and regional development finance institutions to support regional and subregional organizations and programmes.

76. We recognize that genuine, effective and durable multi-stakeholder partnerships can play an important role in advancing sustainable development. We will encourage and promote such partnerships to support country-driven priorities and strategies, building on lessons learned and available expertise. We further recognize that partnerships are effective instruments for mobilizing human and financial resources, expertise, technology and knowledge. We acknowledge the role of the Global Environment Facility (GEF) in mainstreaming environmental concerns into development efforts and providing grant and concessional resources to support environmental projects in developing countries. We support building capacity in developing countries, especially least developed countries and small island developing States, to access available funds, and aim to enhance public and private contributions to GEF.

77. Multi-stakeholder partnerships, such as the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization (Gavi) and the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, have also achieved results in the field of health. We encourage a better alignment between such initiatives, and encourage them to improve their contribution to strengthening health systems. We recognize the key role of the World Health Organization as the directing and coordinating authority on international health work. We will enhance international coordination and enabling environments at all levels to strengthen national health systems and achieve universal health coverage. We commit to strengthening the capacity of countries, in particular developing countries, for early warning, risk reduction and management of national and global health risks, as well as to substantially increase health financing and the recruitment, development, training and retention of the health workforce in developing countries, especially in least developed countries and small island developing States. Parties to the World Health Organization Framework Convention on Tobacco Control will also strengthen implementation of the Convention in all countries, as appropriate, and will support mechanisms to raise awareness and mobilize resources. We welcome innovative approaches to catalyse additional domestic and international private and public resources for women and children, who have been disproportionately affected by many health issues, including the expected contribution of the Global Financing Facility in support of Every Woman, Every Child.

78. We recognize the importance for achieving sustainable development of delivering quality education to all girls and boys. This will require reaching children living in extreme poverty, children with disabilities, migrant and refugee children, and those in conflict and post-conflict situations, and providing safe, non-violent, inclusive and effective learning environments for all. We will scale up investments and international cooperation to allow all children to complete free, equitable, inclusive and quality early childhood, primary and secondary education, including through scaling-up and strengthening initiatives, such as the Global Partnership for Education. We commit to upgrading education facilities that are child, disability and gender sensitive and increasing the percentage of qualified teachers in developing countries, including through international cooperation, especially in least developed countries and small island developing States.

A/RES/66/288 - The Future We Want

A. Strengthening the three dimensions of sustainable development

75. We underscore the importance of a strengthened institutional framework for sustainable development which responds coherently and effectively to current and future challenges and efficiently bridges gaps in the implementation of the sustainable development agenda. The institutional framework for sustainable development should integrate the three dimensions of sustainable development in a balanced manner and enhance implementation by, inter alia, strengthening coherence, coordination, avoiding duplication of efforts and reviewing progress in implementing sustainable development. We also reaffirm that the framework should be inclusive, transparent and effective and that it should find common solutions related to global challenges to sustainable development.

76. We recognize that effective governance at the local, subnational, national, regional and global levels representing the voices and interests of all is critical for advancing sustainable development. The strengthening and reform of the institutional framework should not be an end in itself, but a means to achieve sustainable development. We recognize that an improved and more effective institutional framework for sustainable development at the international level should be consistent with the Rio Principles, build on Agenda 21 and the Johannesburg Plan of Implementation and its objectives on the institutional framework for sustainable development, contribute to the implementation of our commitments in the outcomes of United Nations conferences and summits in the economic, social, environmental and related fields and take into account national priorities and the development strategies and priorities of developing countries. We therefore resolve to strengthen the institutional framework for sustainable development, which will, inter alia:

(a) Promote the balanced integration of the three dimensions of sustainable development;

(b) Be based on an action- and result-oriented approach giving due regard to all relevant cross-cutting issues with the aim to contribute to the implementation of sustainable development;

(c) Underscore the importance of interlinkages among key issues and challenges and the need for a systematic approach to them at all relevant levels;

(d) Enhance coherence, reduce fragmentation and overlap and increase effectiveness, efficiency and transparency, while reinforcing coordination and cooperation;

(e) Promote full and effective participation of all countries in decision-making processes;

(f) Engage high-level political leaders, provide policy guidance and identify specific actions to promote effective implementation of sustainable development, including through voluntary sharing of experiences and lessons learned;

(g) Promote the science-policy interface through inclusive, evidence-based and transparent scientific assessments, as well as access to reliable, relevant and timely data in areas related to the three dimensions of sustainable development, building on existing mechanisms, as appropriate; in this regard, strengthen participation of all countries in international sustainable development processes and capacity-building especially for developing countries, including in conducting their own monitoring and assessments;

(h) Enhance the participation and effective engagement of civil society and other relevant stakeholders in the relevant international forums and in this regard promote transparency and broad public participation and partnerships to implement sustainable development;

(i) Promote the review and stocktaking of progress in the implementation of all sustainable development commitments, including commitments related to means of implementation.

B. Strengthening intergovernmental arrangements for sustainable development

77. We acknowledge the vital importance of an inclusive, transparent, reformed, strengthened and effective multilateral system in order to better address the urgent global challenges of sustainable development today, recognizing the universality and central role of the United Nations and reaffirming our commitment to promote and strengthen the effectiveness and efficiency of the United Nations system.

78. We underscore the need to strengthen United Nations system-wide coherence and coordination, while ensuring appropriate accountability to Member States, by, inter alia, enhancing coherence in reporting and reinforcing cooperative efforts under existing inter-agency mechanisms and strategies to advance the integration of the three dimensions of sustainable development within the United Nations system, including through exchange of information among its agencies, funds and programmes, and also with the international financial institutions and other relevant organizations such as the World Trade Organization (WTO), within their respective mandates.

79. We emphasize the need for an improved and more effective institutional framework for sustainable development which should be guided by the specific functions required and mandates involved; address the shortcomings of the current system; take into account all relevant implications; promote synergies and coherence; seek to avoid duplication and eliminate unnecessary overlaps within the United Nations system; and reduce administrative burdens and build on existing arrangements.

General Assembly

80. We reaffirm the role and authority of the General Assembly on global matters of concern to the international community, as set out in the Charter.

81. We further reaffirm the central position of the General Assembly as the chief deliberative, policymaking and representative organ of the United Nations. In this regard, we call for the Assembly to further integrate sustainable development as a key element of the overarching framework for United Nations activities and adequately address sustainable development in its agenda setting, including through periodic high-level dialogues.

Economic and Social Council

82. We reaffirm that the Economic and Social Council is a principal body for policy review, policy dialogue and recommendations on issues of economic and social development and for the follow-up to the Millennium Development Goals and is a central mechanism for the coordination of the United Nations system and supervision of the subsidiary bodies of the Council, in particular its functional commissions, and for promoting the implementation of Agenda 21 by strengthening system-wide coherence and coordination. We also reaffirm the major role the Council plays in the overall coordination of funds, programmes and specialized agencies, ensuring coherence among them and avoiding duplication of mandates and activities.

83. We commit to strengthen the Economic and Social Council within its mandate under the Charter, as a principal organ in the integrated and coordinated follow-up of the outcomes of all major United Nations conferences and summits in the economic, social, environmental and related fields, and recognize its key role in achieving a balanced integration of the three dimensions of sustainable development. We look forward to the review of the implementation of General Assembly resolution 61/16 on the strengthening of the Economic and Social Council.

High-level political forum

84. We decide to establish a universal intergovernmental high-level political forum, building on the strengths, experiences, resources and inclusive participation modalities of the Commission on Sustainable Development, and subsequently replacing the Commission. The high-level political forum shall follow up on the implementation of sustainable development and should avoid overlap with existing structures, bodies and entities in a cost-effective manner.

85. The high-level forum could:

(a) Provide political leadership, guidance and recommendations for sustainable development;

(b) Enhance integration of the three dimensions of sustainable development in a holistic and cross-sectoral manner at all levels;

(c) Provide a dynamic platform for regular dialogue, and for stocktaking and agenda setting to advance sustainable development;

(d) Have a focused, dynamic and action-oriented agenda, ensuring the appropriate consideration of new and emerging sustainable development challenges;

(e) Follow up and review progress in the implementation of sustainable development commitments contained in Agenda 21, the Johannesburg Plan of Implementation, the Barbados Programme of Action, the Mauritius Strategy and the outcome of the present Conference and, as appropriate, relevant outcomes of other United Nations summits and conferences, including the outcome of the Fourth United Nations Conference on the Least Developed Countries, as well as their respective means of implementation;

(f) Encourage high-level system-wide participation of United Nations agencies, funds and programmes and invite to participate, as appropriate, other relevant multilateral financial and trade institutions and treaty bodies, within their respective mandates and in accordance with United Nations rules and provisions;

(g) Improve cooperation and coordination within the United Nations system on sustainable development programmes and policies;

(h) Promote transparency and implementation through further enhancing the consultative role and participation of major groups and other relevant stakeholders at the international level in order to better make use of their expertise, while retaining the intergovernmental nature of discussions;

(i) Promote the sharing of best practices and experiences relating to the implementation of sustainable development and, on a voluntary basis, facilitate sharing of experiences, including successes, challenges and lessons learned;

(j) Promote system-wide coherence and coordination of sustainable development policies;

(k) Strengthen the science-policy interface through review of documentation bringing together dispersed information and assessments, including in the form of a global sustainable development report, building on existing assessments;

(l) Enhance evidence-based decision-making at all levels and contribute to strengthening ongoing efforts of capacity-building for data collection and analysis in developing countries.

86. We decide to launch an intergovernmental and open, transparent and inclusive negotiation process under the General Assembly to define the format and organizational aspects of the high-level forum with the aim of convening the first high-level forum at the beginning of the sixty-eighth session of the Assembly. We will also consider the need for promoting intergenerational solidarity for the achievement of sustainable development, taking into account the needs of future generations, including by inviting the Secretary-General to present a report on this issue.

C. Environmental pillar in the context of sustainable development

87. We reaffirm the need to strengthen international environmental governance within the context of the institutional framework for sustainable development, in order to promote a balanced integration of the economic, social and environmental dimensions of sustainable development as well as coordination within the United Nations system.

88. We are committed to strengthening the role of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) as the leading global environmental authority that sets the global environmental agenda, promotes the coherent implementation of the environmental dimension of sustainable development within the United Nations system and serves as an authoritative advocate for the global environment. We reaffirm resolution 2997 (XXVII) of 15 December 1972 which established UNEP and other relevant resolutions that reinforce its mandate, as well as the 1997 Nairobi Declaration on the Role and Mandate of UNEP and the 2000 Malmö Ministerial Declaration. In this regard, we invite the General Assembly, at its sixty-seventh session, to adopt a resolution strengthening and upgrading UNEP in the following manner:

(a) Establish universal membership in the Governing Council of UNEP, as well as other measures to strengthen its governance as well its responsiveness and accountability to Member States;

(b) Have secure, stable, adequate and increased financial resources from the regular budget of the United Nations and voluntary contributions to fulfil its mandate;

(c) Enhance the voice of UNEP and its ability to fulfil its coordination mandate within the United Nations system by strengthening UNEP engagement in key United Nations coordination bodies and empowering UNEP to lead efforts to formulate United Nations system-wide strategies on the environment;

(d) Promote a strong science-policy interface, building on existing international instruments, assessments, panels and information networks, including the Global Environment Outlook, as one of the processes aimed at bringing together information and assessment to support informed decision-making;

(e) Disseminate and share evidence-based environmental information and raise public awareness on critical as well as emerging environmental issues;

(f) Provide capacity-building to countries, as well as support and facilitate access to technology;

(g) Progressively consolidate headquarters functions in Nairobi, as well as strengthen its regional presence, in order to assist countries, upon request, in the implementation of their national environmental policies, collaborating closely with other relevant entities of the United Nations system;

(h) Ensure the active participation of all relevant stakeholders drawing on best practices and models from relevant multilateral institutions and exploring new mechanisms to promote transparency and the effective engagement of civil society.

89. We recognize the significant contributions to sustainable development made by the multilateral environmental agreements. We acknowledge the work already undertaken to enhance synergies among the three conventions in the chemicals and waste cluster (the Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal, the Rotterdam Convention on the Prior Informed Consent Procedure for Certain Hazardous Chemicals and Pesticides in International Trade and the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants). We encourage parties to multilateral environmental agreements to consider further measures, in these and other clusters, as appropriate, to promote policy coherence at all relevant levels, improve efficiency, reduce unnecessary overlap and duplication, and enhance coordination and cooperation among the multilateral environmental agreements, including the three Rio conventions, as well as with the United Nations system in the field.

90. We stress the need for the continuation of a regular review of the state of the Earth?s changing environment and its impact on human well-being and, in this regard, we welcome such initiatives as the Global Environment Outlook process aimed at bringing together environmental information and assessments and building national and regional capacity to support informed decision-making.

D. International financial institutions and United Nations operational activities

91. We recognize that sustainable development should be given due consideration by the programmes, funds and specialized agencies of the United Nations system and other relevant entities such as international financial institutions and the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, in accordance with their respective existing mandates. In this regard, we invite them to further enhance mainstreaming of sustainable development in their respective mandates, programmes, strategies and decision-making processes, in support of the efforts of all countries, in particular developing countries, in the achievement of sustainable development.

92. We reaffirm the importance of broadening and strengthening the participation of developing countries in international economic decision-making and norm-setting, and in this regard, take note of recent important decisions on reform of the governance structures, quotas and voting rights of the Bretton Woods institutions, better reflecting current realities and enhancing the voice and participation of developing countries, and reiterate the importance of the reform of the governance of those institutions in order to deliver more effective, credible, accountable and legitimate institutions.

93. We call for the further mainstreaming of the three dimensions of sustainable development throughout the United Nations system, and request the Secretary-General to report to the General Assembly, through the Economic and Social Council, on the progress made in this regard. We also call for and recognize the importance of the strengthening of policy coordination within key structures of the Secretariat of the United Nations so as to ensure system-wide coherence in support of sustainable development, while ensuring accountability to Member States.

94. We invite the governing bodies of the funds, programmes and specialized agencies of the United Nations development system to consider appropriate measures for integrating the social, economic and environmental dimensions across the operational activities of the United Nations system. We also emphasize that increasing the financial contributions to the United Nations development system is key to achieving the internationally agreed development goals, including the Millennium Development Goals, and in this regard we recognize the mutually reinforcing links among increased effectiveness, efficiency and coherence of the United Nations development system, achieving concrete results in assisting developing countries in eradicating poverty and achieving sustained economic growth and sustainable development.

95. We emphasize the need to strengthen operational activities for development of the United Nations system in the field that are well aligned with national sustainable development priorities of developing countries. In this regard, we emphasize that the fundamental characteristics and principles of United Nations operational activities set forth in the relevant General Assembly resolutions provide the overarching framework for all matters pertaining to the United Nations development assistance operations in the field. We recognize the importance of strengthening United Nations system coordination. We look forward to receiving the outcome of the independent evaluation of the Delivering as one initiative.

96. We call on the United Nations system to improve the management of facilities and operations, by taking into account sustainable development practices, building on existing efforts and promoting cost effectiveness, and in accordance with legislative frameworks, including financial rules and regulations, while maintaining accountability to Member States.

E. Regional, national, subnational and local levels

97. We acknowledge the importance of the regional dimension of sustainable development. Regional frameworks can complement and facilitate effective translation of sustainable development policies into concrete action at the national level.

98. We encourage regional, national, subnational and local authorities as appropriate to develop and utilize sustainable development strategies as key instruments for guiding decision-making and implementation of sustainable development at all levels, and in this regard we recognize that integrated social, economic and environmental data and information, as well as effective analysis and assessment of implementation, is important in decision-making processes.

99. We encourage action at the regional, national, subnational and local levels to promote access to information, public participation and access to justice in environmental matters, as appropriate.

100. We emphasize that regional and subregional organizations, including the United Nations regional commissions and their subregional offices, have a significant role to play in promoting a balanced integration of the economic, social and environmental dimensions of sustainable development in their respective regions. We underscore the need to support these institutions, including through the United Nations system, in the effective operationalization and implementation of sustainable development, and to facilitate institutional coherence and harmonization of relevant development policies, plans and programmes. In this regard, we urge these institutions to prioritize sustainable development through, inter alia, more efficient and effective capacity-building, development and implementation of regional agreements and arrangements as appropriate, and exchange of information, best practices and lessons learned. We also welcome regional and cross-regional initiatives for sustainable development. We furthermore recognize the need to ensure effective linkage among global, regional, subregional and national processes to advance sustainable development. We encourage the enhancement of the United Nations regional commissions and their subregional offices in their respective capacities to support Member States in implementing sustainable development.

101. We underline the need for more coherent and integrated planning and decision-making at the national, subnational and local levels as appropriate and, to this end, we call on countries to strengthen national, subnational and/or local institutions or relevant multi-stakeholder bodies and processes, as appropriate, dealing with sustainable development, including to coordinate on matters of sustainable development and to enable effective integration of the three dimensions of sustainable development.

102. We welcome regional and cross-regional initiatives for sustainable development, such as the Green Bridge Partnership Programme, which is voluntary and open for participation by all partners.

103. We underscore the need to ensure long-term political commitment to sustainable development taking into account national circumstances and priorities and, in this regard, we encourage all countries to undertake the necessary actions and measures to achieve sustainable development.

E/CN.17/2001/19 - Report on the 9th Decision on International Cooperation for an Enabling Environment

International cooperation for an enabling environment

General considerations

1. A dynamic and enabling international economic environment supportive of international cooperation, particularly in the fields of finance, technology transfer, debt, trade and environmental and social issues, is needed in the pursuit of sustainable development. An enabling domestic environment is also important for sustainable development. Success in meeting these objectives depends, inter alia, on good governance within each country. It also depends on good governance at the international level and on transparency in the financial, monetary and trading systems. This requires a commitment to an open, equitable, rule-based, predictable and non-discriminatory multilateral trading and financial system. The Commission reiterates the continuing relevance and importance of all the principles agreed in the Rio Declaration on Environment and Development, including the principle that, in view of the different contributions to global environmental degradation, States have common but differentiated responsibilities, as set out in principle 7.
2. There is a need to ensure a balance among economic development, social development and environmental protection since these are interdependent and mutually reinforcing components of sustainable development.
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.
4. The integrated and coordinated follow-up of all major United Nations conferences and summits, together with the United Nations Millennium Declaration and the international development targets relevant to sustainable development, are of importance.

International cooperation

5. Financial resources and mechanisms play a key role in the implementation of Agenda 21. In general, the financing for the implementation of Agenda 21 will come from a country?s own public and private sectors. For developing countries, ODA is a main source of external funding, and substantial new and additional funding for sustainable development and the implementation of Agenda 21 will be required. Hence all financial commitments of Agenda 21, particularly those contained in chapter 33, and the provisions with regard to new and additional resources that are both adequate and predictable need to be urgently fulfilled. Renewed efforts are essential to ensure that all sources of funding contribute to economic growth, social development and environmental protection in the context of sustainable development and the implementation of Agenda 21.
6. There is a need for favourable access to and transfer of environmentally sound technologies, in particular to developing countries, through supportive measures that promote technology cooperation and enable transfer of the necessary technological know-how, as well as building up economic, technical and managerial capabilities for the efficient use and further development of transferred technology. Technology cooperation involves joint efforts by enterprises and governments, including both suppliers and recipients of technology. Such cooperation therefore entails an iterative process involving government, the private sector, and research and development facilities in order to ensure the best possible results from transfer of technology. Successful long-term partnerships in technology cooperation necessarily require continuing systematic training and capacity-building at all levels over an extended period of time.
7. The Commission emphasizes the importance of international cooperation within the framework of Agenda 21 for promoting an enabling environment for sustainable development. Recognizing that achieving sustainable development will require international cooperation and specific actions based on national and regional circumstances, including assistance to developing countries and countries with economies in transition, the Commission encourages the international community to:
(a) Reaffirm that the United Nations has a central role in promoting international cooperation for sustainable development and in promoting policy coherence on global development issues, including in the context of globalization and interdependence;
(b) Support developing countries in their efforts to achieve sustainable development in accordance with their priorities and national programmes and/or strategies for sustainable development;
(c) Take necessary action to reverse the downward trend in ODA and strive to fulfil the commitments undertaken to reach the accepted United Nations target of 0.7 per cent of GNP as soon as possible;
(d) Improve the coordination of ODA, based on recipient country needs, priorities and strategies;
(e) Improve the catalytic role of ODA;
(f) Support efforts to further reform and improve the multilateral financial institutions, including through improved mechanisms for enhanced and effective participation by developing countries and greater transparency in decision-making;
(g) Support the efforts of developing countries to put in place effective financial regulatory systems so that capital and investment flows help maintain financial stability and reduce the risks of excessive international financial volatility in order to achieve sustainable development objectives;
(h) Improve and streamline the functioning of the Global Environment Facility, as a mechanism for financing global environmental aspects of sustainable development, to make it more responsive to the needs and concerns of developing countries, and looks forward to a substantial third replenishment of its financial resources;
(i) Support the full implementation of the enhanced heavily indebted poor countries (HIPC) initiative, and in this regard underline the need for the heavily indebted poor countries to take the policy measures necessary to become eligible for the initiative;
(j) Find lasting solutions to the debt problems of heavily indebted low and middle-income developing countries and other heavily indebted middle-income countries which have difficulties in meeting their debt service obligations, including by using, as appropriate, available mechanisms for debt relief such as the Paris Club and other relevant forums;
(k) Assist developing countries seeking integration into the world trading system, notably through the World Trade Organization (WTO), including through assistance in developing the institutional capacity and human resources to participate meaningfully and effectively in multilateral trade negotiations and to implement the agreements reached;
(l) Improve market access for products from developing countries and ensure the effective application of all provisions of the Final Act Embodying the Results of the Uruguay Round of Multilateral Trade Negotiations and address implementation issues seriously, in particular by making operational and ensuring full implementation of the previously agreed special and differential provisions of the Final Act of the Uruguay Round;
(m) Pursue continued trade liberalization, including through the elimination of trade distorting policies, protectionist practices and non-tariff barriers to trade as a means to, inter alia, improve market access in sectors of export interest to developing countries;
(n) Ensure that trade, environment and development policies are mutually supportive so as to achieve sustainable development. In so doing, policies and measures with a potential trade impact should not be used for protectionist purposes, taking into full account the development needs of developing countries;
(o) Encourage investment in developing countries, including through insurance mechanisms and financial instruments to reduce risk premiums with the aim of contributing to sustainable development;
(p) Develop mechanisms for mobilizing new and additional financial resources, including innovative financial instruments, public-private partnerships and public-public partnerships;
(q) Assist developing countries to have access to environmentally sound technologies and ensure that international assistance for technology transfer is based on national and local needs, pursuant to sustainable development objectives;
(r) Assist developing countries and countries with economies in transition in capacity-building to support technology development and transfer, institutional strengthening and human resource development, including for development planning, investments, financial regulation and infrastructure development, and in capacity-building for the mobilization and allocation of domestic and external financial resources in order to contribute to sustainable development;
(s) Support regional and subregional cooperation, including South-South cooperation, in promoting sustainable development;
(t) Support developing countries in the development and implementation of national sustainable development programmes and/or strategies in order to fulfil the goals of Agenda 21, including through the transfer of environmentally sound technologies on favourable terms, including concessional and preferential terms, as mutually agreed.

Recommendations at the national level

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:
(a) Create an enabling domestic environment for sustainable development through, inter alia, an equitable and predictable legal framework, capacity-building, including institutional capacity-building, and the implementation of appropriate macroeconomic, social and environmental policies and transparent, effective, participatory and accountable governance, conducive to sustainable development and responsive to the needs of the people, so that domestic and international resources may be effectively mobilized and used for sustainable development;
(b) Formulate and implement national sustainable development programmes and/or strategies, through a national consultative process, as a useful tool in promoting an enabling environment, building on sectoral plans and policies;
(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;
(d) Develop and implement policies, programmes and incentives that integrate economic development, social development and environmental protection.

E/CN.17/1996/38 - Report of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development on the 4th Session (18 April-3 May 1996). International legal instruments and mechanisms

Decision 4/6. International legal instruments and mechanisms

1. The Commission on Sustainable Development, having examined the report of
the Secretary-General on international legal instruments and mechanisms
(E/CN.17/1996/17 and Add.1), welcomes the progress made in reflecting the
integrated nature of sustainable development in international legal instruments
and in the further development of international law related to the
implementation of Agenda 21.

2. The Commission takes note of the report of the Expert Group on the
Identification of Principles of International Law for Sustainable Development,
which was made available to the Commission as a background document, and
expresses its appreciation of the work of the Expert Group, which was convened
by the Department for Policy Coordination and Sustainable Development of the

3. The Commission recalls that at its second session it requested the United
Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) to study further the concept, requirements
and implications of sustainable development and international law; welcomed the
adoption by the Governing Council of UNEP of decision 18/9 on the further
development of international environmental law aiming at sustainable
development; 10/ and noted with appreciation the steps undertaken by UNEP
towards the review of the Montevideo Programme for the Development and Periodic
Review of Environmental Law scheduled for 1997 as an important contribution to
achieving the tasks set out in Agenda 21.

4. The Commission recognizes the potential value of identifying generally
recognized principles of international law as they pertain to sustainable
development and decides to keep this issue under review at its session in 1997
with a view to its further consideration by the General Assembly at its special
session, and to take into account the results of the review of the Montevideo
Programme, as appropriate.

5. The Commission calls upon Governments to consider, as appropriate, the work
of the Expert Group in the development of both national legislation and national
policies for sustainable development, and requests Governments to provide
information on their experiences in this regard.

6. The Commission considers flexible approaches as important in international
law-making, as they allow international consensus to develop, especially under
new scientific and technical information, and recognizes the positive role of
framework conventions and of non-legally binding instruments as steps in the
evolution of international rule-making related to sustainable development.

7. The Commission emphasizes the necessity, as recognized in UNEP Governing
Council decision 18/9, of further exploring, in the interest of sustainable
development, mechanisms for dispute settlement or avoidance and, with the aim of
preventing international disputes, for facilitating the implementation of
international environmental instruments by assisting and encouraging parties to
fulfil their obligations and commitments, and notes that, in the case of several
international environmental instruments, such mechanisms have either become
operative, have been established, or are at present under discussion. In this
context, the Commission notes the importance of compliance and monitoring
mechanisms of international agreements, including reporting requirements, and
stresses the importance of national and local capacity-building aimed at
improving compliance, monitoring, inspection and enforcement of international

8. The Commission urges the international community to continue to develop
procedures and mechanisms that promote informed decisions, mutual understanding
and confidence-building with a view to avoiding or resolving disputes.

9. The Commission recommends the exploration of more effective participation
of major groups in the elaboration of international legal instruments and
mechanisms in the field of sustainable development.

10. The Commission recognizes the administrative burden imposed, particularly
on the developing countries, by the implementation of international agreements,
and recognizes the need for consolidation and integration of procedures, and for
cooperation among the secretariats of different conventions to this end.

E/CN.17/1996/38 - Report of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development on the 4th Session (18 April-3 May 1996). International legal instruments and mechanisms

Decision 4/7. International institutional arrangements

1. The Commission on Sustainable Development:

(a) Takes note of the report of the Secretary-General on institutional
arrangements to follow up the United Nations Conference on Environment and
Development (E/CN.17/1996/16) as well as the more detailed background paper on
the subject. The Commission notes that the institutional arrangements put in
place in follow-up to the United Nations Conference on Environment and
Development at various levels have served the international community well over
the past four years;
(b) Notes the new and innovative elements introduced into the work of the
Commission on Sustainable Development and considers that these functional
considerations, including the working methods and multi-year programme of work
of the Commission, will be an important element of the 1997 review process;
(c) Welcomes General Assembly resolution 50/113 of 20 December 1995, in
particular paragraph 13, in which the Assembly requested the Secretary-General
to prepare, for the consideration of the Commission at its fifth session, a
comprehensive report containing an overall assessment of the progress achieved
since the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development in the
implementation of Agenda 21 at all levels, and in the implementation of related
outcomes, as well as recommendations for future actions and priorities;
(d) Also welcomes the system-wide cooperation and coordination efforts
undertaken by the Inter-Agency Committee on Sustainable Development, through its
system of task managers, in implementing Agenda 21;
(e) Reaffirms the importance placed by the Economic and Social Council at
its substantive session of 1995 on the coordinated follow-up of international
conferences and the need to coordinate the multi-year programmes of all relevant
functional commissions and the division of labour among them;
(f) Welcomes the proposed review by the Economic and Social Council of the
regional commissions, with a view, inter alia, to strengthening, as appropriate,
their participation relating to the implementation of the results of major
United Nations international conferences;
(g) Recognizes the major steps made by the United Nations Environment
Programme (UNEP), in accordance with its mandate and in implementation of
Agenda 21, to provide effective support to the work of the Commission,
inter alia, through the provision of scientific, technical and legal information
and policy advice on the environment. In this context, the Commission welcomes
decisions adopted by the Governing Council of UNEP at its eighteenth
session, 10/ in which the Governing Council of UNEP specified ways in which UNEP
could support the Commission and encouraged closer cooperation and collaboration
between UNEP and other organizations;
(h) Welcomes initiatives taken by bilateral, regional, intergovernmental
and United Nations system organizations, as well as financial institutions, that
integrate sustainable development as a central focus into their policies and
programmes to facilitate Agenda 21 implementation.

2. The Commission therefore:

(a) Encourages national Governments to ensure that their countries?
institutional arrangements further promote the implementation of Agenda 21,
while ensuring the broad participation of all stakeholders;
(b) Emphasizes the need for the Commission to continue providing guidance
on key sustainable development issues and playing a leading role in providing
the forum for reviewing national, regional and international efforts, including,
as appropriate, the role of major groups, in the pursuit of sustainable
(c) Stresses the need for all relevant bodies of the United Nations system
to make further efforts to make sustainable development a central focus of their
programmes and policies;
(d) Recommends that ever-closer links be established, particularly through
the bureaux of the organizations concerned, between the work of the Commission
and other relevant subsidiary bodies of the Economic and Social Council so as to
ensure that the Commission can contribute to and/or draw on the relevant output
of other bodies in a timely manner and to avoid duplication of work. The
multi-year programmes of work of the commissions, to be coordinated by the
Council, should be seen as an important instrument for facilitating the linkage
among those commissions;
(e) Encourages the Inter-Agency Committee on Sustainable Development to
continue to enhance inter-agency coordination, inter alia, by promoting a more
focused approach to coordination and close collaboration aimed at elaborating
action-oriented recommendations on main policy and cooperation issues. The
Commission has requested the Committee to continue its work aimed at ensuring
complementarity of efforts and avoidance of duplication and overlap in United
Nations system activities to implement Agenda 21 and to keep the Commission
informed of its activities through the Administrative Committee on Coordination;
(f) Recommends that the 1997 review give special attention also to
post-United Nations Conference on Environment and Development institutional
arrangements in order to ensure their continued relevance and increased
effectiveness in the years to come. In this regard, possible results of the
ongoing negotiations on the further measures for the restructuring and
revitalization of the United Nations in the economic, social and related fields,
on an agenda for development and on other related reform processes, such as the
High-level Working Group on the Strengthening of the United Nations System, will
be taken into account to promote better coordination among various United
Nations bodies;
(g) Recommends that the preparatory work for the special session of the
General Assembly should examine the institutional implications for forging new
alliances for sustainable development between the United Nations and other major
organizations relevant for sustainable development, in particular the Global
Environment Facility, the Bretton Woods institutions, the Organisation for
Economic Cooperation and Development and the World Trade Organization, as well
as between Governments and civil society.

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