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United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA)
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HLPF Issue Briefs 3: Multi-stakeholder partnerships for sustainable development
Division for Sustainable Development (UNDESA)
The importance of engaging stakeholders at all levels is repeatedly recognized at recent international conferences as well as the ongoing global conversations on the post-2015 development agenda. The Rio+20 Conference for example, has shown enhanced inclusiveness in the deliberation at the United Nations with the presence of hundreds of thousands of participants from governments, the United Nations System, business, civil society groups, volunteer groups, universities, amongst others, as well as those virtually following the conference from afar. The Rio+20 Conference has highlighted the relevance of recognizing the constructive role of non-state actors in shaping and implementing the international agenda for a sustainable future. It has created unprecedented momentum in parallel to the intergovernmental process, which led to the announcements of more than 700 concrete partnerships and voluntary commitments for the implementation of sustainable development. The complementary nature of these voluntary initiatives was duly acknowledged by the intergovernmental process. Member States decided to establish a comprehensive online registry to compile these voluntary commitments, keeping it fully transparent, accessible to the public and periodically updated.
The present note provides a brief overview of emerging challenges and opportunities for partnerships and voluntary commitments since Rio +20 and concludes with practical suggestions for the High Level Political Forum (HLPF) to further promote partnerships and voluntary commitments and enhance their accountability given its specific mandate and its unique institutional setup.
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