The UN System and Sustainable Development: Proposals for a Sustainable Development Institutional Initiative


This Stakeholder Forum paper explores how to address the current challenges related to international governance for sustainable development governance. The paper notes that while paragraph 157 of the Johannesburg Plan of Implementation provides a clear mandate for governments to keep the UN’s sustainable development institutions under review, this is not occurring.

The paper proposes launching a two-track sustainable development initiative to enhance ‘confidence building’ between industrialized and developing countries in an effort define the areas where the UN’s institutions, and the CSD in particular, could make a distinctive contribution to the implementation of sustainable development. It proposed two options for creating this much needed space for discussion:

  • the establishment of an incremental process under the CSD, in the form of an open-ended Ad Hoc Working Group to focus mainly on the future and role of the CSD, including through a stocktaking process of the first two cycles; and, as a complementary step,
  • an incremental process under the auspices of the General Assembly (GA) to identify the building blocks of a more robust intergovernmental framework for sustainable development.

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