UNOSD Workshop Calls for Greater Accountability on Sustainable Development Targets

16 November 2012: The UN Office for Sustainable Development (UNOSD) concluded its three-day workshop on planning and implementation of sustainable development strategies with a call for greater accountability for the achievement of committed targets.

The call came in the “Incheon Communiqué” issued at the end of the workshop, which brought together country representatives and representatives from the UN system, think tanks, advocacy networks, civil society and academic institutions, from 14-16 November 2012, in Incheon, Republic of Korea. The workshop, on “Strengthening Planning and Implementation Capacities for Sustainable Development in the Post-Rio Context,” discussed how to mainstream outcomes of the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD, or Rio+20) into national strategies and other instruments.

The Incheon Communiqué notes positive trends in: the high level of activity at the sub-national level; continued progress by early adopters of strategies for sustainable development; the emergence of the green economy as a strategic response to the 2008 global economic crisis; and the inclusion of measurable targets. It expressed concern about the recent termination of some multi-stakeholder councils for sustainable development; weak or non-existent accountability mechanisms for the achievement of committed targets; and lack of connection between the creators of sustainable development strategies and those responsible for implementation. Also according to the communiqué, sustainable development must be considered within the context of country's own visions and plans. It calls for strengthening planning instruments and processes to address Rio+20 outcomes and the post-2015 development agenda, including through an informal peer review process.

The workshop also highlighted the water, energy and food security nexus as a critical challenge, calling for integrated analyses to support planning and implementation.

UNOSD notes that it plans to hold a global Sustainable Development Implementation Forum annually in Incheon. UNOSD, established in 2011, is managed by the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA) and supported by the Republic of Korea Ministry of Environment, Yonsei University and the City of Incheon. [Meeting Website] [Incheon Communiqué] [Meeting agenda and presentations]