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United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs Sustainable Development

The UN Regional Commissions and the Post-2015 Development Agenda

Publication Year: 2015 Publisher: United Nations


The regional commissions are uniquely positioned as carriers of the United Nations development agenda in the regions. With their convening power and proximity to Member States, they serve as inclusive regional intergovernmental platforms for deliberating and adapting universal norms and global frameworks to regional and country contexts, and as a dynamic and effective nexus between the global and national levels. These platforms promote policy coherence and dialogue with a broad range of stakeholders, with a holistic multisectoral approach, and are often the means of devising common strategies to address collective challenges, as well as to share knowledge, experiences, good practice and lessons learned. Regional commissions also provide greater voice to subregions and countries in special situations, including LDCs, LLDCs, SIDS and countries in conflict. This is vital in differentiating responsibilities, targeting responses, ensuring inclusion and promoting shared prosperity within and among the regions in the implementation of post-2015 agenda.

In line with their long established tradition and renewed mandates, the regional commissions were critical in shaping regional positions and bringing concerted regional voices and perspectives to global deliberations and negotiations leading to the Third International Conference on Financing for Development and the United Nations summit for the adoption of the post-2015 development agenda. The establishment of the regional forums on sustainable development (RFSD) in most regions in response to the outcome of the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20) constitutes a critical step in further fostering regional voices on the implementation, follow-up and review of the post-2015 agenda, integrating the three dimensions of sustainable development, and providing a clear link with the High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development, the Economic and Social Council and the General Assembly.