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United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs Sustainable Development

UN System

The United Nations system plays a critical role in supporting member states’ implementation of intergovernmentally agreed sustainable development objectives. System-wide coherence at global, regional, sub-regional and country levels is crucial for the UN system to deliver on its mandates effectively.

A broad-based inter-agency coordination mechanism in this regard is the Executive Committee of Economic and Social Affairs Plus (ECESA Plus), which brings together 50 plus UN entities (including Funds and Programmes, Regional Commissions, Convention Secretariats, Specialized Agencies, International Financial Institutions, the WTO and IOM), as well as UN research institutes.. It is convened and supported by the Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN-DESA), building on ECESA.

The United Nations System Chief Executives Board (CEB) and the United Nations Sustainable Development Group (UNSDG) continue to be instrumental in coordinating system-wide follow-up activities in their respective areas.

Joint follow-up action by the United Nations system on specific thematic issues is also conducted through collaborative mechanisms, such as UN-WaterUN-OceansUN-Energy, and the High Level Task Force on Global Food and Nutrition Security.

In 2020, in an effort to strengthen the coordination function of the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) to support the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the General Assembly adopted resolution 75/290A. Among the series of measures contained in the resolution, a new Coordination Segment has been created to replace the Integration Segment and the informal meeting of the Council with the Chairs of functional commissions and expert bodies. The Coordination Segment brings together Heads of ECOSOC subsidiary bodies and UN system organizations to provide forward-looking policy guidance to the upcoming work of ECOSOC and to ensure coherence and coordination and give direction to the policies and normative work of its subsidiary bodies and specialized agencies relating to the annual theme of ECOSOC and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.


UN System SDG Implementation online database

The UN System SDG Implementation online database is the UN family’s repository of actions, initiatives and plans on the implementation of the 2030 Agenda and the sustainable development goals (SDGs). It contains information made available by UN system entities. It is searchable and is regularly updated. It serves as a useful reference tool for learning about what UN system entities have been doing in support of the implementation of the 2030 Agenda and the sustainable development goals (SDGs).

Since 2017, the Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA) has invited the member entities of the Executive Committee on Economic and Social Affairs, as well as UN Conventions secretariats and research institutions (ECESA Plus), to undertake an annual survey on the implementation of the 2030 Agenda and the sustainable development goals (SDGs). The information thus provided serves as input to the Secretary-General’s reports on sustainable development, to be submitted to the General Assembly, through the Economic and Social Council, including for the consideration of the high-level political forum on sustainable development (HLPF), as requested by the General Assembly in resolution 72/216.

The database contains information on decisions or new strategies taken by intergovernmental bodies to guide the implementation of the 2030 Agenda and the SDGs, specific actions and initiatives by UN family entities, including their contributions to the HLPF. The database also allows for a searchable overview of collaborative initiatives by UN organizations, their support to countries, and their views on a strategic plan of the UN system in support of the 2030 Agenda and the SDGs.

To access the UN System SDG Implementation online database click here.


Search UN System Inputs to HLPF

ECOSOC Functional Commissions and other intergovernmental bodies and forums are invited by the President of ECOSOC to provide substantive inputs to the HLPF, showcasing their contribution towards the 2030 Agenda in general, and particularly for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and respective targets that are most relevant to their respective mandates.

The following template, inspired by the report of the Secretary-General on global follow-up and review of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (A/70/684), could be considered in providing inputs:

  • an assessment of the situation regarding the principle of “ensuring that no one is left behind” at the global level;
  • the identification of gaps, areas requiring urgent attention, risks and challenges;
  • valuable lessons learned on eradicating poverty and promoting prosperity;
  • emerging issues likely to affect the realization of poverty eradication and achieving prosperity;
  • areas where political guidance by the high-level political forum is required;
  • policy recommendations on ways to accelerate progress in poverty eradication

Click here to access the HLPF Inputs Database.