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DESA Releases Information on Global Sustainable Development Report 2013

global_sustainable_development_report 201312 April 2013: The Division for Sustainable Development (DSD) of the UN Department for Economic and Social Development (DESA) has released information on the preparation of the Global Sustainable Development Report 2013. This report aims to strengthen the science-policy interface and will focus on the global sustainable development agenda, with reference to regional, national and local examples of global significance.

The first issue of the report is expected to be completed by the September 2013 session of the high-level political forum (HLPF).

According to the DSD materials, the report will include seven chapters. A chapter on sustainable development assessments will map: their institutional set-up, scientific findings and policy recommendations; science digests on cross-sectoral and cross-thematic issues, such as quantification of tipping points; and emerging issues identified by science. The review of progress will address: sustainable development trends versus science-driven goals, including possible Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs); trends in commitment implementation, institutions and policy; and sustainable development progress from 1950-2013. The future pathways chapter will tell future pathway stories, including: a "dynamics as usual" scenario; a sustainable development scenario from 2010 to 2050, including synergies and tradeoffs; global scenarios at the science-policy interface; and policy solutions and lessons learned. A chapter on making and measuring progress will discuss, inter alia: means of implementation, including education, investment, science, technology and trade; follow up on the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD, or Rio+20); and measuring progress beyond gross domestic product (GDP). A themed chapter on the climate-land-energy-water-development (CLEW) nexus will include case studies from multiple levels, and the concluding chapter will highlight “big” issues for consideration.

Several UN processes have recognized the need for a Global Sustainable Development Report. The Rio+20 Outcome Document calls for the HLPF to build on existing assessments and strengthen the science-policy interface, including through a Global Sustainable Development Report. The UN Secretary-General's High-level Panel on Global Sustainability (GSP) suggested proposed content and objectives for such a report, while the UN Secretary-General in report A/67/591 of 27 November 2012 identified DSD as responsible for, inter alia, analyzing scientific analysis and trends on sustainable development implementation, including through a report.

Expert group and consultation meetings will be held to review and complete the draft chapters, including meetings on CLEW case studies in Stockholm, Sweden in May 2013, and consultations on small island developing States (SIDS) perspectives in Port of Spain, Trinidad, in June 2013.

DESA leads the preparation of the Global Sustainable Development Report, and is calling for focused inputs from scientific communities and the UN system. [Report Website] [Annotated Outline] [A/67/591]