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Issues Brief Highlights Elements to Strengthen Governance below International Level

RIO+20December 2011: The latest "Rio 2012 Issues Brief" from the Secretariat of the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD, or Rio+20) highlights elements needed to strengthen governance for sustainable development at the regional, national and local levels. The brief is the 10th in a series offering background and analysis to guide UN member States' consideration of issues related to Rio+20.

The latest Brief notes that subsidiarity is a useful concept in considering governance at different levels. At the regional level, it stresses that regional governance institutions need to coordinate among themselves and integrate effectively the social, economic and environmental dimensions of sustainable development. For example, the Brief says, UN organizations working at the regional level should agree to a medium-term capacity‐building framework. At the national and local levels, the Brief notes, governance for sustainable development involves a wide range of entities, which can provide flexibility and innovative solutions to challenges of coordination and coherence.

According to the brief, the key is that all governance levels from local through global are vertically interconnected, since the sustainable development implementation gap can be closed if the capacities of local authorities are supported by higher levels of authority. The importance of data and information are highlighted, regarding their use to build consensus and support decision making in an integrated manner. It is also important to create an enabling environment for boosting capacity at the local level. [Publication: Regional, National and Local Level Governance for Sustainable Development] [Issue Briefs Webpage]