Istanbul Declaration Calls for Bold New Vision for Global Sustainable Development
23 March 2012: Delegates at the Global Human Development Forum adopted the “Istanbul Declaration,” calling for a bold new vision for global sustainable development at the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD, or Rio+20).
The Istanbul Declaration was adopted by consensus at the Global Human Development Forum, which was organized by the UN Development Programme (UNDP) and the Government of Turkey, and held in Istanbul, Turkey from 22-23 March 2012. The Forum gathered more than 200 development experts, civil society activists, private sector representatives and UN officials from around the world to address the need for reinforced global and national sustainable development strategies.
Noting that Rio+20 is an opportunity to reset the global development agenda, the Istanbul Declaration urges the global community to renew its commitment to sustainable development that combines equitable growth with social justice and environmental sustainability, and calls for strong political leadership to implement it. The Declaration stresses that development “must be with and for the people, equitable, inclusive, and human rights driven,” and highlights the following issues as critically important to achieving these goals: a global vision that strongly emphasizes social inclusion and equity; additional funding and a coordinated approach to finding innovative solutions to sustainable development challenges; empowerment of women; and good governance at the local, national, regional and global levels. Noting the importance of measuring progress towards sustainable development, the Declaration calls for measures and indices that go beyond gross domestic product in order to emphasize sustainable and equitable outcomes.
The Declaration also endorses the recommendations of the Secretary-General's High-Level Panel on Global Sustainability and UNDP's 2011 Human Development Report on Sustainability and Equity. It stresses that progress towards meeting the Millennium Development Goals in 2015 must be maintained, while consensus is being built for a new post-2015 global framework that: is universal in character; reflects the entirety of the sustainable development agenda; addresses the interconnected social, economic and environmental dimensions of sustainable development; and is based on measurable indicators for monitoring progress and responding to new challenges. [UNDP Press Release] [UN Press Release] [Istanbul Declaration]