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UN Launches Sustainable Development Solutions Network

9 August 2012: UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon announced the launch of the Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN), an independent global network of research centers, universities and technical institutions aiming to mobilize scientific and technical expertise for problem-solving in relation to sustainable development. The Network is headed by UN Special Advisor on Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) Jeffrey Sachs, and will begin work immediately.

SDSN is intended to promote integrated approaches to solving interconnected economic, social and environmental challenges, at local, national and global levels, and to help overcome problems of compartmentalization in technical and policy work. According to the UN press release, “governments often lack the timely information needed for long-term sustainable development strategies.” The Network will connect universities and scientific research institutes, and draw on technology expertise in the private sector. Columbia University's Earth Institute, of which Sachs is Director, will serve as the Network's secretariat.

The initiative is part of the UN's response to the outcome of the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD, or Rio+20) and its mandate to work towards a post-2015 development agenda. It will operate in coordination with the High-level Panel of Eminent Persons on the Post-2015 Development Agenda, which was announced by the Secretary-General on 31 July 2012.

A new SDSN website will go live on 1 September 2012. [UN Press Release] [UN News Centre Story] [SDSN Interim Website]