Sustainable development, which brings together the three dimensions – economic, social and environmental, is not only the most felicitous framework for understanding and responding to these trends, it is also the closest expression today of a global social consensus and common political will. Rio+20 was another key milestone in the expression of this political will in the journey towards a more inclusive, sustainable and resilient future. Besides resolving to promote a balanced integration of the three dimensions of Sustainable Development, Rio+20 emphasized the important role of regional organizations in integrating three dimensions of sustainable development into national development policies, plans and programmes. This message was also reiterated by the 2013 Quadrennial comprehensive policy review, which asked the Regional Commissions to prioritize sustainable development inter alia by supporting the implementation of regional agreements and arrangements and the exchange of information, best practices and lessons learned.
The focus of this report is the role of the Regional Commissions in enhancing inter-linkages between the three dimensions of sustainable development, building on past experience and identifying options and strategies for future action. The intention is to provide a better understanding both of how Regional Commissions could contribute to the global sustainable development agenda more effectively, and how this agenda could benefit from the Regional Commissions’ experience and assets.