Future We Want - Outcome documentThe General Assembly, Recalling its resolution 64/236 of 24 December 2009, in which it decided to organize the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development at the highest possible level in 2012, as well as its resolution 66/197 of 22 December 2011, 1. Expresses its profound gratitude to the Government and the people of Brazil for hosting the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development in Rio de Janeiro from 20 to 22 June 2012, and for providing all the necessary support; 2. Endorses the outcome document of the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, entitled "The future we want", annexed to the present resolution. The future we want I. Our common vision 1. We, the Heads of State and Government and high-level representatives, having met at Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, from 20 to 22 June 2012, with the full participation of civil society, renew our commitment to sustainable development and to ensuring the promotion of an economically, socially and environmentally sustainable future for our planet and for present and future generations. 2. Eradicating poverty is the greatest global challenge facing the world today and an indispensable requirement for sustainable development. In this regard we are committed to freeing humanity from poverty and hunger as a matter of urgency. 3. We therefore acknowledge the need to further mainstream sustainable development at all levels, integrating economic, social and environmental aspects and recognizing their interlinkages, so as to achieve sustainable development in all its dimensions. 4. We recognize that poverty eradication, changing unsustainable and promoting sustainable patterns of consumption and production and protecting and managing the natural resource base of economic and social development are the overarching objectives of and essential requirements for sustainable development. We also reaffirm the need to achieve sustainable development by promoting sustained, inclusive and equitable economic growth, creating greater opportunities for all, reducing inequalities, raising basic standards of living, fostering equitable social development and inclusion, and promoting integrated and sustainable management of natural resources and ecosystems that supports, inter alia, economic, social and human development while facilitating ecosystem conservation, regeneration and restoration and resilience in the face of new and emerging challenges. 5. We reaffirm our commitment to make every effort to accelerate the achievement of the internationally agreed development goals, including the Millennium Development Goals by 2015. 6. We recognize that people are at the centre of sustainable development and in this regard we strive for a world that is just, equitable and inclusive, and we commit to work together to promote sustained and inclusive economic growth, social development and environmental protection and thereby to benefit all. 7. We reaffirm that we continue to be guided by the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations, with full respect for international law and its principles. 8. We also reaffirm the importance of freedom, peace and security, respect for all human rights, including the right to development and the right to an adequate standard of living, including the right to food, the rule of law, gender equality, women's empowerment and the overall commitment to just and democratic societies for development. 9. We reaffirm the importance of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, as well as other international instruments relating to human rights and international law. We emphasize the responsibilities of all States, in conformity with the Charter of the United Nations, to respect, protect and promote human rights and fundamental freedoms for all, without distinction of any kind as to race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth, disability or other status. 10. We acknowledge that democracy, good governance and the rule of law, at the national and international levels, as well as an enabling environment, are essential for sustainable development, including sustained and inclusive economic growth, social development, environmental protection and the eradication of poverty and hunger. We reaffirm that to achieve our sustainable development goals we need institutions at all levels that are effective, transparent, accountable and democratic. 11. We reaffirm our commitment to strengthen international cooperation to address the persistent challenges related to sustainable development for all, in particular in developing countries. In this regard, we reaffirm the need to achieve economic stability, sustained economic growth, promotion of social equity and protection of the environment, while enhancing gender equality, women's empowerment and equal opportunities for all, and the protection, survival and development of children to their full potential, including through education. 12. We resolve to take urgent action to achieve sustainable development. We therefore renew our commitment to sustainable development, assessing the progress to date and the remaining gaps in the implementation of the outcomes of the major summits on sustainable development and addressing new and emerging challenges. We express our determination to address the themes of the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, namely, a green economy in the context of sustainable development and poverty eradication, and the institutional framework for sustainable development. 13. We recognize that opportunities for people to influence their lives and future, participate in decision-making and voice their concerns are fundamental for sustainable development. We underscore that sustainable development requires concrete and urgent action. It can only be achieved with a broad alliance of people, governments, civil society and the private sector, all working together to secure the future we want for present and future generations. II. Renewing political commitment A. Reaffirming the Rio Principles and past action plans 14. We recall the Stockholm Declaration of the United Nations Conference on the Human Environment adopted at Stockholm on 16 June 1972. 15. We reaffirm all the principles of the Rio Declaration on Environment and Development, including, inter alia, the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities, as set out in principle 7 of the Rio Declaration. 16. We reaffirm our commitment to fully implement the Rio Declaration on Environment and Development, Agenda 21, the Programme for the Further Implementation of Agenda 21, the Plan of Implementation of the World Summit on Sustainable Development (Johannesburg Plan of Implementation) and the Johannesburg Declaration on Sustainable Development of the World Summit on Sustainable Development, the Programme of Action for the Sustainable Development of Small Island Developing States (Barbados Programme of Action) and the Mauritius Strategy for the Further Implementation of the Programme of Action for the Sustainable Development of Small Island Developing States. We also reaffirm our commitment to the full implementation of the Programme of Action for the Least Developed Countries for the Decade 2011-2020 (Istanbul Programme of Action), the Almaty Programme of Action: Addressing the Needs of Landlocked Developing Countries within a New Global Framework for Transit Transport Cooperation for Landlocked and Transit Developing Countries, the political declaration on Africa's development needs, and the New Partnership for Africa's Development. We recall as well our commitments in the outcomes of all the major United Nations conferences and summits in the economic, social and environmental fields, including the United Nations Millennium Declaration, the 2005 World Summit Outcome, the Monterrey Consensus of the International Conference on Financing for Development, the Doha Declaration on Financing for Development, the outcome document of the High-level Plenary Meeting of the General Assembly on the Millennium Development Goals, the Programme of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development, the key actions for the further implementation of the Programme of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development and the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action. 17. We recognize the importance of the three Rio conventions for advancing sustainable development and in this regard we urge all parties to fully implement their commitments under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, the Convention on Biological Diversity and the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification in Those Countries Experiencing Serious Drought and/or Desertification, Particularly in Africa, in accordance with their respective principles and provisions, as well as to take effective and concrete actions and measures at all levels and to enhance international cooperation. 18. We are determined to reinvigorate political will and to raise the level of commitment by the international community to move the sustainable development agenda forward, through the achievement of the internationally agreed development goals, including the Millennium Development Goals. We further reaffirm our respective commitments to other relevant internationally agreed goals in the economic, social and environmental fields since 1992. We therefore resolve to take concrete measures that accelerate implementation of sustainable development commitments. B. Advancing integration, implementation and coherence: assessing the progress to date and the remaining gaps in the implementation of the outcomes of the major summits on sustainable development and addressing new and emerging challenges 19. We recognize that the 20 years since the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development in 1992 have seen uneven progress, including in sustainable development and poverty eradication. We emphasize the need to make progress in implementing previous commitments. We also recognize the need to accelerate progress in closing development gaps between developed and developing countries, and to seize and create opportunities to achieve sustainable development through economic growth and diversification, social development and environmental protection. To this end, we underscore the continued need for an enabling environment at the national and international levels, as well as continued and strengthened international cooperation, particularly in the areas of finance, debt, trade and technology transfer, as mutually agreed, and innovation, entrepreneurship, capacity-building, transparency and accountability. We recognize the diversification of actors and stakeholders engaged in the pursuit of sustainable development. In this context, we affirm the continued need for the full and effective participation of all countries, in particular developing countries, in global decision-making. 20. We acknowledge that since 1992 there have been areas of insufficient progress and setbacks in the integration of the three dimensions of sustainable development, aggravated by multiple financial, economic, food and energy crises, which have threatened the ability of all countries, in particular developing countries, to achieve sustainable development. In this regard, it is critical that we do not backtrack from our commitment to the outcome of the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development. We also recognize that one of the current major challenges for all countries, particularly for developing countries, is the impact from the multiple crises affecting the world today. 21. We are deeply concerned that one in five people on this planet, or over 1 billion people, still live in extreme poverty, and that one in seven or 14 per cent is undernourished, while public health challenges, including pandemics and epidemics, remain omnipresent threats. In this context, we note the ongoing discussions on human security in the General Assembly. We acknowledge that with the world's population projected to exceed 9 billion by 2050 with an estimated two thirds living in cities, we need to increase our efforts to achieve sustainable development and, in particular, the eradication of poverty, hunger and preventable diseases. 22. We recognize examples of progress in sustainable development at the regional, national, subnational and local levels. We note that efforts to achieve sustainable development have been reflected in regional, national and subnational policies and plans, and that Governments have strengthened their commitment to sustainable development since the adoption of Agenda 21 through legislation and institutions, and the development and implementation of international, regional and subregional agreements and commitments. 23. We reaffirm the importance of supporting developing countries in their efforts to eradicate poverty and promote empowerment of the poor and people in vulnerable situations, including removing barriers to opportunity, enhancing productive capacity, developing sustainable agriculture and promoting full and productive employment and decent work for all, complemented by effective social policies, including social protection floors, with a view to achieving the internationally agreed development goals, including the Millennium Development Goals. 24. We express deep concern about the continuing high levels of unemployment and underemployment, particularly among young people, and note the need for sustainable development strategies to proactively address youth employment at all levels. In this regard, we recognize the need for a global strategy on youth and employment building on the work of the International Labour Organization (ILO). 25. We acknowledge that climate change is a cross-cutting and persistent crisis and express our concern that the scale and gravity of the negative impacts of climate change affect all countries and undermine the ability of all countries, in particular, developing countries, to achieve sustainable development and the Millennium Development Goals and threaten the viability and survival of nations. Therefore we underscore that combating climate change requires urgent and ambitious action, in accordance with the principles and provisions of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. 26. States are strongly urged to refrain from promulgating and applying any unilateral economic, financial or trade measures not in accordance with international law and the Charter of the United Nations that impede the full achievement of economic and social development, particularly in developing countries. 27. We reiterate our commitment, expressed in the Johannesburg Plan of Implementation, the 2005 World Summit Outcome and the outcome document of the High-level Plenary Meeting of the General Assembly on the Millennium Development Goals of 2010, to take further effective measures and actions, in conformity with international law, to remove the obstacles to the full realization of the right of self-determination of peoples living under colonial and foreign occupation, which continue to adversely affect their economic and social development as well as their environment, are incompatible with the dignity and worth of the human person and must be combated and eliminated. 28. We reaffirm that, in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations, this shall not be construed as authorizing or encouraging any action against the territorial integrity or political independence of any State. 29. We resolve to take further effective measures and actions, in conformity with international law, to remove obstacles and constraints, strengthen support and meet the special needs of people living in areas affected by complex humanitarian emergencies and in areas affected by terrorism. 30. We recognize that many people, especially the poor, depend directly on ecosystems for their livelihoods, their economic, social and physical well-being, and their cultural heritage. For this reason, it is essential to generate decent jobs and incomes that decrease disparities in standards of living in order to better meet people's needs and promote sustainable livelihoods and practices and the sustainable use of natural resources and ecosystems. 31. We emphasize that sustainable development must be inclusive and peoplecentred, benefiting and involving all people, including youth and children. We recognize that gender equality and women's empowerment are important for sustainable development and our common future. We reaffirm our commitments to ensure women's equal rights, access and opportunities for participation and leadership in the economy, society and political decision-making. 32. We recognize that each country faces specific challenges to achieve sustainable development and we underscore the special challenges facing the most vulnerable countries and in particular African countries, least developed countries, landlocked developing countries and small island developing States, as well as the specific challenges facing the middle-income countries. Countries in situations of conflict also need special attention. 33. We reaffirm our commitment to take urgent and concrete action to address the vulnerability of small island developing States, including through the sustained implementation of the Barbados Programme of Action and the Mauritius Strategy, and underscore the urgency of finding additional solutions to the major challenges facing small island developing States in a concerted manner so as to support them in sustaining momentum realized in implementing the Barbados Programme of Action and the Mauritius Strategy and achieving sustainable development. 34. We reaffirm that the Istanbul Programme of Action outlines the priorities of least developed countries for sustainable development and defines a framework for renewed and strengthened global partnership to implement them. We commit to assist the least developed countries with the implementation of the Istanbul Programme of Action as well as in their efforts to achieve sustainable development. 35. We recognize that more attention should be given to Africa and the implementation of previously agreed commitments related to its development needs that were made at major United Nations summits and conferences. We note that aid to Africa has increased in recent years. However, it still lags behind commitments that were previously made. We underscore the key priority for the international community of supporting Africa's sustainable development efforts. In this regard, we recommit to fully implement the internationally agreed commitments related to Africa's development needs, particularly those contained in the United Nations Millennium Declaration, the United Nations Declaration on the New Partnership for Africa's Development, the Monterrey Consensus, the Johannesburg Plan of Implementation and the 2005 World Summit Outcome, as well as the 2008 political declaration on Africa's development needs. 36. We recognize the serious constraints to achieving sustainable development in all its three dimensions in landlocked developing countries. In this regard, we reaffirm our commitment to address the special development needs and the challenges faced by landlocked developing countries through the full, timely and effective implementation of the Almaty Programme of Action as contained in the declaration on the midterm review of the Almaty Programme of Action. 37. We recognize the progress made by middle-income countries in improving the well-being of their people, as well as the specific development challenges they face in their efforts to eradicate poverty, reduce inequalities and achieve their development goals, including the Millennium Development Goals, and to achieve sustainable development in a comprehensive manner integrating the economic, social and environmental dimensions. We reiterate that these efforts should be adequately supported by the international community, in various forms, taking into account the needs and the capacity to mobilize domestic resources of these countries. 38. We recognize the need for broader measures of progress to complement gross domestic product in order to better inform policy decisions, and in this regard we request the United Nations Statistical Commission, in consultation with relevant United Nations system entities and other relevant organizations, to launch a programme of work in this area building on existing initiatives. 39. We recognize that planet Earth and its ecosystems are our home and that "Mother Earth" is a common expression in a number of countries and regions, and we note that some countries recognize the rights of nature in the context of the promotion of sustainable development. We are convinced that in order to achieve a just balance among the economic, social and environmental needs of present and future generations, it is necessary to promote harmony with nature. 40. We call for holistic and integrated approaches to sustainable development that will guide humanity to live in harmony with nature and lead to efforts to restore the health and integrity of the Earth's ecosystem. 41. We acknowledge the natural and cultural diversity of the world and recognize that all cultures and civilizations can contribute to sustainable development. C. Engaging major groups and other stakeholders 42. We reaffirm the key role of all levels of government and legislative bodies in promoting sustainable development. We further acknowledge efforts and progress made at the local and subnational levels, and recognize the important role that such authorities and communities can play in implementing sustainable development, including by engaging citizens and stakeholders and providing them with relevant information, as appropriate, on the three dimensions of sustainable development. We further acknowledge the importance of involving all relevant decision makers in the planning and implementation of sustainable development policies. 43. We underscore that broad public participation and access to information and judicial and administrative proceedings are essential to the promotion of sustainable development. Sustainable development requires the meaningful involvement and active participation of regional, national and subnational legislatures and judiciaries, and all major groups: women, children and youth, indigenous peoples, non-governmental organizations, local authorities, workers and trade unions, business and industry, the scientific and technological community, and farmers, as well as other stakeholders, including local communities, volunteer groups and foundations, migrants and families as well as older persons and persons with disabilities. In this regard, we agree to work more closely with the major groups and other stakeholders and encourage their active participation, as appropriate, in processes that contribute to decision-making, planning and implementation of policies and programmes for sustainable development at all levels. 44. We acknowledge the role of civil society and the importance of enabling all members of civil society to be actively engaged in sustainable development. We recognize that improved participation of civil society depends upon, inter alia, strengthening access to information and building civil society capacity and an enabling environment. We recognize that information and communications technology is facilitating the flow of information between governments and the public. In this regard, it is essential to work towards improved access to information and communications technology, especially broadband networks and services, and bridge the digital divide, recognizing the contribution of international cooperation in this regard. 45. We underscore that women have a vital role to play in achieving sustainable development. We recognize the leadership role of women and we resolve to promote gender equality and women's empowerment and to ensure their full and effective participation in sustainable development policies, programmes and decision-making at all levels. 46. We acknowledge that the implementation of sustainable development will depend on the active engagement of both the public and the private sectors. We recognize that the active participation of the private sector can contribute to the achievement of sustainable development, including through the important tool of public-private partnerships. We support national regulatory and policy frameworks that enable business and industry to advance sustainable development initiatives, taking into account the importance of corporate social responsibility. We call on the private sector to engage in responsible business practices, such as those promoted by the United Nations Global Compact. 47. We acknowledge the importance of corporate sustainability reporting and encourage companies, where appropriate, especially publicly listed and large companies, to consider integrating sustainability information into their reporting cycle. We encourage industry, interested governments and relevant stakeholders with the support of the United Nations system, as appropriate, to develop models for best practice and facilitate action for the integration of sustainability reporting, taking into account experiences from already existing frameworks and paying particular attention to the needs of developing countries, including for capacitybuilding. 48. We recognize the important contribution of the scientific and technological community to sustainable development. We are committed to working with and fostering collaboration among the academic, scientific and technological community, in particular in developing countries, to close the technological gap between developing and developed countries and strengthen the science-policy interface as well as to foster international research collaboration on sustainable development. 49. We stress the importance of the participation of indigenous peoples in the achievement of sustainable development. We also recognize the importance of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples in the context of global, regional, national and subnational implementation of sustainable development strategies. 50. We stress the importance of the active participation of young people in decision-making processes, as the issues we are addressing have a deep impact on present and future generations, and as the contribution of children and youth is vital to the achievement of sustainable development. We also recognize the need to promote intergenerational dialogue and solidarity by recognizing their views. 51. We stress the importance of the participation of workers and trade unions in the promotion of sustainable development. As the representatives of working people, trade unions are important partners in facilitating the achievement of sustainable development, in particular the social dimension. Information, education and training on sustainability at all levels, including in the workplace, are key to strengthening the capacity of workers and trade unions to support sustainable development. 52. We recognize that farmers, including small-scale farmers and fisherfolk, pastoralists and foresters, can make important contributions to sustainable development through production activities that are environmentally sound, enhance food security and the livelihood of the poor, and invigorate production and sustained economic growth. 53. We note the valuable contributions that non-governmental organizations could and do make in promoting sustainable development through their well-established and diverse experience, expertise and capacity, especially in the area of analysis, sharing of information and knowledge, promotion of dialogue and support of implementation of sustainable development. 54. We recognize the central role of the United Nations in advancing the sustainable development agenda. We acknowledge as well, in this regard, the contributions of other relevant international organizations, including international financial institutions and multilateral development banks, and stress the importance of cooperation among them and with the United Nations, within their respective mandates, recognizing their role in mobilizing resources for sustainable development. 55. We commit ourselves to reinvigorating the global partnership for sustainable development that we launched in Rio de Janeiro in 1992. We recognize the need to impart new momentum to our cooperative pursuit of sustainable development, and commit to work together with major groups and other stakeholders in addressing implementation gaps. III. Green economy in the context of sustainable development and poverty eradication 56. We affirm that there are different approaches, visions, models and tools available to each country, in accordance with its national circumstances and priorities, to achieve sustainable development in its three dimensions which is our overarching goal. In this regard, we consider green economy in the context of sustainable development and poverty eradication as one of the important tools available for achieving sustainable development and that it could provide options for policymaking but should not be a rigid set of rules. We emphasize that it should contribute to eradicating poverty as well as sustained economic growth, enhancing social inclusion, improving human welfare and creating opportunities for employment and decent work for all, while maintaining the healthy functioning of the Earth's ecosystems. 57. We affirm that policies for green economy in the context of sustainable development and poverty eradication should be guided by and in accordance with all the Rio Principles, Agenda 21 and the Johannesburg Plan of Implementation and contribute towards achieving relevant internationally agreed development goals, including the Millennium Development Goals. 58. We affirm that green economy policies in the context of sustainable development and poverty eradication should: (a) Be consistent with international law; (b) Respect each country's national sovereignty over their natural resources taking into account its national circumstances, objectives, responsibilities, priorities and policy space with regard to the three dimensions of sustainable development; (c) Be supported by an enabling environment and well-functioning institutions at all levels with a leading role for governments and with the participation of all relevant stakeholders, including civil society; (d) Promote sustained and inclusive economic growth, foster innovation and provide opportunities, benefits and empowerment for all and respect of all human rights; (e) Take into account the needs of developing countries, particularly those in special situations; (f) Strengthen international cooperation, including the provision of financial resources, capacity-building and technology transfer to developing countries; (g) Effectively avoid unwarranted conditionalities on official development assistance (ODA) and finance; (h) Not constitute a means of arbitrary or unjustifiable discrimination or a disguised restriction on international trade, avoid unilateral actions to deal with environmental challenges outside the jurisdiction of the importing country, and ensure that environmental measures addressing transboundary or global environmental problems, as far as possible, are based on an international consensus; (i) Contribute to closing technology gaps between developed and developing countries and reduce the technological dependence of developing countries using all appropriate measures; (j) Enhance the welfare of indigenous peoples and their communities, other local and traditional communities and ethnic minorities, recognizing and supporting their identity, culture and interests, and avoid endangering their cultural heritage, practices and traditional knowledge, preserving and respecting non-market approaches that contribute to the eradication of poverty; (k) Enhance the welfare of women, children, youth, persons with disabilities, smallholder and subsistence farmers, fisherfolk and those working in small and medium-sized enterprises, and improve the livelihoods and empowerment of the poor and vulnerable groups in particular in developing countries; (l) Mobilize the full potential and ensure the equal contribution of both women and men; (m) Promote productive activities in developing countries that contribute to the eradication of poverty; (n) Address the concern about inequalities and promote social inclusion, including social protection floors; (o) Promote sustainable consumption and production patterns; (p) Continue efforts to strive for inclusive, equitable development approaches to overcome poverty and inequality. 59. We view the implementation of green economy policies by countries that seek to apply them for the transition towards sustainable development as a common undertaking, and we recognize that each country can choose an appropriate approach in accordance with national sustainable development plans, strategies and priorities. 60. We acknowledge that green economy in the context of sustainable development and poverty eradication will enhance our ability to manage natural resources sustainably and with lower negative environmental impacts, increase resource efficiency and reduce waste. 61. We recognize that urgent action on unsustainable patterns of production and consumption where they occur remains fundamental in addressing environmental sustainability and promoting conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity and ecosystems, regeneration of natural resources and the promotion of sustained, inclusive and equitable global growth. 62. We encourage each country to consider the implementation of green economy policies in the context of sustainable development and poverty eradication, in a manner that endeavours to drive sustained, inclusive and equitable economic growth and job creation, particularly for women, youth and the poor. In this respect, we note the importance of ensuring that workers are equipped with the necessary skills, including through education and capacity-building, and are provided with the necessary social and health protections. In this regard, we encourage all stakeholders, including business and industry, to contribute, as appropriate. We invite governments to improve knowledge and statistical capacity on job trends, developments and constraints and integrate relevant data into national statistics, with the support of relevant United Nations agencies within their mandates. 63. We recognize the importance of the evaluation of the range of social, environmental and economic factors and encourage, where national circumstances and conditions allow, their integration into decision-making. We acknowledge that it will be important to take into account the opportunities and challenges, as well as the costs and benefits, of green economy policies in the context of sustainable development and poverty eradication, using the best available scientific data and analysis. We acknowledge that a mix of measures, including regulatory, voluntary and others applied at the national level and consistent with obligations under international agreements, could promote green economy in the context of sustainable development and poverty eradication. We reaffirm that social policies are vital to promoting sustainable development. 64. We acknowledge that involvement of all stakeholders and their partnerships, networking and experience-sharing at all levels could help countries to learn from one another in identifying appropriate sustainable development policies, including green economy policies. We note the positive experiences in some countries, including in developing countries, in adopting green economy policies in the context of sustainable development and poverty eradication through an inclusive approach and welcome the voluntary exchange of experiences as well as capacity-building in the different areas of sustainable development. 65. We recognize the power of communications technologies, including connection technologies and innovative applications, to promote knowledge exchange, technical cooperation and capacity-building for sustainable development. These technologies and applications can build capacity and enable the sharing of experiences and knowledge in the different areas of sustainable development in an open and transparent manner. 66. Recognizing the importance of linking financing, technology, capacitybuilding and national needs for sustainable development policies, including green economy in the context of sustainable development and poverty eradication, we invite the United Nations system, in cooperation with relevant donors and international organizations, to coordinate and provide information upon request on: (a) Matching interested countries with the partners that are best suited to provide requested support; (b) Toolboxes and/or best practices in applying policies on green economy in the context of sustainable development and poverty eradication at all levels; (c) Models or good examples of policies on green economy in the context of sustainable development and poverty eradication; (d) Methodologies for evaluation of policies on green economy in the context of sustainable development and poverty eradication; (e) Existing and emerging platforms that contribute in this regard. 67. We underscore the importance of governments taking a leadership role in developing policies and strategies through an inclusive and transparent process. We also take note of the efforts of those countries, including developing countries, that have already initiated processes to prepare national green economy strategies and policies in support of sustainable development. 68. We invite relevant stakeholders, including the United Nations regional commissions, United Nations organizations and bodies, other relevant intergovernmental and regional organizations, international financial institutions and major groups involved in sustainable development, according to their respective mandates, to support developing countries upon request to achieve sustainable development, including through, inter alia, green economy policies in the context of sustainable development and poverty eradication, in particular in least developed countries. 69. We also invite business and industry as appropriate and in accordance with national legislation to contribute to sustainable development and to develop sustainability strategies that integrate, inter alia, green economy policies. 70. We acknowledge the role of cooperatives and microenterprises in contributing to social inclusion and poverty reduction in particular in developing countries. 71. We encourage existing and new partnerships, including public-private partnerships, to mobilize public financing complemented by the private sector, taking into account the interests of local and indigenous communities when appropriate. In this regard, governments should support initiatives for sustainable development, including promoting the contribution of the private sector to support green economy policies in the context of sustainable development and poverty eradication. 72. We recognize the critical role of technology as well as the importance of promoting innovation, in particular in developing countries. We invite governments, as appropriate, to create enabling frameworks that foster environmentally sound technology, research and development, and innovation, including in support of green economy in the context of sustainable development and poverty eradication. 73. We emphasize the importance of technology transfer to developing countries and recall the provisions on technology transfer, finance, access to information, and intellectual property rights as agreed in the Johannesburg Plan of Implementation, in particular its call to promote, facilitate and finance, as appropriate, access to and the development, transfer and diffusion of environmentally sound technologies and corresponding know-how, in particular to developing countries, on favourable terms, including on concessional and preferential terms, as mutually agreed. We also take note of the further evolution of discussions and agreements on these issues since the adoption of the Johannesburg Plan of Implementation. 74. We recognize that the efforts of developing countries that choose to implement green economy policies in the context of sustainable development and poverty eradication should be supported through technical and technological assistance. IV. Institutional framework for sustainable development A. Strengthening the three dimensions of sustainable development 75. We underscore the importance of a strengthened institutional framework for sustainable development which responds coherently and effectively to current and future challenges and efficiently bridges gaps in the implementation of the sustainable development agenda. The institutional framework for sustainable development should integrate the three dimensions of sustainable development in a balanced manner and enhance implementation by, inter alia, strengthening coherence, coordination, avoiding duplication of efforts and reviewing progress in implementing sustainable development. We also reaffirm that the framework should be inclusive, transparent and effective and that it should find common solutions related to global challenges to sustainable development. 76. We recognize that effective governance at the local, subnational, national, regional and global levels representing the voices and interests of all is critical for advancing sustainable development. The strengthening and reform of the institutional framework should not be an end in itself, but a means to achieve sustainable development. We recognize that an improved and more effective institutional framework for sustainable development at the international level should be consistent with the Rio Principles, build on Agenda 21 and the Johannesburg Plan of Implementation and its objectives on the institutional framework for sustainable development, contribute to the implementation of our commitments in the outcomes of United Nations conferences and summits in the economic, social, environmental and related fields and take into account national priorities and the development strategies and priorities of developing countries. We therefore resolve to strengthen the institutional framework for sustainable development, which will, inter alia: (a) Promote the balanced integration of the three dimensions of sustainable development; (b) Be based on an action- and result-oriented approach giving due regard to all relevant cross-cutting issues with the aim to contribute to the implementation of sustainable development; (c) Underscore the importance of interlinkages among key issues and challenges and the need for a systematic approach to them at all relevant levels; (d) Enhance coherence, reduce fragmentation and overlap and increase effectiveness, efficiency and transparency, while reinforcing coordination and cooperation; (e) Promote full and effective participation of all countries in decisionmaking processes; (f) Engage high-level political leaders, provide policy guidance and identify specific actions to promote effective implementation of sustainable development, including through voluntary sharing of experiences and lessons learned; (g) Promote the science-policy interface through inclusive, evidence-based and transparent scientific assessments, as well as access to reliable, relevant and timely data in areas related to the three dimensions of sustainable development, building on existing mechanisms, as appropriate; in this regard, strengthen participation of all countries in international sustainable development processes and capacity-building especially for developing countries, including in conducting their own monitoring and assessments; (h) Enhance the participation and effective engagement of civil society and other relevant stakeholders in the relevant international forums and in this regard promote transparency and broad public participation and partnerships to implement sustainable development; (i) Promote the review and stocktaking of progress in the implementation of all sustainable development commitments, including commitments related to means of implementation. B. Strengthening intergovernmental arrangements for sustainable development 77. We acknowledge the vital importance of an inclusive, transparent, reformed, strengthened and effective multilateral system in order to better address the urgent global challenges of sustainable development today, recognizing the universality and central role of the United Nations and reaffirming our commitment to promote and strengthen the effectiveness and efficiency of the United Nations system. 78. We underscore the need to strengthen United Nations system-wide coherence and coordination, while ensuring appropriate accountability to Member States, by, inter alia, enhancing coherence in reporting and reinforcing cooperative efforts under existing inter-agency mechanisms and strategies to advance the integration of the three dimensions of sustainable development within the United Nations system, including through exchange of information among its agencies, funds and programmes, and also with the international financial institutions and other relevant organizations such as the World Trade Organization (WTO), within their respective mandates. 79. We emphasize the need for an improved and more effective institutional framework for sustainable development which should be guided by the specific functions required and mandates involved; address the shortcomings of the current system; take into account all relevant implications; promote synergies and coherence; seek to avoid duplication and eliminate unnecessary overlaps within the United Nations system; and reduce administrative burdens and build on existing arrangements. General Assembly 80. We reaffirm the role and authority of the General Assembly on global matters of concern to the international community, as set out in the Charter. 81. We further reaffirm the central position of the General Assembly as the chief deliberative, policymaking and representative organ of the United Nations. In this regard, we call for the Assembly to further integrate sustainable development as a key element of the overarching framework for United Nations activities and adequately address sustainable development in its agenda setting, including through periodic high-level dialogues. Economic and Social Council 82. We reaffirm that the Economic and Social Council is a principal body for policy review, policy dialogue and recommendations on issues of economic and social development and for the follow-up to the Millennium Development Goals and is a central mechanism for the coordination of the United Nations system and supervision of the subsidiary bodies of the Council, in particular its functional commissions, and for promoting the implementation of Agenda 21 by strengthening system-wide coherence and coordination. We also reaffirm the major role the Council plays in the overall coordination of funds, programmes and specialized agencies, ensuring coherence among them and avoiding duplication of mandates and activities. 83. We commit to strengthen the Economic and Social Council within its mandate under the Charter, as a principal organ in the integrated and coordinated follow-up of the outcomes of all major United Nations conferences and summits in the economic, social, environmental and related fields, and recognize its key role in achieving a balanced integration of the three dimensions of sustainable development. We look forward to the review of the implementation of General Assembly resolution 61/16 on the strengthening of the Economic and Social Council. High-level political forum 84. We decide to establish a universal intergovernmental high-level political forum, building on the strengths, experiences, resources and inclusive participation modalities of the Commission on Sustainable Development, and subsequently replacing the Commission. The high-level political forum shall follow up on the implementation of sustainable development and should avoid overlap with existing structures, bodies and entities in a cost-effective manner. 85. The high-level forum could: (a) Provide political leadership, guidance and recommendations for sustainable development; (b) Enhance integration of the three dimensions of sustainable development in a holistic and cross-sectoral manner at all levels; (c) Provide a dynamic platform for regular dialogue, and for stocktaking and agenda setting to advance sustainable development; (d) Have a focused, dynamic and action-oriented agenda, ensuring the appropriate consideration of new and emerging sustainable development challenges; (e) Follow up and review progress in the implementation of sustainable development commitments contained in Agenda 21, the Johannesburg Plan of Implementation, the Barbados Programme of Action, the Mauritius Strategy and the outcome of the present Conference and, as appropriate, relevant outcomes of other United Nations summits and conferences, including the outcome of the Fourth United Nations Conference on the Least Developed Countries, as well as their respective means of implementation; (f) Encourage high-level system-wide participation of United Nations agencies, funds and programmes and invite to participate, as appropriate, other relevant multilateral financial and trade institutions and treaty bodies, within their respective mandates and in accordance with United Nations rules and provisions; (g) Improve cooperation and coordination within the United Nations system on sustainable development programmes and policies; (h) Promote transparency and implementation through further enhancing the consultative role and participation of major groups and other relevant stakeholders at the international level in order to better make use of their expertise, while retaining the intergovernmental nature of discussions; (i) Promote the sharing of best practices and experiences relating to the implementation of sustainable development and, on a voluntary basis, facilitate sharing of experiences, including successes, challenges and lessons learned; (j) Promote system-wide coherence and coordination of sustainable development policies; (k) Strengthen the science-policy interface through review of documentation bringing together dispersed information and assessments, including in the form of a global sustainable development report, building on existing assessments; (l) Enhance evidence-based decision-making at all levels and contribute to strengthening ongoing efforts of capacity-building for data collection and analysis in developing countries. 86. We decide to launch an intergovernmental and open, transparent and inclusive negotiation process under the General Assembly to define the format and organizational aspects of the high-level forum with the aim of convening the first high-level forum at the beginning of the sixty-eighth session of the Assembly. We will also consider the need for promoting intergenerational solidarity for the achievement of sustainable development, taking into account the needs of future generations, including by inviting the Secretary-General to present a report on this issue. C. Environmental pillar in the context of sustainable development 87. We reaffirm the need to strengthen international environmental governance within the context of the institutional framework for sustainable development, in order to promote a balanced integration of the economic, social and environmental dimensions of sustainable development as well as coordination within the United Nations system. 88. We are committed to strengthening the role of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) as the leading global environmental authority that sets the global environmental agenda, promotes the coherent implementation of the environmental dimension of sustainable development within the United Nations system and serves as an authoritative advocate for the global environment. We reaffirm resolution 2997 (XXVII) of 15 December 1972 which established UNEP and other relevant resolutions that reinforce its mandate, as well as the 1997 Nairobi Declaration on the Role and Mandate of UNEP and the 2000 Malm� Ministerial Declaration. In this regard, we invite the General Assembly, at its sixty-seventh session, to adopt a resolution strengthening and upgrading UNEP in the following manner: (a) Establish universal membership in the Governing Council of UNEP, as well as other measures to strengthen its governance as well its responsiveness and accountability to Member States; (b) Have secure, stable, adequate and increased financial resources from the regular budget of the United Nations and voluntary contributions to fulfil its mandate; (c) Enhance the voice of UNEP and its ability to fulfil its coordination mandate within the United Nations system by strengthening UNEP engagement in key United Nations coordination bodies and empowering UNEP to lead efforts to formulate United Nations system-wide strategies on the environment; (d) Promote a strong science-policy interface, building on existing international instruments, assessments, panels and information networks, including the Global Environment Outlook, as one of the processes aimed at bringing together information and assessment to support informed decision-making; (e) Disseminate and share evidence-based environmental information and raise public awareness on critical as well as emerging environmental issues; (f) Provide capacity-building to countries, as well as support and facilitate access to technology; (g) Progressively consolidate headquarters functions in Nairobi, as well as strengthen its regional presence, in order to assist countries, upon request, in the implementation of their national environmental policies, collaborating closely with other relevant entities of the United Nations system; (h) Ensure the active participation of all relevant stakeholders drawing on best practices and models from relevant multilateral institutions and exploring new mechanisms to promote transparency and the effective engagement of civil society. 89. We recognize the significant contributions to sustainable development made by the multilateral environmental agreements. We acknowledge the work already undertaken to enhance synergies among the three conventions in the chemicals and waste cluster (the Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal, the Rotterdam Convention on the Prior Informed Consent Procedure for Certain Hazardous Chemicals and Pesticides in International Trade and the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants). We encourage parties to multilateral environmental agreements to consider further measures, in these and other clusters, as appropriate, to promote policy coherence at all relevant levels, improve efficiency, reduce unnecessary overlap and duplication, and enhance coordination and cooperation among the multilateral environmental agreements, including the three Rio conventions, as well as with the United Nations system in the field. 90. We stress the need for the continuation of a regular review of the state of the Earth's changing environment and its impact on human well-being and, in this regard, we welcome such initiatives as the Global Environment Outlook process aimed at bringing together environmental information and assessments and building national and regional capacity to support informed decision-making. D. International financial institutions and United Nations operational activities 91. We recognize that sustainable development should be given due consideration by the programmes, funds and specialized agencies of the United Nations system and other relevant entities such as international financial institutions and the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, in accordance with their respective existing mandates. In this regard, we invite them to further enhance mainstreaming of sustainable development in their respective mandates, programmes, strategies and decision-making processes, in support of the efforts of all countries, in particular developing countries, in the achievement of sustainable development. 92. We reaffirm the importance of broadening and strengthening the participation of developing countries in international economic decision-making and normsetting, and in this regard, take note of recent important decisions on reform of the governance structures, quotas and voting rights of the Bretton Woods institutions, better reflecting current realities and enhancing the voice and participation of developing countries, and reiterate the importance of the reform of the governance of those institutions in order to deliver more effective, credible, accountable and legitimate institutions. 93. We call for the further mainstreaming of the three dimensions of sustainable development throughout the United Nations system, and request the Secretary- General to report to the General Assembly, through the Economic and Social Council, on the progress made in this regard. We also call for and recognize the importance of the strengthening of policy coordination within key structures of the Secretariat of the United Nations so as to ensure system-wide coherence in support of sustainable development, while ensuring accountability to Member States. 94. We invite the governing bodies of the funds, programmes and specialized agencies of the United Nations development system to consider appropriate measures for integrating the social, economic and environmental dimensions across the operational activities of the United Nations system. We also emphasize that increasing the financial contributions to the United Nations development system is key to achieving the internationally agreed development goals, including the Millennium Development Goals, and in this regard we recognize the mutually reinforcing links among increased effectiveness, efficiency and coherence of the United Nations development system, achieving concrete results in assisting developing countries in eradicating poverty and achieving sustained economic growth and sustainable development. 95. We emphasize the need to strengthen operational activities for development of the United Nations system in the field that are well aligned with national sustainable development priorities of developing countries. In this regard, we emphasize that the fundamental characteristics and principles of United Nations operational activities set forth in the relevant General Assembly resolutions provide the overarching framework for all matters pertaining to the United Nations development assistance operations in the field. We recognize the importance of strengthening United Nations system coordination. We look forward to receiving the outcome of the independent evaluation of the Delivering as one initiative. 96. We call on the United Nations system to improve the management of facilities and operations, by taking into account sustainable development practices, building on existing efforts and promoting cost effectiveness, and in accordance with legislative frameworks, including financial rules and regulations, while maintaining accountability to Member States. E. Regional, national, subnational and local levels 97. We acknowledge the importance of the regional dimension of sustainable development. Regional frameworks can complement and facilitate effective translation of sustainable development policies into concrete action at the national level. 98. We encourage regional, national, subnational and local authorities as appropriate to develop and utilize sustainable development strategies as key instruments for guiding decision-making and implementation of sustainable development at all levels, and in this regard we recognize that integrated social, economic and environmental data and information, as well as effective analysis and assessment of implementation, is important in decision-making processes. 99. We encourage action at the regional, national, subnational and local levels to promote access to information, public participation and access to justice in environmental matters, as appropriate. 100. We emphasize that regional and subregional organizations, including the United Nations regional commissions and their subregional offices, have a significant role to play in promoting a balanced integration of the economic, social and environmental dimensions of sustainable development in their respective regions. We underscore the need to support these institutions, including through the United Nations system, in the effective operationalization and implementation of sustainable development, and to facilitate institutional coherence and harmonization of relevant development policies, plans and programmes. In this regard, we urge these institutions to prioritize sustainable development through, inter alia, more efficient and effective capacity-building, development and implementation of regional agreements and arrangements as appropriate, and exchange of information, best practices and lessons learned. We also welcome regional and cross-regional initiatives for sustainable development. We furthermore recognize the need to ensure effective linkage among global, regional, subregional and national processes to advance sustainable development. We encourage the enhancement of the United Nations regional commissions and their subregional offices in their respective capacities to support Member States in implementing sustainable development. 101. We underline the need for more coherent and integrated planning and decisionmaking at the national, subnational and local levels as appropriate and, to this end, we call on countries to strengthen national, subnational and/or local institutions or relevant multi-stakeholder bodies and processes, as appropriate, dealing with sustainable development, including to coordinate on matters of sustainable development and to enable effective integration of the three dimensions of sustainable development. 102. We welcome regional and cross-regional initiatives for sustainable development, such as the Green Bridge Partnership Programme, which is voluntary and open for participation by all partners. 103. We underscore the need to ensure long-term political commitment to sustainable development taking into account national circumstances and priorities and, in this regard, we encourage all countries to undertake the necessary actions and measures to achieve sustainable development. V. Framework for action and follow-up A. Thematic areas and cross-sectoral issues 104. We recognize that in order to achieve the objective of the Conference, namely to secure renewed political commitment for sustainable development, as well as to address the themes of a green economy in the context of sustainable development and poverty eradication and the institutional framework for sustainable development, we commit to address remaining gaps in the implementation of the outcomes of the major summits on sustainable development, to address new and emerging challenges and to seize new opportunities through the actions enumerated below in this framework for action, supported as appropriate through provision of means of implementation. We recognize that goals, targets and indicators, including where appropriate gender-sensitive indicators, are valuable in measuring and accelerating progress. We further note that progress in the implementation of the actions stipulated below can be enhanced by voluntarily sharing information, knowledge and experience. Poverty eradication 105. We recognize that, three years from the 2015 target date of the Millennium Development Goals, while there has been progress in reducing poverty in some regions, this progress has been uneven and the number of people living in poverty in some countries continues to increase, with women and children constituting the majority of the most affected groups, especially in the least developed countries and particularly in Africa. 106. We recognize that sustained, inclusive and equitable economic growth in developing countries is a key requirement for eradicating poverty and hunger and achieving the Millennium Development Goals. In this regard, we emphasize that national efforts of developing countries should be complemented by an enabling environment aimed at expanding the development opportunities of developing countries. We also emphasize the need to accord the highest priority to poverty eradication within the United Nations development agenda, addressing the root causes and challenges of poverty through integrated, coordinated and coherent strategies at all levels. 107. We recognize that promoting universal access to social services can make an important contribution to consolidating and achieving development gains. Social protection systems that address and reduce inequality and social exclusion are essential for eradicating poverty and advancing the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals. In this regard, we strongly encourage initiatives aimed at enhancing social protection for all people. Food security and nutrition and sustainable agriculture 108. We reaffirm our commitments regarding the right of everyone to have access to safe, sufficient and nutritious food, consistent with the right to adequate food and the fundamental right of everyone to be free from hunger. We acknowledge that food security and nutrition has become a pressing global challenge and, in this regard, we further reaffirm our commitment to enhancing food security and access to adequate, safe and nutritious food for present and future generations in line with the Five Rome Principles for Sustainable Global Food Security adopted in 2009, including for children under two, and through, as appropriate, national, regional and global food security and nutrition strategies. 109. We recognize that a significant portion of the world's poor live in rural areas, and that rural communities play an important role in the economic development of many countries. We emphasize the need to revitalize the agricultural and rural development sectors, notably in developing countries, in an economically, socially and environmentally sustainable manner. We recognize the importance of taking the necessary actions to better address the needs of rural communities through, inter alia, enhancing access by agricultural producers, in particular small producers, women, indigenous peoples and people living in vulnerable situations, to credit and other financial services, markets, secure land tenure, health care, social services, education, training, knowledge and appropriate and affordable technologies, including for efficient irrigation, reuse of treated wastewater and water harvesting and storage. We reiterate the importance of empowering rural women as critical agents for enhancing agricultural and rural development and food security and nutrition. We also recognize the importance of traditional sustainable agricultural practices, including traditional seed supply systems, including for many indigenous peoples and local communities. 110. Noting the diversity of agricultural conditions and systems, we resolve to increase sustainable agricultural production and productivity globally, including through improving the functioning of markets and trading systems and strengthening international cooperation, particularly for developing countries, by increasing public and private investment in sustainable agriculture, land management and rural development. Key areas for investment and support include sustainable agricultural practices; rural infrastructure, storage capacities and related technologies; research and development on sustainable agricultural technologies; developing strong agricultural cooperatives and value chains; and strengthening urban-rural linkages. We also recognize the need to significantly reduce post-harvest and other food losses and waste throughout the food supply chain. 111. We reaffirm the necessity to promote, enhance and support more sustainable agriculture, including crops, livestock, forestry, fisheries and aquaculture, that improves food security, eradicates hunger and is economically viable, while conserving land, water, plant and animal genetic resources, biodiversity and ecosystems and enhancing resilience to climate change and natural disasters. We also recognize the need to maintain natural ecological processes that support food production systems. 112. We stress the need to enhance sustainable livestock production systems, including through improving pasture land and irrigation schemes in line with national policies, legislation, rules and regulations, enhanced sustainable water management systems, and efforts to eradicate and prevent the spread of animal diseases, recognizing that the livelihoods of farmers, including pastoralists, and the health of livestock are intertwined. 113. We also stress the crucial role of healthy marine ecosystems, sustainable fisheries and sustainable aquaculture for food security and nutrition and in providing for the livelihoods of millions of people. 114. We resolve to take action to enhance agricultural research, extension services, training and education to improve agricultural productivity and sustainability through the voluntary sharing of knowledge and good practices. We further resolve to improve access to information, technical knowledge and know-how, including through new information and communications technologies that empower farmers, fisherfolk and foresters to choose among diverse methods of achieving sustainable agricultural production. We call for the strengthening of international cooperation on agricultural research for development. 115. We reaffirm the important work and inclusive nature of the Committee on World Food Security, including through its role in facilitating country-initiated assessments on sustainable food production and food security, and we encourage countries to give due consideration to implementing the Committee on World Food Security Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Governance of Tenure of Land, Fisheries and Forests in the Context of National Food Security. We take note of the ongoing discussions on responsible agricultural investment in the framework of the Committee on World Food Security, as well as the principles for responsible agricultural investment. 116. We stress the need to address the root causes of excessive food price volatility, including its structural causes, at all levels, and the need to manage the risks linked to high and excessively volatile prices in agricultural commodities and their consequences for global food security and nutrition, as well as for smallholder farmers and poor urban dwellers. 117. We underline the importance of timely, accurate and transparent information in helping to address excessive food price volatility, and in this regard take note of the Agricultural Market Information System hosted by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and urge the participating international organizations, private sector actors and Governments to ensure the public dissemination of timely and quality food market information products. 118. We reaffirm that a universal, rules-based, open, non-discriminatory and equitable multilateral trading system will promote agricultural and rural development in developing countries and contribute to world food security. We urge national, regional and international strategies to promote the participation of farmers, especially smallholder farmers, including women, in community, domestic, regional and international markets. Water and sanitation 119. We recognize that water is at the core of sustainable development as it is closely linked to a number of key global challenges. We therefore reiterate the importance of integrating water in sustainable development and underline the critical importance of water and sanitation within the three dimensions of sustainable development. 120. We reaffirm the commitments made in the Johannesburg Plan of Implementation and the Millennium Declaration regarding halving by 2015 the proportion of people without access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation and the development of integrated water resource management and water efficiency plans, ensuring sustainable water use. We commit to the progressive realization of access to safe and affordable drinking water and basic sanitation for all, as necessary for poverty eradication, women's empowerment and to protect human health, and to significantly improve the implementation of integrated water resource management at all levels as appropriate. In this regard, we reiterate the commitments to support these efforts, in particular for developing countries, through the mobilization of resources from all sources, capacity-building and technology transfer. 121. We reaffirm our commitments regarding the human right to safe drinking water and sanitation, to be progressively realized for our populations with full respect for national sovereignty. We also highlight our commitment to the 2005- 2015 International Decade for Action, "Water for Life". 122. We recognize the key role that ecosystems play in maintaining water quantity and quality and support actions within respective national boundaries to protect and sustainably manage these ecosystems. 123. We underline the need to adopt measures to address floods, droughts and water scarcity, addressing the balance between water supply and demand, including, where appropriate, non-conventional water resources, and to mobilize financial resources and investment in infrastructure for water and sanitation services, in accordance with national priorities. 124. We stress the need to adopt measures to significantly reduce water pollution and increase water quality, significantly improve wastewater treatment and water efficiency and reduce water losses. In order to achieve this, we stress the need for international assistance and cooperation. Energy 125. We recognize the critical role that energy plays in the development process, as access to sustainable modern energy services contributes to poverty eradication, saves lives, improves health and helps provide for basic human needs. We stress that these services are essential to social inclusion and gender equality, and that energy is also a key input to production. We commit to facilitate support for access to these services by 1.4 billion people worldwide who are currently without them. We recognize that access to these services is critical for achieving sustainable development. 126. We emphasize the need to address the challenge of access to sustainable modern energy services for all, in particular for the poor, who are unable to afford these services even when they are available. We emphasize the need to take further action to improve this situation, including by mobilizing adequate financial resources, so as to provide these services in a reliable, affordable, economically viable and socially and environmentally acceptable manner in developing countries. 127. We reaffirm support for the implementation of national and subnational policies and strategies, based on individual national circumstances and development aspirations, using an appropriate energy mix to meet developmental needs, including through increased use of renewable energy sources and other low-emission technologies, the more efficient use of energy, greater reliance on advanced energy technologies, including cleaner fossil fuel technologies, and the sustainable use of traditional energy resources. We commit to promoting sustainable modern energy services for all through national and subnational efforts, inter alia, on electrification and dissemination of sustainable cooking and heating solutions, including through collaborative actions to share best practices and adopt policies, as appropriate. We urge governments to create enabling environments that facilitate public and private sector investment in relevant and needed cleaner energy technologies. 128. We recognize that improving energy efficiency, increasing the share of renewable energy and cleaner and energy-efficient technologies are important for sustainable development, including in addressing climate change. We also recognize the need for energy efficiency measures in urban planning, buildings and transportation, and in the production of goods and services and the design of products. We also recognize the importance of promoting incentives in favour of, and removing disincentives to, energy efficiency and the diversification of the energy mix, including promoting research and development in all countries, including developing countries. 129. We note the launching of the initiative by the Secretary-General on Sustainable Energy for All, which focuses on access to energy, energy efficiency and renewable energies. We are all determined to act to make sustainable energy for all a reality and, through this, help to eradicate poverty and lead to sustainable development and global prosperity. We recognize that the activities of countries in broader energyrelated matters are of great importance and are prioritized according to their specific challenges, capacities and circumstances, including their energy mix. Sustainable tourism 130. We emphasize that well-designed and managed tourism can make a significant contribution to the three dimensions of sustainable development, has close linkages to other sectors, and can create decent jobs and generate trade opportunities. We recognize the need to support sustainable tourism activities and relevant capacitybuilding that promote environmental awareness, conserve and protect the environment, respect wildlife, flora, biodiversity, ecosystems and cultural diversity, and improve the welfare and livelihoods of local communities by supporting their local economies and the human and natural environment as a whole. We call for enhanced support for sustainable tourism activities and relevant capacity-building in developing countries in order to contribute to the achievement of sustainable development. 131. We encourage the promotion of investment in sustainable tourism, including eco-tourism and cultural tourism, which may include creating small and mediumsized enterprises and facilitating access to finance, including through microcredit initiatives for the poor, indigenous peoples and local communities in areas with high eco-tourism potential. In this regard, we underline the importance of establishing, where necessary, appropriate guidelines and regulations in accordance with national priorities and legislation for promoting and supporting sustainable tourism. Sustainable transport 132. We note that transportation and mobility are central to sustainable development. Sustainable transportation can enhance economic growth and improve accessibility. Sustainable transport achieves better integration of the economy while respecting the environment. We recognize the importance of the efficient movement of people and goods, and access to environmentally sound, safe and affordable transportation as a means to improve social equity, health, resilience of cities, urban-rural linkages and productivity of rural areas. In this regard, we take into account road safety as part of our efforts to achieve sustainable development. 133. We support the development of sustainable transport systems, including energy efficient multi-modal transport systems, notably public mass transportation systems, clean fuels and vehicles, as well as improved transportation systems in rural areas. We recognize the need to promote an integrated approach to policymaking at the national, regional and local levels for transport services and systems to promote sustainable development. We also recognize that the special development needs of landlocked and transit developing countries need to be taken into account while establishing sustainable transit transport systems. We acknowledge the need for international support to developing countries in this regard. Sustainable cities and human settlements 134. We recognize that, if they are well planned and developed, including through integrated planning and management approaches, cities can promote economically, socially and environmentally sustainable societies. In this regard, we recognize the need for a holistic approach to urban development and human settlements that provides for affordable housing and infrastructure and prioritizes slum upgrading and urban regeneration. We commit to work towards improving the quality of human settlements, including the living and working conditions of both urban and rural dwellers in the context of poverty eradication so that all people have access to basic services, housing and mobility. We also recognize the need for conservation, as appropriate, of the natural and cultural heritage of human settlements, the revitalization of historic districts and the rehabilitation of city centres. 135. We commit to promote an integrated approach to planning and building sustainable cities and urban settlements, including through supporting local authorities, increasing public awareness and enhancing participation of urban residents, including the poor, in decision-making. We also commit to promote sustainable development policies that support inclusive housing and social services; a safe and healthy living environment for all, particularly children, youth, women and the elderly and disabled; affordable and sustainable transport and energy; promotion, protection and restoration of safe and green urban spaces; safe and clean drinking water and sanitation; healthy air quality; generation of decent jobs; and improved urban planning and slum upgrading. We further support sustainable management of waste through the application of the 3Rs (reduce, reuse and recycle). We underline the importance of considering disaster risk reduction, resilience and climate risks in urban planning. We recognize the efforts of cities to balance development with rural regions. 136. We emphasize the importance of increasing the number of metropolitan regions, cities and towns that are implementing policies for sustainable urban planning and design in order to respond effectively to the expected growth of urban populations in the coming decades. We note that sustainable urban planning benefits from the involvement of multiple stakeholders as well as from full use of information and sex-disaggregated data, including on demographic trends, income distribution and informal settlements. We recognize the important role of municipal governments in setting a vision for sustainable cities, from the initiation of city planning through to revitalization of older cities and neighbourhoods, including by adopting energy efficiency programmes in building management and developing sustainable, locally appropriate transport systems. We further recognize the importance of mixed-use planning and of encouraging non-motorized mobility, including by promoting pedestrian and cycling infrastructures. 137. We recognize that partnerships among cities and communities play an important role in promoting sustainable development. In this regard, we stress the need to strengthen existing cooperation mechanisms and platforms, partnership arrangements and other implementation tools to advance the coordinated implementation of the Habitat Agenda with the active involvement of all relevant United Nations entities and with the overall aim of achieving sustainable urban development. We further recognize the continuing need for adequate and predictable financial contributions to the United Nations Habitat and Human Settlements Foundation so as to ensure timely, effective and concrete global implementation of the Habitat Agenda. Health and population 138. We recognize that health is a precondition for and an outcome and indicator of all three dimensions of sustainable development. We understand the goals of sustainable development can only be achieved in the absence of a high prevalence of debilitating communicable and non-communicable diseases, and where populations can reach a state of physical, mental and social well-being. We are convinced that action on the social and environmental determinants of health, both for the poor and the vulnerable and for the entire population, is important to create inclusive, equitable, economically productive and healthy societies. We call for the full realization of the right to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health. 139. We also recognize the importance of universal health coverage to enhancing health, social cohesion and sustainable human and economic development. We pledge to strengthen health systems towards the provision of equitable universal coverage. We call for the involvement of all relevant actors for coordinated multi-sectoral action to address urgently the health needs of the world's population. 140. We emphasize that HIV and AIDS, malaria, tuberculosis, influenza, polio and other communicable diseases remain serious global concerns, and we commit to redouble efforts to achieve universal access to HIV prevention, treatment, care and support, and to eliminate mother-to-child transmission of HIV, as well as to renewing and strengthening the fight against malaria, tuberculosis and neglected tropical diseases. 141. We acknowledge that the global burden and threat of non-communicable diseases constitutes one of the major challenges for sustainable development in the twenty-first century. We commit to strengthen health systems towards the provision of equitable, universal coverage and promote affordable access to prevention, treatment, care and support related to non-communicable diseases, especially cancer, cardiovascular diseases, chronic respiratory diseases and diabetes. We also commit to establish or strengthen multi-sectoral national policies for the prevention and control of non-communicable diseases. We recognize that reducing, inter alia, air, water and chemical pollution leads to positive effects on health.
This interview was originally published by The National Bureau of Asian Research, and includes endnotes.
India is the world’s fourth-largest energy consumer and will likely overtake China in the next decade as the primary source of growth in global energy demand. As NBR has examined in its series of publications for the Senate India Caucus, India must overcome a number of challenges to meet its rising energy demand and sustain economic growth. The country is the world’s third-largest carbon dioxide emitter, and India’s climate and environmental challenges have been acknowledged by many policy and industry leaders. The Bharatiya Janata Party candidate for prime minister, Narendra Modi, among others, has called for an “energy revolution” to harness the country’s coal, gas, hydro, nuclear, and wind resources to promote energy security and economic development in a sustainable manner.
In this NBR interview, Manish Bapna, Executive Vice President and Managing Director at the World Resources Institute, examines the steps India is taking toward a more sustainable energy future. He argues that while India has made important progress on renewable energy, low-carbon alternatives, and increased energy efficiency, much of the potential in this area remains unrealized, including opportunities for greater U.S.-India collaboration.
India’s National Action Plan on Climate Change (NAPCC) recommends that the country generate 10% of its power from renewable sources by 2015, and 15% by 2020. What progress has India made on renewable energy in recent years?
India is a key country in the efforts of the international community to shift to a sustainable, low-carbon path that will confront climate change, improve human health, and foster prosperity for all. In India, climate action will be most successful when integrated with efforts to tackle existing challenges in energy access, water security, agricultural productivity, disaster resilience, and broader economic development goals. For example, distributed or on-site generation of renewable energy, such as rooftop solar panels, can play a significant role in providing access, especially in rural areas. According to the World Bank, over 400 million people in India lack electricity.
India has taken important steps on renewable energy with increasing installed capacity.  The renewable energy goals require continued effort, strong implementation, and improved utilization of capacity, but there are favorable signs. In 2008, India launched its NAPCC, featuring eight national missions, ranging from R&D to sustainable agriculture, with centerpiece programs to scale up solar power and energy efficiency.  With respect to renewable energy, there are great opportunities for India and its international partners. As an Ernst & Young report states, in emerging markets “renewable energy potential is attracting high levels of foreign investment, generating new jobs and creating local supply chains.... For investors, renewable energy assets are generating robust returns.”  The role of government-to-government cooperation and public-private partnerships is also important.
The accompanying table shows that, while not in the lead globally, India’s renewable energy initiative has been substantial, and there are signs of building momentum. KPMG estimates that grid parity for solar in India could take place in 2017–19.  The Ernst & Young outlook for India for 2014 places it among the most attractive markets and forecasts growth “with ambitious targets and a series of large-scale project announcements.” Last year, India nearly doubled its solar energy capacity and there was great interest demonstrated in the first projects under Phase 2 bidding conducted by the National Solar Mission. Also, the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy is expected to provide tax benefits and grid improvements to take advantage of the potential for more wind energy.
What are the roles of the public and private sectors in this?
Many public officials and business leaders in India and internationally recognize the potential in India and are taking action. To make these measures successful and to go further faster, many realize that action is needed along a broad front. This includes technology and finance but also development of knowhow, streamlining of regulation and government administration, and a continued shift to greater reliance on the market. For example, while steps have been taken to deregulate fuel prices, the U.S. Energy Information Administration reports that India’s Ministry of Coal and Mines continues to control allocation of coal and subsidies to companies.  Also, to build public support, it is important to promote understanding of the economic, health, and other benefits of taking these steps. With India’s growing economy and energy security needs, this agenda is challenging, but the opportunities are enormous. Not only is low-carbon energy compatible with economic growth, but in many cases, such as in providing distributed generation in rural areas, it is a better, more cost-effective option. It can help bring relief for smog-choked cities and a new wave of investment opportunities.
One example of U.S.-Indian private-sector collaboration is the work that the World Resources Institute (WRI) and the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) are doing with Indian and U.S. companies to explore, test, and demonstrate new models that make renewable energy more affordable. This activity creates more private demand for renewable energy that will create new business opportunities. Indian commercial and industrial companies like Infosys have been excellent champions for green power purchasing and understand the energy security value of renewable energy. U.S. companies are also setting increasingly ambitious internal goals for renewable energy and seeking to source energy in growth markets like India where they have growing footprints. This demand, combined with new models for making renewable energy more affordable, will create new opportunities for energy suppliers from the United States, India, and other markets. Building the demand for renewables from the largest users is one of the approaches that will support India’s renewable energy goals.
U.S. Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz visited India earlier this month to take part in the U.S.-India Strategic Energy Dialogue. How important is this dialogue and others such as the India-U.S. Partnership to Advance Clean Energy (PACE)?
Cooperation between India and the United States on energy is important to shift our countries and the world to a sustainable, prosperous growth path. The U.S.-India Strategic Energy Dialogue is an important engine of this cooperative relationship along with PACE. The recent meeting of the dialogue involving Secretary Moniz and senior level participants from both countries provided an opportunity for in-person updates and direction for further steps on the PACE work plans. Cooperative R&D, financial support from U.S. agencies, partnerships to deploy clean energy, assessment of unconventional natural gas, and engagement of the private sector are key elements of PACE. Engagement by stakeholders with work on the three activity tracks under PACE—deployment, research, and energy access—can help maintain the momentum of this effort.
On a related note, the India-U.S. Track II Dialogue on Climate Change and Energy, convened by the Aspen Institute (on the U.S. side) and the Ananta Aspen Centre (in India), met in Washington and sent a letter to senior officials in both governments. Complementing and informing formal diplomatic relations, the Track II Dialogue aims to advance a bolder partnership between the two countries by creating space to exchange views on what each country is doing to tackle energy and climate change challenges and to discuss options for collaboration bilaterally and in multilateral arenas. The Track II Dialogue participants offered the following ideas to help further bolster clean energy and climate cooperation between India and the United States:
Minimize the potential for trade disputes involving support for renewable energy by harmonizing policies, conducting early consultations on policies affecting renewable energy trade, and exercising restraint before initiating WTO disputes
Create an India-U.S. partnership for climate resilience drawing on the experience of PACE
Establish a framework for phasing down emissions of hydrofluorocarbons
Under the existing Joint Clean Energy R&D Centers (part of PACE), leverage the whole U.S. Department of Energy R&D ecosystem of technologies to address opportunities in India and build capacity in science and engineering to enable innovation
What are the top issues that New Delhi should focus on to help achieve energy security for India?
India, like the United States, needs to think strategically about how to achieve energy security, economic development, and environmental sustainability simultaneously. Typhoons and heat waves are growing in intensity. Sea-level rise threatens to inundate population centers. Warming will significantly affect crop yields and therefore food security. Urban areas choked with pollution are suffering hundreds of thousands of premature deaths. Lessening and avoiding the damage from these must be part of any strategy to seek gains from energy development. Moreover, India is heavily dependent on imports of oil (over 70%) and coal (11%), making home grown renewable energy an important option for improving energy security. With falling renewable energy prices, it is becoming easier to solve the simultaneous equation of environmental sustainability and development, a point which if recognized can add momentum to achieving both goals. KPMG sees conventional power costs rising and solar prices falling, with parity in 2017–19 or even earlier for some sectors such as industrial and commercial consumers.
India is heavily dependent on coal, which is a main source of the greenhouse gases driving global warming. To shift to a low-carbon path requires more efficient use of coal, demand-side management of energy, development of carbon capture and storage, use of natural gas as a bridge fuel, and a ramping up of renewable energy sources such as wind, solar, and hydropower. To accomplish the shift to low carbon, it is important to stress that the need is not just a question of fuels but also regulatory and functional challenges for the electricity sector, especially in providing modern energy access to all and in achieving development goals. This includes improving transmission networks to both deal with losses and support new technologies. Electricity losses in India during transmission and distribution were about 24% in 2010, and losses because of consumer theft or billing problems added 10—15%.  An important regulatory challenge is developing strong market and regulatory models for energy access using mini-grid and off-grid solutions. India has launched efforts to make the shift described here, with leadership at the national level and in states such as Gujarat and Maharashtra, but as many officials and stakeholders in India and internationally know, stronger, more widespread measures are needed.
What opportunities are there within India to shift toward increased energy efficiency?
In the shift to a low-carbon path in India, energy efficiency is a high-value target for action and an opportunity both for Indian and international investors and other stakeholders. India’s National Energy Efficiency Mission includes the “Perform, Achieve, and Trade” program which sets a percentage by which companies must reduce energy intensity. Those that beat their targets receive tradable permits they can sell to plants that come up short and would otherwise face penalties. Other efficiency programs are directed at buildings, appliances, and vehicles. According to one study, by pursuing these efficiency gains, India can avoid 120 gigawatts of power capacity by 2030 and, with stronger measures, has the potential to achieve substantial additional gains. 
One energy expert has said that rather than building new, mostly carbon-emitting generation facilities, “investment in a more efficient electricity grid would do wonders for both [India’s] energy security and the environment,” adding that “today, India’s transmission and distribution losses are astounding.”  Another important opportunity for increased efficiency is in building codes, made critical by the massive urbanization expected in coming years. Buildings in India already consume over 30% of electricity and two-thirds of the buildings that will exist in 2030 will be built between now and that date. As an example of what can be done, the city of Hyderabad recently adopted an “energy conservation building code” for commercial and high-rise residential buildings, expected to garner major energy savings. There is a key role here for state and local governments working with the private sector to reap huge benefits for the low-carbon future. Another area for stepped-up action on efficiency is fuel economy, where India is moving forward with new standards but has greater potential. Though India has looked to the vehicle standards of the European Union, the measures in India are not as advanced.
India has repeatedly advocated for LNG imports from the United States as part of its energy security plan. Could you speak to what role greater gas consumption might play in helping meet India’s energy needs in a sustainable manner?
Burning natural gas results in less carbon dioxide than burning coal, which means in principle that gas does not contribute as much to global warming. Thus, some people refer to natural gas as a bridge fuel to buy time to shift toward primary reliance on zero-carbon fuels and fuels used with carbon capture and storage. However, in such a strategy care must be taken to avoid the problems associated with extraction and transport of natural gas such as fugitive methane emissions and the environmental problems accompanying some forms of extraction. Methane, the primary component of natural gas and a potent greenhouse gas, is leaked or vented throughout the natural gas production life cycle, which undercuts the climate advantage natural gas otherwise has over coal. Common-sense regulations such as requiring periodic leak detection and repair at all major emissions sources, from the wellhead to the end-user, can reduce methane emissions while delivering more gas to market. 
While shale-gas potential is generally seen as greater in other parts of the world, cooperation under the U.S.-India Strategic Dialogue includes shale-gas resource assessments and sharing lessons on extraction. If pursued with the precautions mentioned above, this initiative could contribute to the larger effort to explore the use of natural gas in a strategy to shift to a low-carbon path for sustainable development. While natural gas is not a long-term climate solution, if upstream methane emissions are reduced to the extent technologically feasible, it can be a first step toward reducing carbon dioxide emissions in the power sector. Natural gas can also help integrate additional renewable generation into the grid, as gas turbines can cycle down quickly when the sun is shining and the wind is blowing, and cycle up quickly as needed.
Do you have anything else to add?
In the Ernst & Young attractiveness index for renewable energy, the United States, China, Germany, Japan, the UK, Canada, and India are the top seven, in that order, ahead of France, South Korea, Brazil, Spain, Mexico and others. The index also shows the relative strengths among the top countries, with Canada, the UK, and Germany leading in macro stability; the UK, Canada, and the United States leading in ease of doing business; and Japan, India, Germany, and China leading on prioritizing renewables. While overall the U.S. leads, the report notes that the gap is narrowing as “congressional gridlock continues to hamper U.S. policy.” All countries stand to benefit from renewed effort, and each has particular strengths to leverage and areas for improvement. The story that emerges from a close look at India and the India-U.S. collaboration described above is that, working together, our two countries can improve our efforts and reap great benefits. We can benefit by confronting together the challenges of climate change and energy security and by enhancing economic growth, jobs, and human health and well-being.
This interview was conducted by Sonia Luthra, Assistant Director for Outreach at NBR.
energy, India, WRI India