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Development in today’s context is at a critical juncture, with multiple crises (financial, food and energy) forcing us to re-assess the economic paradigm of our time and evaluate how to better address the unfulfilled promises that we are currently leaving to future generations in areas of employment, social progress, quality of life and respect for nature.
While the integration of the pillars of sustainable development is of utmost importance, the implementation of the concept has proved challenging in practice. In its simplest form, integration of the economic, social and environmental pillars of sustainable development implies the implementation of coordinated and complimentary actions in the different sectors which results in economic growth that also achieves social objectives, without compromising the limited resources of the planet. The effective integration of the pillars requires the implementation of a set of focused and specific actions within the three pillars, which are complimentary and fit within an overarching sustainable development framework.
As part of this side event, Member States and the Regional Commissions are focusing on key areas for sustainable development in their respective regions. Specific examples and approaches, ranging from norms and standards to economic instruments and overarching sustainable development frameworks, are being highlighted as contributing to the integration of the pillars of sustainable development. These areas serve to highlight the pivotal role that has been played by the Regional Commissions in promoting and implementing an integrated approach to sustainable development at the regional level.