United Nations Development Group Delivering Together for Development
Environmental sustainability

Sustainable development has been a guiding policy of the United Nations since 1992. In adopting this policy, members-states had political agreement that development consists of three main pillars (that is, economic, social and environmental pillars) and gains in one of them should not come at the expense of the other two.

The concept has a unique inter-generational imperative: that development should meet the needs of the current generation without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs. Environmental sustainability is therefore one of the five key principals that must be applied in conducting a CCA and preparing an UNDAF.

Related Documents

The environmental work of the UN system can be accessed here. The UNEP web site www.unep.org also provides a wealth of other material. The UN Department for Social and Economic Affairs web site also offers further material. A number of key documents have given direction to the UN’s work in this area:

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UNDG Statement on UN country level system support for integrated approaches to sustainable development
March 2012
UNDG TT Report of Survey Findings on Rio+20 themes
March 2012
Mainstreaming Environmental Sustainability in Country Analysis and the UNDAF
A Guidance note for United Nations Country Teams and Implementing Partners Teams
Johannesburg summit outcomes