UN Photo/Martine Perret
UN Photo/Martine Perret

The High-Level Committee on Programmes (HLCP) fosters coherence, cooperation and coordination on policy and programme dimensions of strategic issues for the UN system.

Sustainable Development

With the adoption of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in 2015, world leaders agreed on a vision and an ambitious plan of action for change: freeing the world of poverty and hunger, protecting the planet from degradation; ensuring that that all people can live prosperous and fulfilling live in dignity and equality, and fostering peaceful, just and inclusive societies free of fear and violence. Universal in scope and application and integrated and indivisible in nature, the 2030 Agenda and its 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) has the potential to be truly transformative. Its implementation calls for coordinated actions across the peace and security, human rights, humanitarian affairs and sustainable development spectrum and requires a deeper collective engagement by all stakeholders – governments, parliaments, the scientific and academic community, civil society, the private sector, the international community and the United Nations system.

Frontier issues

The importance of scientific and technological innovation for meeting many sustainable development challenges and for accelerating human progress is widely noted throughout the 2030 Agenda. CEB and its subsidiary machinery have been monitoring a selection of “frontier issues” to ensure the that United Nations system is positioned to provide timely and informed support and advice to Member States in today's quickly evolving technological context. Notably, a June 2017 survey provided insight into the nature and scale of some of the more progressive activities UN organizations are pursuing to both help manage the opportunities and risks of emerging technologies and direct them towards mandate delivery and more broadly to the achievement of the SDGs.

Climate Change

Climate change is the defining issue of our time. It is the ultimate test for the global community to unite and meet a challenge that respects no borders. It exacerbates nearly every other development challenge. At the same time, taking climate action will help solve many other social, environmental and economic problems as well. In fact, by acting on climate change we can significantly advance the sustainable development agenda.

Risk and Resilience

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development provides an integrated framework for action aimed at markedly improving the lives of the world’s people, protecting the Earth’s natural resources, and fostering peaceful, just and inclusive societies. Given the critical interlinkages among peace, development and human rights and the importance of an integrated system-wide response to challenges that threaten to undermine sustainable development, an analytical framework on risk and resilience was developed to provide a more proactive, risk-informed and prevention-centered approach to United Nations system efforts in support of the 2030 Agenda.


New United Nations leadership qualities, skills and working methods are needed to meet the challenges of the ambitious and integrated 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The United Nations system Leadership Framework was consequently developed under the auspices of CEB to establish a common United Nations leadership culture aligned with achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.

Peace and Conflict Prevention

 With the adoption of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in September 2015, Member States agreed to a comprehensive and far-reaching set of universal and inter-linked sustainable development goals and targets, with the imperative of leaving no one behind.  The 2030 Agenda provides an integrated framework for action aimed at markedly improving the lives of the world’s people, protecting the Earth’ natural resources, as well as fostering peaceful, just and inclusive societies.

Disaster Risk Reduction

Reducing disaster risk is fundamental to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030, adopted at the Third UN World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction in Sendai, Japan, in March 2015, aims to protect peoples’ lives and livelihoods from disasters. In April 2016, CEB adopted a revised “UN Plan of Action on Disaster Risk Reduction for Resilience” to guide the UN system's support to implementing the Sendai Framework and the broader 2030 Agenda


The international community is gathering in Quito, Ecuador, in October 2016 for the Third UN Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development (Habitat III) to renew its global commitment to sustainable urbanization and a “New Urban Agenda.” As an input to the conference, CEB, in April 2016, adopted a Statement in with the Board’s members pledged their collective support to Member States in the implementation of the New Urban Agenda. 


Children and youth are agents of change, with a critical role to play in achieving the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Moreover, youth development is critical to the achievement of the 2030 Agenda and other development frameworks. In this context, the General Assembly requested United Nations entities most recently in its resolution 72/146 to continue their coordination towards a more coherent, comprehensive and integrated approach to youth development, and called upon them to support national, regional and international efforts in addressing challenges hindering youth development. In recent years two notable system-wide products pertaining to youth development have been endorsed by the United Nations Chief Executives Board for Coordination (CEB): in 2015, the strategy for the Global Initiative on Decent Jobs for Youth, a UN system-wide effort to promote youth employment worldwide; and in 2013, a System-wide Action Plan on Youth (Youth-SWAP), guided by the World Programme of Action for Youth.


During the Third International Conference on Small Island Developing States, UN Secretary-General BAN Ki-moon, as Chair of the CEB, will host a high-level event on "The UN system partnering for the people of SIDS". The event builds on the joint CEB statement to the Conference that was endorsed by the Board in May 2014.


International migration - the movement of people across international border – has important implications for growth and development. More than 215 million people, half of them women, live and work outside their countries of birth. Migration is a key enables for equitable, inclusive and sustainable social and economic development to the benefit of countries of origin and destination, as well as the human development of migrants and their families.

Global Financial and Economic Crisis

Since the unfolding of the global financial and economic crisis in 2008, CEB has taken special measures to promote a rapid United Nations system response. Starting in October 2008, the Board and the High-level Committee on Programmes initiated a review and analysis of the impact of the crisis and identified the major challenges facing the international community in meeting the needs of the world’s most vulnerable.