UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe
UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe

 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.

The UN system is committed to promoting an integrated and coordinated approach to support the implementation of the 2030 Agenda.  To this end, CEB endorsed in April 2016 a set of Common Principles to guide UN system actions. The Common Principles emphasize country-led, people-centered and results-focused approaches that protect human rights, dignity and leave no one behind. Preventing and resolving crises, addressing root causes, managing risk, building resilience and sustaining peace are shared objectives of the entire UN system. Achieving high standards of transparency and accountability, and ensuring results-oriented service delivery are likewise central goals for UN organizations.

CEB common principles to guide the UN system’s support to the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development

The UN system is committed to an integrated and coordinated approach to support the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development – through multi-sectoral and cross-institutional approaches; in diverse country settings; across development/humanitarian/human rights/peace and security pillars; through greater linkages between normative and operational aspects of the UN system’s work; through vertical integration between national, subnational, regional and global levels; through collaborative and integrated business solutions and a global workforce; and in the way UN Country Teams operate together.

Transitioning from the MDGs to the SDGs

This report synthesizes the main lessons learned from the MDG Reviews conducted by the UN System Chief Executives Board for Coordination (CEB) between April 2013 and November 2015. The exercise, which brought together United Nations and World Bank Group staff, summarized the country situation, identified bottlenecks to attainment, and suggested potential solutions in 16 countries and 1 subregion. Many of the observations and proposed solutions could prove useful in implementing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).


Sustainable development is a key priority guiding the work of the United Nations. The organizations of the UN system are firmly committed to advance economic growth, social development and environmental sustainability in an integrated manner through greater coherence and coordination of action. Together, they have made significant contributions to the Rio+20 conference.

CEB Programme Themes