Through its thematic inter-agency networks, UN-Oceans, UN-Water and UN‑Energy, CEB addressed key sectoral concerns of sustainable development at its fall 2011 session and spring 2012 session.

Oceans play a critical role within the overall framework for sustainable development, and the need to address issues related to oceans is recognized within the process of the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development as well as in the five-year action agenda of the Secretary-General. CEB addressed the issue of oceans at its spring 2012 session with a view to strengthening inter-agency collaboration in support of the oceans and the people who depend on them, within the provisions of the 1982 Convention on the Law of the Sea. In addition, UN‑Oceans, the inter-agency coordination mechanism on ocean and coastal issues within the United Nations system, provided substantive contributions to the preparatory process of the Conference. Contributions included the preparation of two signature inter-agency publications, “Blueprint for Ocean and Coastal Sustainability” and “Green Economy in a Blue World”, the provision of support to the “Friends of the Oceans” group, and the participation in several key ocean events highlighting the interlinkages of sustainable development and oceans.

Water is a key element for sustainable development and is closely linked to a number of global development challenges, including food, health, energy, poverty eradication and peace and security. Member States have acknowledged that the United Nations system has an important role to play in supporting countries to achieve water-related goals and to meet emerging challenges by promoting cooperation at all levels. During the reporting period, UN-Water launched a number of flagship reports as inter-agency contributions to the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, including the fourth edition of the World Water Development Report, the UN-Water Global Analysis and Assessment of Sanitation and Drinking Water, and the progress report of the Joint Monitoring Programme for Water Supply and Sanitation of the World Health Organization and the United Nations Children’s Fund. UN-Water has also strengthened its role and capacity for engagement in global policy dialogues, advocacy and communications and has taken an active role in advocating for universal coverage of water supply and sanitation services and improved water resources and wastewater management.
Energy for All initiative. UN-Energy contributed to the development of an overarching sustainable energy development goal and clean energy-related targets for consideration at the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development. Prospectively, UN-Energy, UN-Oceans and UN-Water will more systematically harness synergies and complementarities in the light of the strong linkages among issues related to water, oceans and energy, including through enhanced sharing of knowledge and information.