Valuing What Counts: United Nations System-wide Contribution on Beyond Gross Domestic Product (GDP)

At its second regular session of 2021 on 18 November, CEB deliberated on measuring progress beyond GDP through the dimensions of environmental, social, and digital assets. CEB tasked HLCP to develop a UN system-wide contribution on Beyond GDP, including an analysis and proposed recommendations relating to data, policy coherence and capacity development in support of Member States in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, SDG target 17.19. The target aimed to “build on existing initiatives to develop measurements of progress on sustainable development that complement gross domestic product, and support statistical capacity-building in developing countries” by 2030. This effort will also contribute to the follow-up of Our Common Agenda and support the multi-year update of the System of National Accounts (SNA) led by the UN Statistical Commission. 

An HLCP Core Group on Beyond GDP, co-led by DESA, UNDP and UNCTAD developed the paper Valuing What Counts: United Nations System-wide Contribution on Beyond Gross Domestic Product (GDP), which was approved by HLCP at an intersessional meeting held on 28 July 2022 and subsequently taken note of by CEB. Valuing What Counts presents reasons why the international community needs to go beyond GDP, a framework for Beyond GDP, and a set of recommendations for the United Nations system, Member States, and other stakeholders. The paper proposed an integrated framework for beyond GDP including three outcomes elements: wellbeing and agency; respect for life and the planet; and reduced inequalities and great solidarity; as well as three process elements: from vulnerability to resilience; participatory governance and stronger institutions; and innovative and ethical economies.

Valuing What Counts also served as the substantive basis for the Policy Brief on Beyond GDP to inform discussions on follow up to Our Common Agenda.

  • Beyond GDP
  • Chief Executives Board (CEB)
  • High-Level Committee on Programmes (HLCP)


  • Valuing What Counts - UN System-wide Contribution on Beyond GDP

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