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United Nations Regional Programme for Technical Cooperation

DESA - Sustainable Development

Objective for 2010-2011

To enhance technical, human and institutional capacities of developing countries and countries with economies in transition to promote and implement actions and national strategies for sustainable development in energy, water, natural resources, climate change, and sustainable consumption and production.

Expected accomplishments

  • Enhanced capacities to promote and implement policies and frameworks/ mechanisms towards meeting internationally agreed water targets and strengthened integrated water resources management;
  • Enhanced capacities to promote and implement policies and frameworks/ mechanisms supporting energy for sustainable development and meeting internationally agreed goals by integrating climate change in the context of sustainable development;
  • Enhanced capacities to formulate, implement and monitor national sustainable development strategies and to utilize sustainable development indicators at the national level.

Indicators of achievement

  • Increased number of official expressions of commitment to integrate sustainable development considerations into policies, programmes and legislative/institutional frameworks;
  • Increased number of Member States reporting progress on the integration of sustainable development considerations into policies, programmes and legislative/ institutional frameworks;
  • Increased number of finalized sustainable development efficiency plans, including plans that mainstream climate change.


Capacity development in the areas of water, energy, climate change, and national sustainable development strategies will be designed and implemented to strengthen the capacity of Member States to meet internationally agreed development goals and outcomes of major United Nations conferences relevant to the subprogramme.
Capacity development activities will be delivered through (i) advisory services composed of skilled in-house and outsourced technical experts to address specific needs of a more technical nature; (ii) subregional, regional, and interregional training workshops to promote more effective transfer of knowledge; (iii) production of training material on specific methodologies to allow for the transfer of general experiences made in pilot countries to other Member States; and (iv) establishing/strengthening networks of local expertise to strengthen linkages between developing countries through exchange of best practices. 

The subprogramme will implement 22 existing donor-funded projects and 4 development account projects and aims to develop 15 new development projects in the areas of water resources management; water sector monitoring; water adaptation to climate change; support to national water policy and strategy formulation; energy efficiency; development and transfer of cleaner and climate-friendly technologies; transport, including climate and pollution aspects; access to energy, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa; monitoring and shared learning on the implementation of national sustainable development strategies; and integration of sustainable development issues in national sustainable development strategies.

Output Summary

Actual 06/07
Estimate 08/09
Estimate 10/11
Advisory Services
Workshops/ Seminars (number of participants)
13 (623)
13 (700)
16 (750)
Total Activities
Total Budget
(thousands of US Dollars)

3 522.2

3 276.1

3 435.2


In the 2006-2007 biennium, the subprogramme organized 13 capacity building workshops to strengthen the technical capacities of national experts in water, sanitation, natural gas, hydrogen economy, energy efficiency, energy security, climate change, and formulation, implementation and monitoring of national sustainable development strategies. These workshops strengthened the capacities of 623 national experts. It is anticipated that the number of countries that will finalize the IWRM/water efficiency plans that mainstream climate change will increase from 10 in 2008-2009 to 15 in the 2010-2011 biennium. An increase in sustainable energy development plans, that mainstream cleaner and climate-friendly energy technologies, is expected from 25 in 2008-09 to 30 in the 2010-11. This positive trend would significantly contribute to expanding access to safe drinking water and sanitation services, promoting access to modern energy services, and increasing the number of countries will be able to cope with the challenges posed by climate change and thus avoid the potential damages that otherwise would derail the development gains made.