Divisions within Department of Economic and Social Affairs
Together with its Capacity Development Office, UN DESA works through its 9 divisions, each of which brings a special set of expertise, tools and approaches to provide capacity development support to Member States in implementing and monitoring progress towards the 2030 Agenda and other relevant global policy frameworks.
Office of Intergovernmental Support and Coordination for Sustainable Development
The Office of Intergovernmental Support and Coordination for Sustainable Development provides support to the work of the General Assembly, the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) and the High-Level Political Forum (HLPF) on Sustainable Development. The Office provides substantive support to the various high-level segments of ECOSOC, including its operational activities and Integration Segments, as well as its coordination and management meetings and Youth Forum.
Division for Sustainable Development Goals
As mandated by GA resolution 70/299, the Division for Sustainable Development Goals will act as the Secretariat for SDGs, focusing on providing substantive support and capacity building to the 17 Sustainable Development Goals and their related thematic issues, including water, energy, climate, ocean, urbanization, transport, science and technology, the Global Sustainable Development Report (GSDR), partnerships and SIDS.
Division for Public Institutions and Digital Government
The Division focuses on the role, functioning and capacities of public institutions, especially in relation to the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Its work addresses critical issues related to public administration, public services and institutional architecture and capacities. It looks at how to advance public sector reform and improve service delivery, including for the poorest and most vulnerable. The Division keeps track and explores innovative approaches, including for mobilizing ICT and e-government for sustainable development. Its overall objective is to help promote effective, accountable, inclusive and transparent institutions and public administration at all levels for the realization of the Sustainable Development Goals.
Economic Analysis and Policy Division
The Division leads UN DESA’s capacity-development and policy-advisory activities on economy-wide issues and on methodologies to integrate the economic, social and environmental dimensions of sustainable development. Activities focus on training and advising policy makers in developing countries to enhance their analytical capacities in designing coherent and integrated macroeconomic, social and environmental policies; and enabling Least Developed Countries (LDCs) to make the most adequate use of benefits derived from their LDC status. The use of analytical and modelling tools, tailored to country needs, facilitates the implementation of capacity development activities.
Financing for Sustainable Development Office
Capacity development activities undertaken by the Office aim at enabling Member States to implement their commitments and agreements on Financing for Development, in particular in the area of domestic resource mobilization. In line with the current Capacity Development Strategy of UN DESA, which identified “Fiscal policy and international tax cooperation” as one of the priority areas, the Office is developing and implementing a programme of capacity development activities on international tax cooperation to strengthen the capacity of national tax authorities and ministries of finance to develop more effective and efficient tax systems.
Division for Inclusive Social Development
The Division provides capacity development support to governments in devising multidisciplinary operational strategies that promote equitable social and economic development. The Division’s approach to technical cooperation strengthens social groups’ capacity to achieve well-being through greater inclusion and more active participation in society. The Division’s work is vital for the social pillar of sustainable development, in particular for SDG Goal 1 on “End poverty in all its forms everywhere”.
The Division compiles and disseminates global statistical information, develops standards and norms for statistical activities, and supports countries’ efforts to strengthen their national statistical systems. It facilitates the coordination of international statistical activities and supports the functioning of the United Nations Statistical Commission as the apex entity of the global statistical system. At the request of Member States, the Division assists them to improve their statistical services by giving advice and training; it also promotes modern surveying and mapping techniques as a tool for growth and development.
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The Division studies population dynamics and monitors demographic trends and policies worldwide. Population estimates and projections on fertility, mortality, international migration, urbanization, and population size and structure are widely used by various entities. Main users include the UN system for the derivation of other indicators and for modelling purposes; governments for policy formulation and programme design; and civil society for information and advocacy purposes.
United Nations Forum on Forests
The Forum is the focal point on all forest policy and forest-based sustainable development issues. It carries out its forest financing activities through the UNFF Global Forest Financing Facilitation Network. The forum assists developing countries and countries with economies in transition with the development of national action plans for the implementation of the UN Forest Instrument to efficiently promote Sustainable Forest Management at the national level. Focal areas include financing for sustainable forest management, monitoring, assessment and reporting on implementation of the UN Forest Instrument, and forest related SDGs and targets of the 2030 Agenda.