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The Division for Sustainable Development (DSD) provides leadership and is an authoritative source of expertise within the United Nations system on sustainable development. It promotes sustainable development as the substantive secretariat to the UN Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD) and through technical cooperation and capacity building at international, regional and national levels. The context for the Division's work is the implementation of Agenda 21, the Johannesburg Plan of Implementation and the Barbados Programme of Action for Sustainable Development of Small Island Developing States.


  • Integration of the social, economic and environmental dimensions of sustainable development in policy-making at international, regional and national levels;
  • Wide-spread adoption of an integrated, cross-sectoral and broadly participatory approach to sustainable development;
  • Measurable progress in the implementation of the goals and targets of the Johannesburg Plan of Implementation.

Priority Activities for the Division to Achieve These Goals

  • Facilitate intergovernmental negotiations, consensus-building and decision-making through the provision of substantive support to the work of the CSD and other related bodies;
  • Provide technical assistance, expert advice and capacity building to support developing countries and countries with economies in transition in their efforts to achieve sustainable development;
  • Facilitate inter-agency and inter-organizational cooperation, exchange and sharing of information, and catalyze joint activities and partnerships within the United Nations system and with other international organizations, governments and civil society groups in support of sustainable development;
  • Promote and facilitate monitoring and evaluation of, and reporting on, the implementation of sustainable development at the national, regional and international levels;
  • Undertake in-depth strategic analyses to provide policy advice to the USG/DESA, UN system and intergovernmental fora focusing on cross-cutting and emerging sustainable development issues.