High Level Panel on System Wide Coherence and the Sustainable Development Consultations


The 2005 World Summit Outcome Document called for much stronger system-wide coherence across the various agencies, funds, and programmes of the United Nations. The Summit invited the Secretary- General to, “launch work to further strengthen the management and coordination of UN operational activities”. In February 2006, the Secretary-General formally established the 15 member High-Level Panel on System-wide Coherence in the fields of Humanitarian Assistance, Development and Environment. The Panel is expected to complete its work by the summer, to allow for the formal presentation of its recommendations to the next session of the General Assembly in September 2006, and possible implementation in 2007.

On Sunday July 2, the High-Level Panel held a day-long consultation with over 50 civil society representatives from around the world in Geneva, Switzerland. The consultations focused on the cross cutting themes including gender equality, human rights and sustainable development/environment. The objectives of the consultation were to:

  • Exchange views between Panel members and representatives of civil society organizations who are actively engaged on UN issues, and with specific expertise on gender, human rights and sustainable development.
  • Enhance understanding among Panel Members of civil society views, perspectives and proposals with regard to (i) the opportunities and challenges of improving UN system-wide coherence in the context of UN reform; (ii) the policies and measures that are needed to ensure that the main horizontal policy themes - sustainable development, human rights and gender - are taken into account in decision-making throughout the United Nations.
  • Develop understanding among Panel Members with respect to the type of proposals that they could put forward that would be ambitious and bold, yet practically realizable within the current inter-governmental context and consistent with the general framework of system-wide coherence to be proposed.

The sustainable development dialogues aimed to contribute to the work of the Panel by broadening the input to the Panel's work and soliciting actionable proposals that the Panel could take forward. Stakeholder Forum, in cooperation with the UN Non- Governmental Liaison Service (UN-NGLS), and the Brazilian Forum of NGOs and Social Movements for sustainable development and environment (FBOMS), managed the dialogue on sustainable development. To ensure a broad input by Major Groups and stakeholders to the Panel's work and the sustainable development consultation, Stakeholder Forum and its partners initiated a process to solicit submissions from Major Groups and stakeholders. A total of 15 submissions from 16 organisations were received, including: Brazilian Forum of NGOs and Social Movements for the Environment and the Development; Centro De Estudios Ambientales (Argentina); Local Government International Bureau (United Kingdom); Greenpeace International; The Norwegian Forum for Environment and Development; Organisation for Social Development of Unemployed Youth (Bangladesh); World Information Transfer, Inc; ANPED-Northern Alliance for Sustainability; WWF, ANPED, and Greenpeace; International Rainwater Harvesting Alliance; World Business Council for Sustainable Development and International Chamber of Commerce; IUCN-World Conservation Union; International Confederation of Free Trade Unions; International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives; and Stakeholder Forum for a Sustainable Future.

The preparatory meeting of Major Groups and Stakeholders on the Sustainable Development Consultations with High-Level Panel took place on 1 June 2006 at International Environment House in Geneva, Switzerland. The meeting, organised by Stakeholder Forum for a Sustainable Future, the UN Non-Governmental Liaison Service and the Brazilian Forum of NGOs and Social Movements for sustainable development and environment, focused on coordinating Major Group inputs to the sustainable development consultations with the Panel which took place on 2 June 2006.



Topic I: Improving UN System-wide Coherence: Opportunities and Challenges


Topic II. Sustainable Development: Mainstreaming, Normative to Operational Linkages and Institutional Issues

Topic III: Gender Equality: Mainstreaming and Institutional Architecture




Secretariat Paper

In advance of the consultation an issues paper was prepared by the Panel Secretariat to guide the discussions.




The participation of sustainable development based organizations to the consultations was provided by the UN Foundation and the Norwegian Government

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