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Home What is Sustainability? Global Sustainable Development Report 2019

Global Sustainable Development Report 2019

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Global Sustainable Development Report 2019

Global Sustainable Development Report 2019



In July 2016, Member States agreed on the scope, frequency and methodology for the Global Sustainable Development Report going forward. The agreement is reflected in Paragraph 22 of the HLPF Ministerial Declaration, and made operational through the associated Annex.


The text recalls paragraph 83 of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and stresses that the Global Sustainable Development Report is one important component of the follow-up and review process for the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The Global Sustainable Development Report will inform the high-level political forum, and shall strengthen the science-policy interface and provide a strong evidence-based instrument to support policymakers in promoting poverty eradication and sustainable development. It will be available for a wide range of stakeholders, including business and civil society as well as the wide public. The Report should incorporate scientific evidence in a multidisciplinary manner, considering all three dimensions of sustainable development, in order to reflect the universal, indivisible and integrated nature of the 2030 Agenda. With its universal scope, the Report should also consider the regional dimension, as well as countries in special situations. The Report will provide guidance on the state of global sustainable development from a scientific perspective, which will help address the implementation of the 2030 Agenda, provide lessons learned, while focusing on challenges, address new and emerging issues and highlight emerging trends and actions. The Report should also focus on an integrated approach and examine policy options with a view to sustaining the balance between the three dimensions of sustainable development. These policy options should be in line with the 2030 Agenda to inform its implementation.


A comprehensive, in-depth Report will be produced every four years to inform the high-level political forum convened under the auspices of the General Assembly. The next report will be published in 2019. Each year, in order to strengthen the science-policy interface at the high-level political forum convened under the auspices of the Economic and Social Council, scientists who work on the Report should be invited to provide scientific input into the discussion, including on the theme of the forum.


The main principles guiding the methodology of the Report should be objectivity, independence, transparency, inclusiveness, diversity, scientific excellence and integrity, and policy relevance. The Report represents the result of an ongoing dialogue among scientists in all relevant fields on sustainable development worldwide, ensuring geographically balanced participation and assessing existing assessments, including the relevant reports on sustainable development from a variety of sources, including the United Nations system, as well as bringing together dispersed information.

Organizational setup

Member States requested the creation of an independent group of scientists to draft the quadrennial Global Sustainable Development Report. The independent group of scientists is to comprise 15 experts representing a variety of backgrounds, scientific disciplines and institutions, ensuring geographical and gender balance. The group will be appointed for each Global Sustainable Development Report by the Secretary-General in open, transparent and inclusive consultations with Member States, including the possibility of taking nominations from Member States. For the first quadrennial report, the independent group of scientists is to begin work in 2016. The independent group of scientists will be supported by a task team, co-chaired by one representative each of the United Nations Secretariat, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, the United Nations Environment Programme, the United Nations Development Programme, the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development and the World Bank, with the logistical support of the United Nations Secretariat. The task team will coordinate inputs from a network of existing networks, representing the United Nations, the private sector, civil society and academia. Inputs can also be posted onto the high-level political forum online platform annually.

2019 report: nominations for the group of 15 scientists

In response to the mandate given by Member States, on 25 August 2016 a note verbale was sent to all Member States, asking them to nominate experts for the group. The members of the task team have also submitted nominations, keeping in mind the need to ensure geographic and gender balance as well as diversity of backgrounds, disciplines and institutions. The UN Secretary-General received over 60 nominations of experts in the natural and social sciences from across the world, for membership in this prestigious panel. The final selection of 15 experts was made with a view to providing balanced coverage of the various topics that could be expected to feature in the Global Sustainable Development Report (GSDR), 2019, while also respecting regional and gender balance. The GSDR will promote a holistic and science- based approach to policy measures that will advance the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and Agenda 2030.



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