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Government Documents
UPDATED: August 24, 2012 NO.35 AUGUST 30, 2012
The Future We Want (II)
Outcome of the UN Conference on Sustainable Development

E. Regional, national, subnational and local levels

97. We acknowledge the importance of the regional dimension of sustainable development. Regional frameworks can complement and facilitate effective translation of sustainable development policies into concrete action at the national level.

98. We encourage regional, national, subnational and local authorities as appropriate to develop and utilize sustainable development strategies as key instruments for guiding decision-making and implementation of sustainable development at all levels, and in this regard we recognize that integrated social, economic and environmental data and information, as well as effective analysis and assessment of implementation, is important in decision-making processes.

99. We encourage action at the regional, national, subnational and local levels to promote access to information, public participation and access to justice in environmental matters, as appropriate.

100. We emphasize that regional and subregional organizations, including the UN regional commissions and their subregional offices, have a significant role to play in promoting a balanced integration of the economic, social and environmental dimensions of sustainable development in their respective regions. We underscore the need to support these institutions, including through the UN system, in the effective operationalization and implementation of sustainable development, and to facilitate institutional coherence and harmonization of relevant development policies, plans and programs. In this regard, we urge these institutions to prioritize sustainable development through, inter alia, more efficient and effective capacity-building, development and implementation of regional agreements and arrangements as appropriate, and exchange of information, best practices and lessons learned. We also welcome regional and cross-regional initiatives for sustainable development. We furthermore recognize the need to ensure effective linkage among global, regional, subregional and national processes to advance sustainable development. We encourage the enhancement of the UN regional commissions and their subregional offices in their respective capacities to support member states in implementing sustainable development.

101. We underline the need for more coherent and integrated planning and decision-making at the national, subnational and local levels as appropriate and, to this end, we call on countries to strengthen national, subnational and/or local institutions or relevant multi-stakeholder bodies and processes, as appropriate, dealing with sustainable development, including to coordinate on matters of sustainable development and to enable effective integration of the three dimensions of sustainable development.

102. We welcome regional and cross-regional initiatives for sustainable development, such as the Green Bridge Partnership Program, which is voluntary and open for participation by all partners.

103. We underscore the need to ensure long-term political commitment to sustainable development taking into account national circumstances and priorities and, in this regard, we encourage all countries to undertake the necessary actions and measures to achieve sustainable development.

V. Framework for action and follow-up

A. Thematic areas and cross-sectoral issues

104. We recognize that in order to achieve the objective of the conference, namely to secure renewed political commitment for sustainable development, as well as to address the themes of a green economy in the context of sustainable development and poverty eradication and the institutional framework for sustainable development, we commit to address remaining gaps in the implementation of the outcomes of the major summits on sustainable development, to address new and emerging challenges and to seize new opportunities through the actions enumerated below in this framework for action, supported as appropriate through provision of means of implementation. We recognize that goals, targets and indicators, including where appropriate gender-sensitive indicators, are valuable in measuring and accelerating progress. We further note that progress in the implementation of the actions stipulated below can be enhanced by voluntarily sharing information, knowledge and experience.

Poverty eradication

105. We recognize that, three years from the 2015 target date of the Millennium Development Goals, while there has been progress in reducing poverty in some regions, this progress has been uneven and the number of people living in poverty in some countries continues to increase, with women and children constituting the majority of the most affected groups, especially in the least developed countries and particularly in Africa.

106. We recognize that sustained, inclusive and equitable economic growth in developing countries is a key requirement for eradicating poverty and hunger and achieving the Millennium Development Goals. In this regard, we emphasize that national efforts of developing countries should be complemented by an enabling environment aimed at expanding the development opportunities of developing countries. We also emphasize the need to accord the highest priority to poverty eradication within the UN development agenda, addressing the root causes and challenges of poverty through integrated, coordinated and coherent strategies at all levels.

107. We recognize that promoting universal access to social services can make an important contribution to consolidating and achieving development gains. Social protection systems that address and reduce inequality and social exclusion are essential for eradicating poverty and advancing the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals. In this regard, we strongly encourage initiatives aimed at enhancing social protection for all people.

Food security and nutrition and sustainable agriculture

108. We reaffirm our commitments regarding the right of everyone to have access to safe, sufficient and nutritious food, consistent with the right to adequate food and the fundamental right of everyone to be free from hunger. We acknowledge that food security and nutrition has become a pressing global challenge and, in this regard, we further reaffirm our commitment to enhancing food security and access to adequate, safe and nutritious food for present and future generations in line with the Five Rome Principles for Sustainable Global Food Security adopted in 2009, including for children under two, and through, as appropriate, national, regional and global food security and nutrition strategies.

109. We recognize that a significant portion of the world's poor live in rural areas, and that rural communities play an important role in the economic development of many countries. We emphasize the need to revitalize the agricultural and rural development sectors, notably in developing countries, in an economically, socially and environmentally sustainable manner. We recognize the importance of taking the necessary actions to better address the needs of rural communities through, inter alia, enhancing access by agricultural producers, in particular small producers, women, indigenous peoples and people living in vulnerable situations, to credit and other financial services, markets, secure land tenure, health care, social services, education, training, knowledge and appropriate and affordable technologies, including for efficient irrigation, reuse of treated wastewater and water harvesting and storage. We reiterate the importance of empowering rural women as critical agents for enhancing agricultural and rural development and food security and nutrition. We also recognize the importance of traditional sustainable agricultural practices, including traditional seed supply systems, including for many indigenous peoples and local communities.

110. Noting the diversity of agricultural conditions and systems, we resolve to increase sustainable agricultural production and productivity globally, including through improving the functioning of markets and trading systems and strengthening international cooperation, particularly for developing countries, by increasing public and private investment in sustainable agriculture, land management and rural development. Key areas for investment and support include sustainable agricultural practices; rural infrastructure, storage capacities and related technologies; research and development on sustainable agricultural technologies; developing strong agricultural cooperatives and value chains; and strengthening urban-rural linkages. We also recognize the need to significantly reduce post-harvest and other food losses and waste throughout the food supply chain.

111. We reaffirm the necessity to promote, enhance and support more sustainable agriculture, including crops, livestock, forestry, fisheries and aquaculture, that improves food security, eradicates hunger and is economically viable, while conserving land, water, plant and animal genetic resources, biodiversity and ecosystems and enhancing resilience to climate change and natural disasters. We also recognize the need to maintain natural ecological processes that support food production systems.

112. We stress the need to enhance sustainable livestock production systems, including through improving pasture land and irrigation schemes in line with national policies, legislation, rules and regulations, enhanced sustainable water management systems, and efforts to eradicate and prevent the spread of animal diseases, recognizing that the livelihoods of farmers, including pastoralists, and the health of livestock are intertwined.

113. We also stress the crucial role of healthy marine ecosystems, sustainable fisheries and sustainable aquaculture for food security and nutrition and in providing for the livelihoods of millions of people.

114. We resolve to take action to enhance agricultural research, extension services, training and education to improve agricultural productivity and sustainability through the voluntary sharing of knowledge and good practices. We further resolve to improve access to information, technical knowledge and know-how, including through new information and communications technologies that empower farmers, fisher folk and foresters to choose among diverse methods of achieving sustainable agricultural production. We call for the strengthening of international cooperation on agricultural research for development.

115. We reaffirm the important work and inclusive nature of the Committee on World Food Security, including through its role in facilitating country-initiated assessments on sustainable food production and food security, and we encourage countries to give due consideration to implementing the Committee on World Food Security Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Governance of Tenure of Land, Fisheries and Forests in the Context of National Food Security. We take note of the ongoing discussions on responsible agricultural investment in the framework of the Committee on World Food Security, as well as the principles for responsible agricultural investment.

116. We stress the need to address the root causes of excessive food price volatility, including its structural causes, at all levels, and the need to manage the risks linked to high and excessively volatile prices in agricultural commodities and their consequences for global food security and nutrition, as well as for smallholder farmers and poor urban dwellers.

117. We underline the importance of timely, accurate and transparent information in helping to address excessive food price volatility, and in this regard take note of the Agricultural Market Information System hosted by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the UN and urge the participating international organizations, private sector actors and governments to ensure the public dissemination of timely and quality food market information products.

118. We reaffirm that a universal, rules-based, open, non-discriminatory and equitable multilateral trading system will promote agricultural and rural development in developing countries and contribute to world food security. We urge national, regional and international strategies to promote the participation of farmers, especially smallholder farmers, including women, in community, domestic, regional and international markets.

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