[2018] Expert Group Meeting on Promoting Integrated Approaches to Sustainable Development

Thursday, 19 July 2018 - 10:00pm to Saturday, 21 July 2018 - 7:00am


In this inception Experts Group Meeting (EGM) organized jointly by the UN Office for Sustainable Development (UNOSD) of the Department of Economic and Social Affairs and the UN Environment Programme (UN Environment), representatives of Governments, non-governmental organizations and the UN system are expected to explore integrated approaches to sustainable development, with specific focus on the crosscutting environmental dimension, at two levels: 1) across all the SDGs, taking into account the complex web of interactions among the SDGs in a systemic manner; and 2) within each SDG, considering the implications of taking action in one dimension on other dimensions.  It is premised that better understanding the interlinkages and interactions among the SDGs and within each SDG, underpinned by the knowledge shared on the importance of having a healthy environment, will pave the way for effective integrated approaches, while enhancing the capacity of policymakers to prioritize and make more coherent implementation strategies. 

The recent report of the Secretary-General on “Repositioning the UN development system to deliver on the 2030 Agenda: our promise for dignity, prosperity and peace on a healthy planet” (December 2017) has highlighted that there are significant gaps in the environment-related SDGs, namely SDG6 on water and sanitation, SDG 7 on energy, SDG12 on sustainable consumption and production, SDG 13 on climate, SDG 14 on oceans and SDG 15 on terrestrial ecosystems.  Special attention will be devoted to addressing these gaps, taking into account, among others, the contributions of the multilateral environmental agreements in which global environmental goals are embedded.  In addition, some of the pathways or policy tools available to strengthen the environmental foundations for integrated approaches – such as policy coherence and integrated financing for sustainable development– will also be considered.



Concept Note


Formal Opening

Introduction to the EGM

Mr. Adil Najam (Professor, International Relations and Earth & Environment, Boston University)

Welcome remarks

  • Mr. Jong-Soo Yoon (Head, UN Office for Sustainable Development)
  • Ms. Elizabeth Mrema (Director, Law Division, UN Environment)


Day 1 (July 19, 2018)

Session 1: Setting the context: How do participants define an integrated approach?  Why is the environment important? 



Session 2: A system view: Interlinkages and interactions among the SDGs and within each SDG 



Day 2 (July 20, 2018)

Session 3: Policy coherence for sustainable development  



Session 4: Addressing the gaps in environment-related SDGs, including through the implementation of the multilateral environmental agreements (MEAs) and their goals 



Session 5: Group exercise: Opportunities and challenges to taking an integrated approach and promoting policy coherence  


Ms. Eunhae Jeong (Senior Development Management Expert, UNOSD) 



Formal Closing

Session 6: Wrap-up Where do we go from here? 



Participant List

Substantive Report