Throughout 2014, CEB responded to calls by the General Assembly for system-wide coordination in the follow-up to United Nations conferences and summits, including the Millennium Summit and the Istanbul Programme of Action for the Least Developed Countries, as well as in the preparation of the third International Conference on Small Island Developing States, the third World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction, the summit for the adoption of the post-2015 development agenda, and the United Nations Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development. In support of these conferences and summits, CEB enhanced United Nations system-wide coherence in the implementation of conference outcomes and developed joint contributions.

Further to General Assembly resolutions 67/220, 68/224 and 69/231, the implementation of the Istanbul Programme of Action has been a standing item on the Board’s agenda since the first regular session of 2013, with a view to supporting the coordination and follow-up of its implementation on a system-wide basis. To further strengthen coordination, the Office of the High Representative for the Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States is in the process of preparing a toolkit for mainstreaming the Istanbul Programme of Action into the work programmes of the UN system organizations.

In addition, at its first regular session of 2014, CEB issued a joint statement to the third International Conference on SIDS declaring the system’s resolve to provide coordinated programme support in these States, improve coherence of SIDS-related interventions among United Nations system entities, support resilience-building in SIDS, and deliver genuine and durable partnership for sustainable development. In support of General Assembly resolution 68/238, the Board also held a high-level side event on “The UN system partnering for the people of SIDS”, featuring the Prime Minister of Samoa and 12 UN system leaders . It highlighted the UN system’s tangible contribution to SIDS’ sustainable development and demonstrated how the agencies are working together with and for SIDS.  For example, to strengthen the development impact of tourism, a vital industry in many small island developing States, nine UN system organizations are jointly supporting a more cohesive approach to tourism development and the coordination of their tourism-related work through an UN-WTO-led initiative.

Moreover, at its second regular session of 2014, the Board endorsed a statement to the World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction, highlighting its commitment to ensure that the UN system’s collective efforts to achieve sustainable development were anchored in disaster risk reduction for resilience, to support countries in establishing strong risk governance with informed and effective leadership, and to ensure coherent and effective operations.

Accelerating the implementation of the Millenium Development Goals

With the 2015 deadline to meet the Millennium Development Goals on the horizon, CEB had decided, at its second regular session of 2012, to include a review of the implementation of the Millennium Development Goals at each of its forthcoming sessions through 2015, beginning at its first regular session of 2013, with a view to helping to accelerate progress within countries that experience difficulties achieving one or more of the goals.

Coordinating United Nations system-wide support in the preparation of the post-2015 development agenda

As the international community became increasingly engaged in with the formulation of a new development framework, the General Assembly in its resolution 69/17 emphasized the key role to be played by CEB in ensuring coordinated United Nations system-wide support in the preparation of and follow-up to the post-2015 development agenda, in accordance with relevant intergovernmental mandates.

Contributing to a "New Urban Agenda"

The General Assembly in its resolution 67/216 encouraged the United Nations system to effectively contribute and actively participate in the third UN conference on housing and sustainable urban development (Habitat III) to be held in Istanbul, Turkey, in October 2016, as well as the preparatory process leading up to it.  The conference is expected to result in the reinvigoration of the global commitment to housing and sustainable urban development and the implementation of a “New Urban Agenda.”  Cities are engines