UNEP and the Post-2015 Agenda

Means of Implementation


The notion of ‘Means of implementation’ describes the interdependent mix of financial resources, technology development and transfer, capacity‐building, inclusive and equitable globalization and trade, regional integration, as well as the creation of a national enabling environment required to implement the new sustainable development agenda, particularly in developing countries.


The implementation of the Post‐2015 Development Agenda will require states and other relevant actors, acting individually and collectively, to adopt policies and mobilize resources to advance equitable, human rights‐based, sustainable development. In this regard, a renewed and strengthened global partnership for mobilizing the means of implementation needs to:


  • Address the social, economic and environmental dimensions in an integrated manner

  • Build on existing commitments and governance structures, ensuring that new initiatives reinforce previous successes

  • Reinforce coherence in the implementation of a universal Post‐2015 Agenda, leveraging resources across diverse funding mechanisms

  • Strengthen governance and accountability frameworks, providing for multi‐stakeholder engagement, including for financing, technology innovation and diffusion, and capacity building for people and institutions


States, acting individually and collectively, bear the primary responsibility for implementing the development agenda. Other actors at the national, regional, and global levels share responsibility for supporting sustainable development particularly in those areas where collective decision‐making is needed, i.e. in the provision of global public goods.


UN commitments over the past 20 years have facilitated technology transfer across the world. However, progress in technology transfer has fallen short of the ambitious goals laid out in Agenda 21 and subsequent sustainable development outcomes, and technological progress has sometimes failed to produce envisaged development results. This is often due to the absence of a favorable enabling environment.


Capacity building

Capacity Building is a cross‐cutting issue in all sustainable development policy documents, including Agenda 21 and the Rio+20 outcome document. It is inextricably linked to funding, the science‐policy-society interface, and monitoring and assessment. The UN‐coordinated capacity building work at the national level is in part focused on mainstreaming human rights and environmental sustainability in UN country programming processes. This includes the work on developing One UN programs, the UN Development Assistance Frameworks, the MDG Achievement Fund, and targeted training courses, among others, recognizing the special needs of least developed countries. The Rio+20 outcome document also called for the continued and focused implementation of the Bali Strategic Plan for Technology Support and Capacity‐building, as endorsed by UN General Assembly. In addition, there is a need for capacity‐building for policy coherence and integrated approaches to sustainable development, which is lacking in all countries.



Partnerships play an increasingly important role in speeding up the progress towards achieving a truly sustainable Post-2015 development agenda. UNEP's approach to sustainable development and environmental management revolves around the creation of effective partnerships. Achieving sustainable development at all levels is only possible through the collective vision, action and support from a broad cross-section of society, including stakeholders such as governments, businesses and civil society.

Read more about some of UNEP's partnership programmes here.


Calendar of Events

Calendar of Events