Effective and well-coordinated institutions are essential to achieving a balanced integration of economic, social and environmental interests, participants said on Tuesday at the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20).
Development institutions emphasized the need for coordinated strategies as central to accelerating progress towards sustainable development. This was discussed at a side event organized during the Rio+20 conference.
"There is an urgent need for enhanced coordination and cooperation among all international organizations, agencies, conventions and environmental agreements that deal with sustainable development," said Josue Dione, director, Food Security and Sustainable Development at the UN Economic Commission for Africa. "That will help ensure the implementation of the commitments made in different forums; promote synergies among all of them; and also allow the participation of the private sector and the civil society, including the scientific community," he added.
Participants suggested that world leaders agree on a new model for a global institutional architecture that could support the development and implementation activities of such institutions and associated strategies.
"It is important that existing regional governance institutions coordinate among themselves and integrate effectively the social, economic and environmental dimensions of sustainable development in their operations", said Rhoda Peace Tumusiime, Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Economy, African Union Commission.
These strengthened institutions at national, sub-regional and regional level on the continent would be an important asset to implement projects, emphasized Anthony Nyong, the African Development Bank's Safeguards and Compliance manager.
"That would mean the AfDB can more effectively work with individual countries and regional groupings to provide development support in the economic, social and environmental spheres."
Participants addressed the need to enhance the effectiveness and efficiency of current institutional infrastructures. Measuring these actions on rationalisation, enhanced complementarities, monitoring and strengthened cooperation are more effective than creating new institutions.
The debate on institutional infrastructure also focused on the upgrading of the United Nations Environment Programme to the level of a specialized UN agency.
Participants agreed to engage in further consultations on the functioning and implementation of institutions and strategies in Africa post Rio+20.
The African Union Commission (AUC), the United Nation Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA), the African Development Bank (AfDB), the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and United Nations Development Program (UNDP) are partnering in the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, "Rio+20", in order to voice Africa's agenda, based on the strong belief Africa cannot afford to miss this opportunity to push for the future it wants - with a development agenda that matches its aspirations.
The Rio+20 is taking place in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, from 13-22 June 2012.