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Powerful wave

A say for the citizens in global governance 

Sustainable development must be built on firm foundations. The European Union went to Johannesburg with proposals for improving the framework of governance through stronger democracy and stakeholder involvement.

In order to bring sustainable development closer to reality, a framework of good governance, greater democracy and transparency must be put in place. Good governance, human rights, the rule of law, democracy and combating corruption, should form the foundations for sustainable development. Forming stronger partnerships with civil society, business and industry are also on the agenda.

The rationale behind the European Union's position on sustainable development is a desire to strengthen governance at international, national, regional and local levels. The EU has proposed the integration of UN decision-making on sustainable development, through the political and financial strengthening of the UN Environment Programme (UNEP). Regional governance also needs to be improved, for example, by enhancing the role of UN Regional Commissions in promoting sustainable development, and through support for projects like the New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD). 

The Union is also proposing further initiatives such as improvements to national and local governance through capacity building, transfer of know-how, better information and access to justice. Another element of the EU strategy is the encouragement of multi-stakeholder coalitions for sustainable development - through voluntary codes for corporate responsibility and accountability, building on the UN Global Compact, the Global Reporting Initiative and the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) guidelines for multinational enterprises.

Capacity building, global monitoring

The EU aims to support a wide range of partnership activities, specifically targeted at improved governance and participation. These include the promotion of capacity building to help developing countries integrate their economic, social and environment policies in the most effective way, and continued support and encouragement for the Global Monitoring for Environment and Security (GMES) initiative and the cost-efficient development of world-wide monitoring capacities in support of sustainable development (risk management, crisis management, humanitarian aid, food security).

It also supports the World Resources Institute's Access Initiative (TAI); the UN Institute for Training and Research's International Partnerships for Strengthening Local Capacities project; EuroSTAT, the European Environment Agency and the EU Joint Research Centre's INSPIRE project; the establishment of an international Commission for Impact Assessment (ICIA) to provide independent advice on the quality of impact assessments; and the establishment of an African Environment Agency.

Governance-related links 

White paper on governance in the EU

Environment DG -  Environmental Governance 

The UN's Global Compact

The New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD)

Global Monitoring for Environment and Security (GMES)

The Access Initiative (TAI) is a global coalition of public interest groups collaborating to promote national-level implementation of commitments to access to information, participation, and justice in environmental decision-making

UN Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) International Partnership for Strengthening Local Capacities

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