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UN Greening the Blue Reviews Report on Vision of a Sustainable UN

February 2013: UN Greening the Blue has reviewed a report, titled “A Vision of a Sustainable UN.” The report reflects the ideas of current UN leaders and focuses on five concepts: commitment, efficiency, being outcome-focused, dynamism, and being networked.

The 34-page report was commissioned by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) and written by Forum for the Future. It is based on interviews with 20 leaders about how the UN could build on current activities to become more sustainable by 2020. The report highlights the enthusiasm for creating a UN that leads the world in sustainable practices, and identifies the greatest barriers to this as the culture and structure of the UN.

On commitment, the report outlines a vision of the UN setting the agenda and vision for sustainability, taking a consistent approach, and having funding to match the commitment. On efficiency, the report envisions the UN making efficient use of resources and minimizing waste, pooling assets, reducing the number and scale of international meetings, and carbon offsetting within the system.

On being outcome-focused, the report depicts the UN as more “fleet of foot” and responsive, freed from some bureaucratic baggage.

On dynamism, the report envisions a UN open to change and embracing flexibility, with the capacity to adapt and react to rapid shifts in its operating environment.

Relating to being networked, the report outlines a future in which UN agencies communicate actively about sustainable development, and share best practice on operations and procedure. [UN Greening the Blue Press Release] [Publication: A Vision of a Sustainable UN]