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JIU has been addressing sustainable development and environmental issues for more than 25 years. The environment was initially addressed as one of the three pillars of sustainable development and it has been progressively addressed in a more holistic approach in line with evolution of the topic in the United Nations system.
The Unit prepared reports of management of environmental conventions and their financial mechanisms, such as the case of the UNCCD and the Global Mechanism, as well as more system-wide coordination issues on particular thematic areas, such as climate change and environmental governance. More recently, in line with the Agenda 2030 holistic approach adopted by the UN system on SDGs, the Unit prepared, at the request of the General Assembly, three reports on sustainable development for SIDS, to foster the implementation of the SAMOA Pathway, a blueprint on sustainable development for the Small Island Developing States (SIDS). The Unit also prepared a review on the environmental profile of the United Nations system organizations to analyse and assess the environmental footprint of the work of the United Nations system so as to identify ways to reduce it and to lead by example towards reaching climate-neutrality and improving waste management in delivering its work.