Recommendations for Sustainable Development

On 12 June, the Conference of European Statisticians (CES) held under the auspices of UNECE in Geneva, endorsed a set of recommendations for a framework to measure sustainable development and associated sets of indicators. This framework is a key step towards harmonising the various approaches and indicators already used by countries and international organisations to measure sustainable development. It is expected to contribute to the UN processes for setting Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and defining a post-2015 development agenda.

The Report on framework for measuring sustainable development has been developed by a Task Force set up jointly by UNECE, the Statistical Office of the European Commission (Eurostat) and the OECD. It takes into account various initiatives undertaken by the United Nations, Eurostat and the OECD, as well as by individual countries, and provides analyses of current measurement frameworks.

The conceptual framework is based on the Brundtland report, the report of the Stiglitz Commission as well as the most recent academic literature. A distinction is made between the wellbeing in the “here and now”, “later” and “elsewhere” and 20 themes to measure SD are defined.  

Link to report:

Link for press release:

For further information please contact the joint chairs of the TFSD: Rutger Hoekstra at or Jan Pieter Smits at


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