UNCRD, which was established in 1971 based on an agreement between the Government of Japan and the United Nations, strives to promote sustainable regional development in developing countries with a focus on development planning and management in the context of globalization and decentralization trends, and the growing concern towards global environmental issues and their impacts.
The United Nations Centre for Regional Development (UNCRD) was established in 1971 based on the agreement between the United Nations (UN) and the Government of Japan dated 18 June 1971. The founding documents of UNCRD - ECOSOC resolutions 1086 C (1965), 1141 (1966) and 1582 (L) (1971) as well as the agreement between the UN and the Government of Japan referred to above - stipulate the objectives and activities of the UNCRD as:
- to serve as a training and research centre in regional development and planning and related fields for developing countries which may wish to avail themselves of its services;
- to provide advisory services in regional development and planning and related fields at the request of developing countries;
- to assist developing countries in promoting the exchange of data on research, practical experience, teaching, and other relevant subjects in regional development and planning and related fields; and
- to assist and cooperate with other organizations, national or international, concerned with regional development and planning and related fields.
UNCRD’s vision is to achieve sustainable living environment for all - safe, secure, equitable and inclusive development in harmony with nature. The Centre’s mission is to assist developing countries in their transition to sustainable development path in line with the new Development Agenda - Transforming Our World: The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Regional development planning and management is an effective set of tools that UNCRD is prioritizing to realize this mission through guiding subnational, national and international actions towards bridging the social, economic and environmental disparities within a region or among different regions.
UNCRD’s interventions in developing countries are clustered under three main thematic interrelated and complementary areas of work - (a) Integrated Regional Development Planning; (b) Sustainable Urban Management; and (c) Knowledge Management. Under the Integrated Regional Development Planning thematic area, UNCRD will undertake activities in areas, such as integrated decision making in addressing social, economic and environmental issues in a holistic way, strengthening and building institutional and technical capabilities, decentralized governance, human security, among others. Under the Sustainable Urban Management thematic area, UNCRD will further strengthen its activities in the areas of urban planning, design and building, integrating disaster management planning, and with sectoral focus on environmentally sustainable transport (EST), 3Rs (reduce, reuse, recycle) and zero waste policies and programmes, and international partnerships (for example, International Partnership for Expanding Waste Management Services of Local Authorities - IPLA) towards building sustainable and resilient communities and cities. Under Knowledge Management, UNCRD aims to serve as a knowledge platform for policy makers and practitioners in relation to the above two areas in close collaboration with partners. This will involve capacity building, such as research, training, technical support, South-South cooperation and exchange of experiences, and dissemination of information on best practices, tools, technologies, and policies.