UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Monday called for a "coherent and coordinated" system to tackle sustainable development issues.
We "must be able to address immediate concerns as well as broad sustainable development challenges -- from poverty, high unemployment and food insecurity, to biodiversity loss and climate change," said Ban at the Special Ministerial meeting of the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC).
The goal of the ECOSOC meeting, attended by government ministers and other relevant actors, is to strengthen the world's multilateral system to better promote sustainable development.
"It means doing far more to integrate the economic, social and environmental pillars of sustainable development into policy making at all levels," said the secretary-general.
At the June UN Conference on Sustainability, or Rio+20, in Brazil, world leaders acknowledged the need to improve the effectiveness of the UN system, said Ban.
"Rio+20 has given us a solid platform to build on, and the tools to build with. Now is the time to follow up, to get down to work, to get practical. There is no time to waste," said Ban.
The UN chief discussed five challenges which ECOSOC should address: the jobs crisis, food security, creating inclusive green growth, rolling back protectionist trade measures, and urging donor countries to honor their commitments to the developing world.
Ban confirmed his commitment to creating a list of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), as agreed to at Rio+20, to align with the development agenda after 2015, the year when the current Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) expire.
"We need a bold inspiring agenda that resonates with people and that people can rally around," said Ban.
The eight MDGs, or anti-poverty targets, were agreed to by UN member states in 2000, which range from halving extreme poverty to halting the spread of HIV/AIDS and providing universal primary education, all by the target date of 2015.
A high-level panel appointed by Ban will present a post-2015 development agenda next year.