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UNU-IAS Research Agenda
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Putting innovative thinking into practice
Sustainable development has been a fundamental guiding principle for the Institute since its establishment in April 1996. This policy-oriented United Nations (UN) think tank relies on applied research for the advancement of knowledge relevant to the UN. We also ensure that this knowledge is applied in the formulation of sound policies and programmes for action.

Eco–Restructuring for Sustainable Development
From 1996 to 2001, UNU-IAS’ research programme focused on the challenge of Eco-restructuring for Sustainable Development . The concept of eco–restructuring refers to the transformation of technology, economy, society, and lifestyles towards greater sustainability.

Towards a sustainable future
UNU-IAS is one of thirteen research and training centers under the United Nations University (UNU) - an international community of scholars that generates and transfers knowledge and strengthens capacities relevant to promoting human security and development, particularly in developing countries.

Sustainable development has been a fundamental guiding principle to the Institute since its inception in April 1996. This policy-oriented UN think tank utilizes applied research for the advancement of knowledge relevant to the work of the United Nations as well as to its application in the formulation of sound policies and programmes for action. Using multidisciplinary approaches, UNU-IAS' vibrant intellectual community acts as a vehicle for connecting international and Japanese scholars.

Response to a new global agenda
The World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) , the Monterrey Consensus , the Doha Declaration and the Johannesburg Plan of Implementation have created new agendas and priorities towards fairness, equity, dignity and human security for a "sustainable future". The directions and priorities set by these meetings will require new forms of partnerships, innovative approaches and hard work if they are to be achieved.

The establishment of UNU-IAS was born out of the Rio Declaration on Environment and Development agenda , which is one of the guiding principles of UNU-IAS strategic plan. Our research agenda is based on policy areas defined by the UN, which revolve around issues related to sustainable development.

Dealing with a lack of practical sustainable development strategies
The implementation of sustainable development principles is often challenging due to the complexity of issues involved. As a consequence, few clear and practical strategies have been formulated for the achievement of sustainable development.

We help to bridge this gap. By conducting research on specific challenges and issues related to sustainable development, the Institute contributes to the formulation of  strategies that can make sustainable development a reality.

The Institute’s priority areas of research are:

UNU-IAS also hosts two International Operating Units:

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