The 2002 Johannesburg Plan of Implementation stated that the “implementation of Agenda 21 and the outcomes of the Summit should be effectively pursued at the regional and sub-regional levels, through the regional commissions and other regional and sub-regional institutions and bodies".
The United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development, at its session in May 2003, also invited the Regional Commissions to consider organizing regional implementation meetings in collaboration with other regional and sub-regional organizations.
In response to this and in order to promote regional implementation of sustainable development, thematic Regional Implementation Meetings (RIMs) were organized in cooperation with other stakeholders. Four RIMs were held between 2004 and 2009. No further RIMs will be held further to the replacement of the Commission on Sustainable Development by the High-level Political Forum (HLPF).
The “Environment for Europe” process and its Ministerial Conferences, a high-level platform for stakeholders to discuss, decide and join efforts in addressing environmental priorities across the UNECE region, will remain a regional pillar of sustainable development.