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Sustainable Development


About the Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD)

In 1992, more than 100 heads of state met in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil for the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED). The Earth Summit, as UNCED was also known, was convened to address urgent problems of environmental protection and socio-economic development. The assembled leaders signed the Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Convention on Biological Diversity; endorsed the Rio Declaration and the Forest Principles; and adopted Agenda 21, a 300-page plan for achieving sustainable development in the 21st century. The United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD) was created in December 1992 to ensure effective follow-up of UNCED; to monitor and report on implementation of the Earth Summit agreements at the local, national, regional and international levels. The CSD is a functional commission of the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), with 53 members. A five-year review of Earth Summit progress took place in 1997 by the United Nations General Assembly meeting in special session, followed in 2002 by a ten-year review by the World Summit on Sustainable Development.

 

Earth Summit + 5: The Special Session of the General Assembly held in June 1997 adopted a comprehensive document entitled Programme for the Further Implementation of Agenda 21 prepared by the Commission on Sustainable Development. It also adopted the programme of work of the Commission for 1998-2002.

 

The 10th session of the CSD in 2001 acted as the Preparatory Committee (PrepCom) for the 10-year review process of Agenda 21. A total of four PrepComs, including a last one at a Ministerial level, held in Bali, Indonesia, paved the way to the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) held in Johannesburg, South Africa, 26 August- 4 September 2002.

 

The Summit reiterated the initial mandate and functions of the CSD as a high level forum on sustainable development, and deliberated to enhance its role so that it can respond to the new demands emerged from the WSSD Plan of Implementation. This will entail major changes in the programme and organization of work, the nature of the Commission’s outcomes, the reporting mechanisms and the ways of engaging major groups and other partner involved in the implementation process. These issues will be discussed by the upcoming 11th Session of the CSD  (28 April – 9 May 2003)

 

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