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Agenda 21 - Earth Summit

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Agenda 21, also referred to as Earth Summit, is an all-inclusive plan of action that is to be completed globally, nationally and locally by organizations of the United Nations System, governments, and major environmental groups in every area in which humans impact the environment. Agenda 21, the Rio Declaration on Environment and Development, and the Statement of principles for the Sustainable Management of Forests were all adopted by more than 178 governments at the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development that was held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil June 13-14, 1992.
The Commission on Sustainable Development was created in December 1992 to ensure successful follow-up of UNCED and to monitor and report on execution of the agreements at all levels. All 178 governments agreed that a special session of the United Nations General Assembly would be called in 1997 to review the progress of Agenda 21 after a 5-year introduction period. The full implementation of Agenda 21 was reaffirmed at the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) held in Johannesburg, South Africa from August 26 - September 4, 2002.
Agenda 21 is not just about making improvements in “nature”. It also includes plans of action regarding poverty, hunger, ill health, illiteracy, as well as the continuing deterioration of the ecosystems. The success of Agenda 21 is contingent upon integration of environmental and developmental concerns and greater attention to them. It is also dependant upon the fulfillment of basic needs, improved living standards for all, and better protected and managed ecosystems. Only if this is accomplished can we be assured a safer, more prosperous future. No nation can achieve this alone, however; if all nations

work together to construct a global partnership for sustainable development, we can achieve the goals set forth in Agenda 21
Agenda 21 concentrates on the urgent problems of today and also aspires to prepare the world for the challenges of the next century. It reflects a global agreement and political commitment at the highest level on development and environment teamwork. Its successful completion is first and foremost the responsibility of Governments. National strategies, plans, policies and processes are essential in accomplishing this. International cooperation should support and supplement such national efforts. In this context, the United Nations system has a key role to play. Other international, regional and sub regional organizations are also called upon to contribute to this effort. The broadest public participation and the active involvement of the non-governmental organizations and other groups should also be encouraged.
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