FAO, June 1997
progress on the road from Rio
THE 1992 "EARTH SUMMIT" in Rio de Janeiro may be remembered as a turning point in humanity's thinking about development. Officially known as the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (or UNCED), it brought together more than 100 heads of state and government, and more than 20,000 NGO representatives. After intensive negotiations, it reached an unprecedented consensus on Agenda 21, its far-reaching programme for sustainable development into the next century.
FIVE YEARS AFTER, how far have individual nations and the world community come in implementing Agenda 21? That question was discussed at a high-level Special Session of the United Nations General Assembly from 23 to 27 June 1997.
THE FOOD AND AGRICULTURE ORGANIZATION (FAO) is Task Manager for four of Agenda 21's key chapters - planning and management of land resources, combating deforestation, sustainable mountain development, and sustainable agriculture and rural development. It is actively involved in the implementation of others - such as combating desertification and drought, and conservation of biological diversity - and in broader areas covered by Agenda 21, particularly climate change and energy.
FAO PREPARED for the UN special session a series of Agenda 21 Progress Reports, published here, describing the challenges addressed by Agenda 21, progress since the Earth Summit, key issues to be resolved, future directions, FAO's role and contact points.
For further information on the UN special session, connect to the Earth Summit+5 Web site of the United Nations Department for Policy Coordination and Sustainable Development (http://www.un.org/dpcsd/earthsummit/).
[ Updated July 1997 ]