FAQs about Rio Summit 1992

8. What is Agenda 21 and how does it relate to sustainable development?

The Agenda 21 is a plan aimed at sustainable development, which should be adopted universally, nationally and locally by UN organizations, Governments and Main Groups of each area in which the human being influences the environment, as prescribed from the ONU.

The importance and scope of Agenda 21 are enormous, because in its extensive body of articles the most urgent problems of the Earth are addressed, in addition to preparing the world for the 21st century. In summary, it contains “the fight against poverty, the evolution of production and consumption models, demographic dynamics, conservation and management of natural resources, the protection of the atmosphere, the oceans and biological diversity, the prevention of deforestation and the promotion of sustainable agriculture.”

The definition of sustainable development was introduced by the Prime Minister of Norway, Gro Harlem Brundtland, and formalized by the UN as Brundtland Report, in 1987. This document specifies sustainable development as “meeting the needs of the present generation without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.”

The discussion of Agenda 21 began on December 22, 1989, with the approval of the extraordinary UN Assembly in New York on the environment and development, following the recommendations of the Brundtland Report and a draft of the program. It was presented at the Rio Summit 1992, between June 3 and 14, in which 179 governments agreed to adopt the program. In December 1992, the Commission for Sustainable Development (CDS) was created to ensure its follow-up, monitoring and accounting for the implementation of the agreements.

Unfortunately, after almost three decades, most of these beautiful agreements so far have not fulfilled their mission. It is highly worrying that attempts to move them forward, made at climate conferences, accumulate a long history of defaults, deferrals and artifice. This really frustrating and worrisome, which is summarized in the “you have lied to all” of the vilified Greta Thunberg.

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