Tuesday, 19 November 2019

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UNRIC Library Backgrounder: Sustainable Development

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UN Websites on Sustainable Development

RIO+20: The Future We Want
RIO+20 Logo
“Rio+20” is the short name for the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development to take place in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in June 2012 – twenty years after the landmark 1992 Earth Summit in Rio. Rio+20 is also an opportunity to look ahead to the world we want in 20 years.

Make your own views count and join the global conversation on the future we want. Key issues are:



Sustainable Development Knowledge Platform (SDKP)
This website was launched by the Division for Sustainable Development, United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DSD/DESA) in the follow-up to Rio+20. It contains information on the past 19 years of normative and analytical work of the UN Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD), as well as a wealth of content from the preparatory process of Rio+20.
The Division for Sustainable Development (DSD) provides leadership and is an authoritative source of expertise within the United Nations system on sustainable development. It promotes sustainable development as the substantive secretariat to the UN Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD) and through technical cooperation and capacity building at international, regional and national levels. The context for the Division's work is the implementation of Agenda 21, the Johannesburg Plan of Implementation and the Barbados Programme of Action for Sustainable Development of Small Island Developing States.

United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD)
The United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD) was established by the UN General Assembly in December 1992 to ensure effective follow-up of United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED), also known as the Earth Summit. The Commission is responsible for reviewing progress in the implementation of Agenda 21 and the Rio Declaration on Environment and Development; as well as providing policy guidance to follow up the Johannesburg Plan of Implementation (JPOI) at the local, national, regional and international levels. The JPOI reaffirmed that the CSD is the high-level forum for sustainable development within the United Nations system.

Here you can find the Brundtland Report, Agenda 21, the Barbados Plan of Action, the Programme for the Further Implementation of Agenda 21, the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), the Johannesburg Plan of Implementation, the Mauritius Strategy of Implementation.

Sustainable Development, Human Settlements and Energy
This index page provides links to UN bodies, global programmes, regional programmes, topics in focus and to various tools.

UN Conferences

1972 - United Nations Conference on the Human Environment (Stockholm, Sweden):

1987 - General Assembly 42nd Session: Report of the World Commission on Environment and Development (Brundtland Report: “Our Common Future”):
http://undocs.org/A/42/427 (pdf file, 28MB)

1992 - The UN Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED, Earth Summit) (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil):


1994 - The Global Conference on Sustainable Development of Small Island Developing States (SIDS) (Bridgetown, Barbados):

1997 - Special Session of the General Assembly Earth Summit + 5 (New York):

2002 - The World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) (Johannesburg, South Africa):

2005 - 10-year review of the Barbados Programme of Action for the Sustainable Development of Small Island Developing States (Port Luis, Mauritius):
http://www.un.org/smallislands2005/ and

2012 - Rio+20: United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 20–22 June 2012)


UNTERM – United Nations Multilingual Terminology Database
sustainable development
The management and conservation of the natural base, and the orientation of technological and institutional change, in such a manner as to ensure that the needs of the present are met without compromising the ability to meet the needs of future generations.
It conserves land, water, plant and animal genetic resources, is environmentally non-degrading, technically appropriate, economically feasible and socially acceptable.
The three pillars of sustainable development are: economic development, social development and environmental protection.


September 2012
not an official document - for information only