United Nation Conference on the Human Environment, Stockholm, 1972
The Stockholm Conference was the UN’s first major conference on international environmental issues. Attended by representatives of 113 countries, it is widely recognized as the beginning of modern political and public awareness of global environmental problems.
· Declaration of the United Nations Conferences on the Human Environment
The Declaration contains 26 principles concerning the environment and development.
Earth Summit (Rio), 1992
The United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED), also known as the Earth or Rio Summit, was attended by 172 countries. Outputs from the conference include the three Rio Conventions: United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD).
The Rio Declaration consists of 27 principles to guide future sustainable development.
Agenda 21 is a programme of action for sustainable development, and created the global environmental agenda for the next 20 years. It has 40 chapters: Chapter 17G endorses Small Island Developing States (SIDS) as a special case.
“Capacity 2015: Building capacity to benefit from globalization and realize the Millennium Development Goals while achieving sustainable development” builds on the experience gained since UNCED to help countries to move from strategic planning for sustainable development to effective implementation.
Global Conference on the Sustainable Development of Small Island Developing States, 1994
The Barbados Global Conference was the first conference to translate Agenda 21 into a programme of action for SIDS, attended by 125 States and territories participated in the conference, 46 of which were small island developing States and territories.
- Declaration of Barbados
- Programme of Action for the Sustainable Development of Small Island Developing States
Millennium Summit, 2000
At the Millennium Summit world leaders adopted the UN Millennium Declaration and in doing so, resolved to address the special needs of SIDS by implementing the BPOA.
The Declaration asserts that every individual has the right to dignity, freedom, equality, a basic standard of living that includes freedom from hunger and violence, and encourages tolerance and solidarity.
The MDGs are 8 international development goals that all 193 UN member states agreed to achieve by 2015. Their aim is to encourage development by improving social and economic conditions in the world's poorest countries.
World Summit on Sustainable Development, 2002 (Rio+10)
The WSSD reaffirmed the special case of SIDS. Sustainable development was recognized as an overarching goal for institutions at the national, regional and international levels. Non-negotiated partnerships for sustainable development, also known as Type II partnerships, are an important outcome of the WSSD, and in the Pacific comprise the CROP Working Groups.
The Johannesburg Declaration is an agreement to focus particularly on "the worldwide conditions that pose severe threats to the sustainable development of our people, which include: chronic hunger; malnutrition; foreign occupation; armed conflict; illicit drug problems; organized crime; corruption; natural disasters; illicit arms trafficking; trafficking in persons; terrorism; intolerance and incitement to racial, ethnic, religious and other hatreds; xenophobia; and endemic, communicable and chronic diseases, in particular HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis."
The JPOI reaffirmed the commitment to sustainable development, assuming a collective responsibility to advance and strengthen the interdependent and mutually reinforcing pillars of sustainable development - economic development, social development and environmental protection - at the local, national, regional and global levels. One chapter is dedicated to the sustainable development of SIDS, which identified a set of priority actions and called for a full and comprehensive review of the BPOA in 2004.
Mauritius International Meeting to undertake the 10 year Review of the Implementation of the Programme of Action for the Sustainable Development of SIDS 2005
The Mauritius meeting was the culmination of a 10-year comprehensive review for the BPOA for the sustainable development of SIDS. The meeting recognized that there were still constraints in fulfilling the activities of the BPOA.
The Mauritius Declaration is a political declaration to support the adoption of the Mauritius Strategy. It further recognizes that international trade is “important for building resilience and the sustainable development” of SIDS, and calls upon the international institutions, including financial institutions, to “pay appropriate attention to the structural disadvantages” of SIDS.
- Mauritius Strategy for the Further Implementation of the Programme of Action for the Sustainable Development of Small Island Developing States
United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20)
The UNCSD marked the 20th anniversary of the Earth Summit, with participation from 192 UN member states. Progress towards the goals set out in Agenda 21 was reviewed, identifying implementation gaps and discussing new and emerging issues. Political commitment for sustainable development was renewed. The conference focused on two themes: the green economy in the context of sustainable development, and the institutional framework for sustainable development.
This is a non-binding document, reaffirming political commitment to sustainable development and the promotion of a sustainable future, reaffirming Agenda 21 and other previous action plans.
The Pacific Plan is the master strategy for regional integration and coordination in the Pacific. It is a high-level framework that guides the work of national governments, regional agencies and development partners and was endorsed by Leaders in Port Moresby in October 2005.
UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD)The main goal of the convention is to improve the conditions of populations and ecosystems affected by land desertification, degradation and droughts. Regional land degradation issues include erosion, land slides, impact of mining and quarries, salt incursion and contamination of industrial and productive lands. Click here to read more about regional activities and Scope (south-to-south cooperation on land and environment)