Economic and Social Development - Johannesburg summit

From 26 August to 4 September 2002 in Johannesburg, South Africa, the UN held the Johannesburg Summit 2002, or the World Summit on Sustainable Development, to continue the efforts begun by the 1992 Earth Summit, and to adopt concrete steps and identify quantifiable targets for better implementing Agenda 21. The Summit also pledged to further implement the Millennium Goals set forth by the UN in 2000, including: eradicating extreme poverty and hunger; achieving universal primary education; promoting gender equality and empowering women; reducing child mortality; improving maternal health; combating HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases; ensuring environmental sustainability; and developing a global partnership for development.

It was recognized that progress on sustainable development since the Earth Summit had been disappointing, with poverty deepening and environmental degradation worsening. No agreements that would lead to new treaties were established, but new targets were set, such as:

  • • to halve the proportion of people without access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation by 2015
  • • to halve the proportion of people whose income is less than $1 a day by 2015
  • • to use and produce chemicals by 2020 in ways that do not lead to significant adverse effects on human health and the environment
  • • to maintain or restore depleted fish stocks to levels that can produce the maximum sustainable yield on an urgent basis and where possible by 2015
  • • to achieve by 2010 a significant reduction in the current rate of loss of biological diversity.

Over 300 voluntary initiatives were launched by governments, NGOs, intergovernmental organizations, and businesses. One hundred eight heads of state addressed the Summit and more than 22,000 people participated in it, including more than 10,000 delegates, 8,000 NGOs and representatives of civil society, and 4,000 members of the press.

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