The UN Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD) is one of the three
bodies established by the United Nations to ensure effective global follow-up to the UN
Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) - the Earth
Summit - held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 3-14 June 1992.
At the Earth Summit, 178 Governments agreed on three far-reaching plans: Agenda 21, a comprehensive strategy for global action
on sustainable development; the Rio Declaration on
Environment and Development which outlines the rights and responsibilities of
Governments in this area; and a statement of principles
to guide the sustainable development if forests world-wide.
Six months later, in December 1992, the UN General Assembly established
the Commission on Sustainable Development to monitor overall implementation of the Earth
Summit agreements by Governments, businesses, non-governmental organisations and others.
A High-level Advisory
Board of experts from science, industry, finance and related disciplines was also set
up to advise the UN Secretary-General and the Commission on matters relating to
sustainable development. The Advisory Board operated from 1992 until 1997.
Shortly after the Summit, the Secretary-General announced the formation of
an internal United Nations group, the Inter-Agency
Committee on Sustainable Development, that is working to reshape and co-ordinate the
activities of all of the agencies and programmes of the UN system to bring the into line
with the goals of Agenda 21.
The Commission meets every year for a Intersessional Session (around
February/March) to prepare for the actual Session (around April/May). The Commissions
recommendations and decisions are then taken to the Economic and Social Council and
subsequently to the General Assembly.
The Commission on Sustainable Development consistently generates a high level of public
interest. Over 50 ministers attend the CSD each year and more than one thousand
non-governmental organizations (NGOs) are accredited to participate in the Commission's
work. The Commission ensures the high visibility of sustainable development issues within
the UN system and helps to improve the UN's coordination of environment and development
activities. The CSD also encourages governments and international organizations to host
workshops and conferences on different environmental and cross-sectoral issues. The
results of these expert-level meetings enhance the work of CSD and help the Commission to
work better with national governments and various non-governmental partners in promoting
sustainable development worldwide.
A bi-monthly newsletter of the Secretariat of the UN Commission on Sustainable
Development, keeping you up to date on sustainable development activities and meetings
worldwide. Copies are available through the Secretariat and online at http://www.un.org/esa/agenda21/csdup.htm.
CSD Web Sites:
http://www.un.org/esa/agenda21 - this web site
contains information on the CSD workprogrammes, including the work of the
Intergovernmental Forum on Forests, sustainable development indicators, reports and
documents of the Commission.
http://www.unsystem.org/agenda21 - this web
site contains country-and issue-specific information on sustainable development worldwide,
based on national reports sent to CSD, with hyperlinks to relevant web sites throughout
the United Nations System, the Secretariats of Conventions and official web sites of
At Earth Summit II in June 1997, a
new work programme of the Commission has been agreed:
Sectoral:Strategic Approaches to Freshwater Management
Cross-Sectoral: Transfer of Technology, Capacity-Building, Education, Science, Awareness
Economic Sector: Major Group: Industry
Sectoral: Oceans and Seas
Cross-Sectoral: Consumption and Production Patterns
Economic Sector: Major Group: Tourism
Sectoral: Integrated Planning and Management of Land Resources
Cross-Sectoral: Financial Resources, Trade and Investment, Economic Growth
Economic Sector: Major Group: Agriculture
Sectoral: Atmosphere, Energy
Cross-Sectoral: Information for Decision-Making and Participation, International
Co-operation for an Enabling Environment
Economic Sector: Major Group: Energy, Transport
10 Year Comprehensive Review - Earth Summit III.
The Commission is made up of representatives of 53 countries elected from
UN Member States. Membership rotates among Governments and is drawn equitably from various
The Secretariat is based in the UN Headquarters in New York. From 1993 until 1997, it was
headed by Joke Waller-Hunter of the Netherlands. Since 1998, it is headed by JoAnne DiSano
Ms Zehra Aydin-Sipos is acting as the Major Groups Focal
Point in the Division for Sustainable Development.
For more information about the CSD, its work programme, membership, etc.
please visit the CSD web-site.
Secretariat of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development
United Nations Plaza, Room DC2-2220
New York, New York 10017, USA
Tel: + 1 212-963-3170
Fax: + 1-212-963-4260