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Section III. Strengthening the Role of Major Groups
Chapter 3. Preamble
23.1. Critical to the effective implementation of the objectives, policies and
mechanisms agreed to by Governments in all programme areas of Agenda 21 will be the
commitment and genuine involvement of all social groups.
23.2. One of the fundamental prerequisites for the achievement of sustainable
development is broad public participation in decision-making. Furthermore, in the more
specific context of environment and development, the need for new forms of participation
has emerged. This includes the need of individuals, groups and organizations to
participate in environmental impact assessment procedures and to know about and
participate in decisions, particularly those which potentially affect the communities in
which they live and work. Individuals, groups and organizations should have access to
information relevant to environment and development held by national authorities,
including information on products and activities that have or are likely to have a
significant impact on the environment, and information on environmental protection
23.3. Any policies, definitions or rules affecting access to and participation by
non-governmental organizations in the work of United Nations institutions or agencies
associated with the implementation of Agenda 21 must apply equally to all major groups.
23.4. The programme areas set out below address the means for moving towards real
social partnership in support of common efforts for sustainable development.
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