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World Summit on Sustainable Development

  • By: Emma S. Norman & David L. Carr
  • In: Encyclopedia of Geography
  • Edited by: Barney Warf
  • Subject:General Geography, Earth & Environmental Science

The World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD), which convened in Johannesburg, South Africa, from August 26 to September 4, 2002, aimed to reaffirm and assess the progress of the multilateral commitments launched at the Rio Conference 10 years earlier. Specifically, the WSSD was designed to evaluate the progress of the Millennium Goals and Agenda 21 and to set new priorities and goals to counter global poverty and environmental degradation in the coming years. United Nations (UN) Secretary General Kofi Annan identified five priority areas for action at the Summit: (1) water and sanitation, (2) energy, (3) health, (4) agriculture, and (5) biodiversity.

The United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development served as the central organizing body of the WSSD. A 10-member steering committee (representing each region of ...

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