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Perhaps the overall threat to the CSD is that if the same mistakes are made next year, the CSD will prove to be the paper tiger that many have warned about. In this respect, the future success of the Commission is being held hostage to the international economic climate. Until the developed countries emerge from the current recession, there will be no substantial increase in official development assistance (ODA) flows and, without this, the current impasse over financial resources, technology transfer and Agenda 21 commitments will remain.

There is also the threat of conference fatigue. In 1994 practically every week of the year contains at least one conference or meeting on sustainable development. UN delegates are exhausted and have little time or energy to prepare for the next conference or meeting. Unless there are fewer meetings with better preparation and appropriate representation from countries and agencies, little will be accomplished.

There is also the threat of the CSD's potential monitoring role. Many countries do not want the CSD to become another Commission on Human Rights that can review countries' sustainable development performance and list those that have not made progress since the Earth Summit. Yet, without the ability to monitor national performance, the CSD will turn into an institution that can only monitor UN agency implementation of Agenda 21, which is only the tip of the iceberg.