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UNESCO, the task manager for Chapter 35 of Agenda 21, reported that science is an essential tool for finding solutions to environmental problems and moving towards sustainable development. As part of the preparation of the task manager"s report, UNESCO hosted inter-agency consultations in March 1994. Generic issues included: building up scientific capacity and capability to address needs of developing countries; improving long-term scientific assessment to ensure the best scientific information is used to transform policy making; and enhancing scientific understanding.

Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto of Pakistan invited the Heads of State and their representatives to set up a Commission on Science and Technology for Sustainable Development in the South at a meeting that took place in Islamabad from 4-5 October 1994. The objective of this commission is to provide political and economic support to major scientific initiatives and the development of international centers of excellence. The headquarters for this commission is in Islamabad.