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The second session of the CSD met in New York from 16-27 May 1994. During the course of the session, the Commission, chaired by Klaus T�pfer (Germany), examined the first cluster of issues according to its multi-year thematic programme of work. Delegates discussed the following cross-sectoral chapters of Agenda 21: trade, environment and sustainable development (Chapter 2); consumption patterns (4); major groups (23-32); financial resources and mechanisms (33); transfer of environmentally sound technologies, cooperation and capacity-building (34); institutions (38); and legal instruments (39). On the sectoral side, delegates examined the progress in implementing the following chapters of Agenda 21: health (Chapter 6); human settlements (7); freshwater resources (18); toxic chemicals (19); hazardous wastes (20); solid wastes (21); and radioactive wastes (22).

The Commission also adopted a decision on intersessional work, which called for the establishment of a new ad hoc open-ended intersessional working group to examine the sectoral issues to be addressed by the Commission at its 1995 session (land management, agriculture, desertification, mountains, forests and biodiversity). The session concluded with a High-Level Segment attended by over 40 ministers and high-level officials.

Delegates determined that although some progress was made, until there is an increase in Official Development Assistance (ODA) and an improvement in the international economic climate, it will be difficult to translate the Rio commitments into action. Likewise, many participants agreed that unless the CSD's format is changed, it will be impossible to shift from rhetoric and speech-making to dialogue and action.