UN Conference on Environment and Development – UNCED
The United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) convened in Rio de Janeiro in June 1992 to promote economic development, reduce poverty, and preserve and protect the earth’s ecological systems. The Earth Summit, as the conference became known, led to: the creation of new institutions for sustainable development, including the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development; the signing of two new environmental treaties—the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Convention on Biological Diversity; and the adoption of the Rio Declaration on Environment and Development, Agenda 21, and the Statement of Forest Principles. The Earth Summit was also the first UN conference to firmly embrace the participation of representatives from non-governmental organizations (NGOs), business and industry. UNCED created the concept of “major groups”—Business and Industry, Children and Youth, Farmers, Indigenous Peoples, Local Authorities, NGOs, the Scientific and Technological Community, Women, and Workers and Trade Unions—whose participation is necessary to achieve sustainable development.