History and background
The international conference "Stockholm+40 - Partnership Forum for Sustainable Development" is being arranged to commemorate the UN Conference on the Human Environment held in Stockholm in 1972.
Stockholm Conference on the Human Environment 1972
The Stockholm Conference on the Human Environment in 1972 was the first major global environmental meeting arranged by the United Nations. The 1972 conference is seen as the first milestone in the field of sustainable development. On the initiative of Sweden, the issue of the environment had been raised for discussion at overall UN level for the first time ever. The conference resulted in a declaration and an action programme. As a direct result, the United Nations General Assembly created the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) the same year.
Rio Conference on Sustainable Development 1992
Twenty years after the Stockholm Conference, the UN Conference on Environment and Development was held in Rio de Janeiro in 1992, when Agenda 21 - an action programme for the 21st century - was adopted. The summit gave international recognition to the principle that all development has to be sustainable, which means that economic, social and environmental factors have to be taken into account when decisions are made. Sweden has been active in following up and further developing the decisions taken. For example, all Swedish municipalities have adopted a local Agenda 21.
In 1992, the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD) was also established.
Five documents were adopted at the Rio conference in 1992:
- The Rio Declaration
- The action programme Agenda 21
- The Statement of Principles on Forests
- The Convention on Biological Diversity
- The Convention on Climate Change
Johannesburg Conference on Sustainable Development 2002
The World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg in 2002 gathered 20 000 participants from 189 member countries and from intergovernmental and non-governmental bodies. A political declaration and a plan of implementation for sustainable development were adopted. The result was both a political and moral commitment. All development is to be sustainable, with the integrated treatment of economic, social and environmental aspects.
The World Summit is generally seen as the third milestone in the process that has come to be about sustainable development. Ahead of the World Summit, the UN Secretary-General specified five areas of particular significance for sustainable development: water, energy, health, agriculture and biological diversity.
Rio+20 - United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development 2012
The United Nations General Assembly decided in 2010 that a UN Conference on Sustainable Development (known as Rio+20) would take place in Brazil in June 2012. The conference will have two main themes: a green economy in the context of sustainable development and poverty reduction; and the institutional framework for sustainable development, in other words, the rules and organisational structure in the area of sustainable development.
United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)
UNEP is the United Nations Environment Programme. It was set up by the UN General Assembly in 1972 at the initiative of Sweden and other countries.
UNEP has a responsibility for coordinating environmental issues in the UN. In recent years, and especially since the World Summit in Johannesburg in 2002, this role has expanded to also include cooperation in the UN system on the environmental dimension of sustainable development. UNEP also works to promote the integration of environmental considerations in development work by cooperating with other multilateral organisations.