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New York
23-27 June 1997
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Special Session of the General Assembly to Review and Appraise the Implementation of Agenda 21
In 1992, more than 100 heads of state met in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil for the first international Earth Summit convened to address urgent problems of environmental protection and socio-economic development. The assembled leaders signed the Convention on Climate Change and the Convention on Biological Diversity, endorsed the Rio Declaration and the Forest Principles, and adopted Agenda 21, a 300 page plan for achieving sustainable development in the 21st century.

The Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD) was created to monitor and report on implementation of the Earth Summit agreements. It was agreed that a five year review of Earth Summit progress would be made in 1997 by the United Nations General Assembly meeting in special session. This special session of the UN General Assembly took stock of how well countries, international organizations and sectors of civil society have responded to the challenge of the Earth Summit.

Member States

One hundred eighty-three of the one hundred eighty-five Member States participated in the 19th special session. This included:
over fifty heads of State and government, eighty ministers and other senior government officials.


The Special Session appointed a Committee of the Whole under the Chair of Dr. Tolba.
Vice-chairs were:

  1. Ambassador Bagher Asadi (Islamic Republic of Iran),
  2. Ambassador John Ashe (Antigua and Barbuda),
  3. Ms. Idun Eideheim (Norway),
  4. and Mr. Czeslaw Wieckowski (Poland).

  • Ms. Linn-Locher, along with Ambassador Amorin and Mr. Osborn, continued to assist the Bureau as friends of the Chair.
United Nations