Since the 1972 UN Conference on the Human Environment the reach of sustainable development governance has expanded considerably at local, national, regional and international levels.
The need for the integration of economic development, natural resources management and protection and social equity and inclusion was introduced for the first time by the 1987 Brundtland Report (Our Common Future), and was central in framing the discussions at the 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) also known as the Earth Summit. In 1993 the General Assembly established the Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD), as the United Nations high level political body entrusted with the monitoring and promotion of the implementation of the Rio outcomes, including Agenda 21.
The 2002 World Summit on Sustainable Development advanced the mainstreaming of the three dimensions of sustainable development in development policies at all levels through the adoption of the Johannesburg Plan of Implementation (JPOI).
A process was created for discussing issues pertaining to the sustainable development of small island developing States resulting in two important action plans - Barbados Plan of Action and Mauritius Strategy. The Third International Conference on Small Island Developing States, which was held in 2014, took these processes forward and provided the SAMOA Pathway.
In 2012 at the Rio+20 Conference, the international community decided to establish a High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development to subsequently replace the Commission on Sustainable Development. The High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development held its first meeting on 24 September 2013.
At the Rio+20 Conference, Member States also decided to launch a process to develop a set of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which were to build upon the Millennium Development Goals and converge with the post 2015 development agenda.
The process of arriving at the post 2015 development agenda was Member State-led with broad participation from Major Groups and other civil society stakeholders.
On 25 September 2015, the United Nations General Assembly formally adopted the universal, integrated and transformative 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, along with a set of 17 Sustainable Development Goals and 169 associated targets.