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Joahannesburg Summit 2002
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Q. What key issues will be addressed at the Summit? Is this an environmental conference? Poverty conference?

The Summit will address more than individual issues of concern such as poverty or the environment. Sustainable development addresses the interface between human society and the physical world. Specifically, the Summit will focus on actions to address major sustainable development challenges, such as how to spread the benefits of globalisation, alleviate poverty, manage natural resources and promote responsible consumption and production. Special attention will also be given to the special needs of Africa and Small Island Developing States and to issues surrounding the health/environment nexus.

The Johannesburg Summit is not just a sequel to the Earth Summit in Rio, nor is it just a follow-up to the recent International Conference on Financing for Development in Monterrey. It builds upon the achievements of both, but it also seeks to implement the goals agreed at many conferences - including those adopted by world leaders at the Millennium Summit - under the umbrella of sustainable development.

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Q. Many Summits and conferences have been held and decisions taken since the 1992 Earth Summit - for example, the Millennium Summit, where Heads of State and Government adopted the Millennium Development Goals. How are these decisions being integrated into the Johannesburg Summit agenda?

The Johannesburg Summit seeks to take the results from previous Summits and conferences and move them onto the next level where words and agreements are clearly transformed into concrete action that improves people's lives. The Millennium Development Goals provide a clear framework within which for sustainable development can be taken forward and some of the goals, such as the goal to halve the number of people living in poverty by 2015, will specifically be addressed by the Johannesburg Summit.

The recent international conferences in Doha and Monterrey on trade and financing development respectively have also clearly set the scene for Johannesburg. For example, significant new resources for development were committed by governments in Monterrey; delegates in Johannesburg can take decisions about how best to use this money to progress sustainable development in the developing world.

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Q. What will happen during the Summit?

The overall focus of the Johannesburg Summit will be renewed political commitment to, and further implementation of, Agenda 21 - the plan for achieving sustainable development that was adopted at Rio in 1992. There are likely to be three main outcomes from the Summit:
  • a political declaration at the highest level
  • a negotiated plan of implementation
  • recognition of "Type 2" partnerships and initiatives being taken around the world in support of sustainable development.

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Q. How can I get a speaking slot at the Summit?

Delegates attending the Summit will be from governments and accredited organisations from the nine Major Group categories identified in Agenda 21. It will be for each Government and the organisers within each of the Major Group categories to determine who represents their voice at the Summit.

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24 August 2006