Progress to date and remaining gaps in the implementation of the outcomes of the major summits in the area of sustainable development, as well as an analysis of the themes of the Conference, UNDESA
by: United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA)

The concept of sustainable development is like a bridge. It seeks to bring together not only the three domains ? economic, social and environmental ? but also developed and developing countries, Governments, businesses and civil society, scientific knowledge and public policy, the city and the countryside, and present and future generations. It has also created the awareness that the environment and development are not two separate agendas, but two faces of the same agenda. Development is the midwife of sustainability, just as sustainability is the life support system for development. At its advent over two decades ago, this idea offered tremendous excitement and hope. The time has come not only to review and assess what has been achieved on the basis of this vision, but also to build upon it and revive its promise of integration, unity and aspiration: the ?spirit of Rio?.

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