Updated 10 June, 2003

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South Africa to hold 2002 Earth Summit

The South African Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism announced on Sunday that the United Nations General Assembly on Environment and Sustainable Development (UNCED) had chosen South Africa to host the Earth Summit in 2002.


In a statement, Rejoice Mabudafhasi, the deputy minister of environmental affairs and tourism, said that South Africa welcomed the decision to bring the conference to the African continent. The summit would be held in Johannesburg. "Bringing the Earth Summit to South Africa is a major boost for Africa as the major conference on sustainable development on our soil will firmly place these issues and debates on the agenda of our continent" said Mabudafhasi.

In February, President Thabo Mbeki made a formal offer to the United Nations to host the 10-year Review Summit, popularly referred to as the Earth Summit 2002. 'It is significant that it should take place in the developing world' Several heads of state will attend the summit that is expected to draw about 40,000 participants. More than 130 heads of state participated in the summit in 1992 and it is expected that the majority of the 188 members of the UN will send delegations to the 2002 conference. More than 15,000 NGOs were represented at the 1992 meeting.

Mabudafhasi said that the significance of the conference went beyond the actual event because it set the agenda for sustainable development and the environment for the next decade. "It is therefore significant that it should take place in the developing world where the issues of development and the environment are fundamental to the daily struggle against poverty." Earth Summit 2002 should deepen the global commitment to sustainable development and bring environmental issues to the fore. There is wide consensus that the primary focus of the summit should be poverty, development and the environment. Poverty and underdevelopment are seen as the fundamental threats to environmental security and sustainable development. 

Related News

The UN Secretariat has also released the following information from the UN General Assembly

The Rio+10 event will carry the title WORLD SUMMIT ON SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT

 CSD10 will function as the preparatory committee (Prepcom) for Rio+10, and will hold four PrepComs. The first prepcom is scheduled from 30 April to 2 May 2001 (in New York), followed by prepcoms in late January 2002 (in New York), mid-March 2002 (in New York) and mid-May 2002 (in Indonesia, at Ministerial level).

The event and its preparatory process will include active participation of NGOs and other major groups, including multi-stakeholder dialogues. The event will open accreditation to new NGOs interested in making a contribution to Rio+10. 


South Africa to hold Rio+10 Summit

Text of the UN General Assembly Decision

The Rio+10 Summit Meeting

Earth Summit 2002 website


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