United Nations

A/RES/42/187


General Assembly

 96th plenary meeting
                                                        11 December 1987


                                                        
             42/187.  Report of the World Commission on Environment and
                      Development

      The General Assembly,

      Concerned about the accelerating deterioration of the human environment
 and natural resources and the consequences of that deterioration for economic
 and social development,

      Believing that sustainable development, which implies meeting the needs
 of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet
 their own needs, should become a central guiding principle of the United
 Nations, Governments and private institutions, organizations and enterprises,

      Recognizing, in view of the global character of major environmental
 problems, the common interest of all countries to pursue policies aimed at
 sustainable and environmentally sound development,

      Convinced of the importance of a reorientation of national and
 international policies towards sustainable development patterns,

      Recalling that, in its resolution 38/161 of 19 December 1983 on the
 process of preparation of the Environmental Perspective to the Year 2000 and
 Beyond to be prepared by the Governing Council of the United Nations
 Environment Programme, it welcomed the establishment of a special commission,
 which later assumed the name World Commission on Environment and Development,

 to make available a report on environment and the global problematique to the
 year 2000 and beyond, including proposed strategies for sustainable
 development,

      Recognizing the valuable role played in the preparation of the report of
 the World Commission by the Intergovernmental Inter-sessional Preparatory
 Committee of the Governing Council of the United Nations Environment
 Programme, as envisaged by the General Assembly in its resolution 38/161,

      Recalling that in resolution 38/161 it decided that, on matters within
 the purview of the United Nations Environment Programme, the report of the
 Commission should in the first instance be considered by the Governing Council
 of the Programme, for transmission to the General Assembly together with the
 comments of the Council and for use as basic material in the preparation, for
 adoption by the Assembly, of the Environmental Perspective, and that on those
 matters which were under consideration or review by the Assembly itself, it
 would consider the relevant aspects of the report of the Commission,

      Taking note of Governing Council decision 14/14 of l9 June l987
 transmitting the report of the Commission to the General Assembly,

      Noting that the Environmental Perspective to the Year 2000 and Beyond
 has taken account of the main recommendations in the Commission's report,

      Recognizing the instrumental role of the Commission in revitalizing and
 reorienting discussions and deliberations on environment and development and
 in enhancing the understanding of the causes of present environmental and
 development problems, as well as in demonstrating the ways in which they
 transcend institutional frontiers and in opening new perspectives on the
 interrelationship between environment and development as a guide to the future,

      Emphasizing the need for a new approach to economic growth, as an
 essential prerequisite for eradication of poverty and for enhancing the
 resource base on which present and future generations depend,

      1.   Welcomes the report of the World Commission on Environment and
 Development entitled "Our Common Future";

      2.   Notes with appreciation the important contribution made by the
 Commission to raising the consciousness of decision-makers in Governments,
 intergovernmental and non-governmental international organizations, industry
 and other fields of economic activity, as well as of the general public, in
 regard to the imperative need for making the transition towards sustainable
 development, and calls upon all concerned to make full use in this regard of
 the report of the Commission;

      3.   Agrees with the Commission that while seeking to remedy existing
 environmental problems, it is imperative to influence the sources of those
 problems in human activity, and economic activity in particular, and thus to
 provide for sustainable development;

      4.   Agrees further that an equitable sharing of the environmental costs
 and benefits of economic development between and within countries and between
 present and future generations is a key to achieving sustainable development;

      5.   Concurs with the Commission that the critical objectives for
 environment and development policies which follow from the need for
 sustainable development must include preserving peace, reviving growth and
 changing its quality, remedying the problems of poverty and satisfying human
 needs, addressing the problems of population growth and of conserving and
 enhancing the resource base, reorienting technology and managing risk, and
 merging environment and economics in decision-making;

      6.   Decides to transmit the report of the Commission to all Governments
 and to the governing bodies of the organs, organizations and programmes of the
 United Nations system, and invites them to take account of the analysis and
 recommendations contained in the report of the Commission in determining their
 policies and programmes;

      7.   Calls upon all Governments to ask their central and sectoral
 economic agencies to ensure that their policies, programmes and budgets
 encourage sustainable development and to strengthen the role of their
 environmental and natural resource agencies in advising and assisting central
 and sectoral agencies in that task;

      8.   Calls upon the governing bodies of the organs, organizations and
 programmes of the United Nations system to review their policies, programmes,
 budgets and activities aimed at contributing to sustainable development;

      9.   Calls upon the governing bodies of other relevant multilateral
 development assistance and financial institutions to commit their institutions
 more fully to pursuing sustainable development in establishing their policies
 and programmes in accordance with the national development plans, priorities
 and objectives established by the recipient Governments themselves;

      10.  Requests the Secretary-General, through the appropriate existing
 mechanisms, including the Administrative Committee on Co-ordination, to review
 and co-ordinate on a regular basis the efforts of all the organs,
 organizations and bodies of the United Nations system to pursue sustainable
 development, and to report thereon to the General Assembly through the
 Governing Council of the United Nations Environment Programme and the Economic
 and Social Council;

      11.  Stresses the essential role of the United Nations Environment
 Programme, within its mandate, in catalyzing the sustainable development
 efforts of the United Nations system, while fully taking into account the
 co-ordinating responsibilities of the Economic and Social Council, and agrees
 with the Commission that that role
 should be strengthened and that the resources of the Environment Fund should
 be substantially enlarged, with greater participation;

      12.  Considers that the Governing Council of the United Nations
 Environment Programme, within its mandate and with participation, when
 appropriate, at the ministerial level, should examine on a periodic basis the
 long-term strategies for realizing sustainable development, and should include
 the results of its examinations in its reports to be submitted to the General
 Assembly through the Economic and Social Council;

      13.  Agrees that the catalytic and co-ordinating role of the United
 Nations Environment Programme in the United Nations system should be
 reinforced in its future work on environmental and natural resource issues;

      14.  Reaffirms the need for additional financial resources from donor
 countries and organizations to assist developing countries in identifying,
 analysing, monitoring, preventing and managing environmental problems in
 accordance with their national development plans, priorities and objectives;

      15.  Reaffirms the need for developed countries and appropriate organs
 and organizations of the United Nations system to strengthen technical
 co-operation with the developing countries to enable them to develop and
 enhance their capacity for identifying, analysing, monitoring, preventing and
 managing environmental problems in accordance with their national development
 plans, priorities and objectives;

      16.  Invites Governments, in co-operation with the regional commissions
 and the United Nations Environment Programme and, as appropriate,
 intergovernmental organizations, to support and engage in follow-up
 activities, such as conferences, at the national, regional, and global levels;

      17.  Calls upon Governments to involve non-governmental organizations,
 industry and the scientific community more fully in national and international
 activities to support efforts towards sustainable development;

      18.  Invites the governing bodies of the organs, organizations and
 programmes of the United Nations system to report, as appropriate, through the
 Economic and Social Council, to the General Assembly, not later than at its
 forty-fourth session, on progress made in their organizations towards
 sustainable development, and to make such reports available to the Governing
 Council of the United Nations Environment Programme at its next regular
 session;

      19.  Also invites the Governing Council of the United Nations Environment
 Programme to provide comments on matters concerning progress on sustainable
 development that fall within its mandate, on the above-mentioned reports and
 on other developments, for submission to the Economic and Social Council at
 its second regular session of 1989 and to the General Assembly at its
 forty-fourth session;

      20.  Requests the Secretary-General to submit to the General Assembly at
 its forty-third session, through the Economic and Social Council, a progress
 report on
 the implementation of the present resolution and to the Assembly at its
 forty-fourth session a consolidated report on the same subject;

      21.  Decides to include in the provisional agenda of its forty-third
 session a sub-item entitled "A long-term strategy for sustainable and
 environmentally sound development" under the agenda item entitled "Development
 and international economic co-operation".
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