In 1992, more than 100 heads of state met in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil for the first international Earth Summit convened to address urgent problems of environmental protection and socio-economic development. The assembled leaders signed the Convention on Climate Change and the Convention on Biological Diversity, endorsed the Rio Declaration and the Forest Principles, and adopted Agenda 21, a 300 page plan for achieving sustainable development in the 21st century.
The Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD) was created to monitor and report on implementation of the Earth Summit agreements. It was agreed that a five year review of Earth Summit progress would be made in 1997 by the United Nations General Assembly meeting in special session. This special session of the UN General Assembly took stock of how well countries, international organizations and sectors of civil society have responded to the challenge of the Earth Summit.