8 of Agenda 21 calls on countries to improve or restructure
the decision-making process so that consideration of socio-economic and
environmental issues is fully integrated and a broader range of public
participation assured. It also calls on countries to adopt national
strategies for sustainable development (NSDS) that “should build upon
and harmonize the various sectoral economic, social and environmental
policies and plans that are operating in the country.”
Five years later, the 1997 Special Session of the
General Assembly again noted the importance of NSDS and set a target of
2002 for their formulations and elaboration.
In 2002, the World Summit for Sustainable
Development (WSSD) urged States not only to “take immediate steps to
make progress in the formulation and elaboration of national strategies
for sustainable development,” but also to “begin their implementation by
In addition, integrating the principles of
sustainable development into country policies and programmes is one of
the targets contained in the United Nations Millennium Declaration to
reach the goal of environmental sustainability.
Governments have continued to reiterate their
commitment to develop and implement NSDS at subsequent CSD sessions.
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