World Summit on Sustainable Development
Preparations are under way for the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD), which will be held in Johannesburg, South Africa, between 2 and 11 September 2002. The Summit provides an opportunity to give fresh impetus to the international sustainable development process. It is important that the preparations for the Summit and the Summit itself see the active involvement of civil society, which includes NGOs, Business, Local Authorities and all other groups who have something to contribute. These groups will play a vital role in ensuring successful follow-up of the decisions reached there.
As part of preparations, the UK Government is hosting an online discussion forum: ‘World Summit on Sustainable Development 2002 - what should be on the agenda?’. We are interested in hearing your views about the government's aims for the summit. We also want to know how civil society should be involved at national and international levels, and what it can contribute to the process. The debate will run from 20 August to 14 September 2001.
Find out more about the Summit and UK preparations and log on to the discussion forum on the Government’s sustainable development website.
The environment affects us all, both at a local and global level. In his speech of 6 March 2001, the Prime Minister said: ‘The evidence grows daily all around us of the danger of indifference to our duty to treat nature with respect and care for the environment - I want these issues to occupy a central part of the British Government agenda in the coming years.’ This commitment is pursued in the FCO through the Environment Policy Department (EPD), whose mission is 'to maximise, through the application of FCO assets, the UK contribution to protecting and improving the quality of the global environment, as a foundation for sustainable development'.
There are many international environmental issues that need urgent attention. Climate change, biodiversity, biotechnology, energy, and the supply of important resources and dealing with toxic chemicals, are some examples. The FCO, in co-operation with other Government Departments, works to ensure that the UK contributes to international responses in these areas to improve the global environment. Through its network of overseas missions, it can pursue dialogues with governments, non-governmental bodies, business, the media, international organisations and others. This informs the UK position, and helps to build consensus for solutions to the common problems we face.
If you have any comments or questions on the environment, email the Environment Department at: firstname.lastname@example.org.