In September 2002, representatives of 191 governments gathered in Johannesburg for the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD).
The aim was to examine progress on the outcomes of the 1992 UN Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) - sometimes referred to as the Rio Earth Summit - and to 'reinvigorate' global commitment to sustainable development. The result was a 54-page agreement called the Johannesburg Plan of Implementation which sets out new commitments and priorities for action on sustainable development in areas as diverse as poverty eradication, health, trade, education, science and technology, regional concerns, natural resources, and the institutional arrangements.
The Johannesburg Plan of Implementation is divided in to eleven chapters, each with its own specific focus. This means that while themes such as health, poverty and globalisation have a chapter of their own, the themes are also echoed in other parts of the agreement. This 'cross-cutting' or web-like structure of the Johannesburg Plan of Implementation reflects the fact that sustainable development requires a holistic view of development and the involvement of all relevant stakeholders in its implementation.
The 11 Chapters of the Johannesburg Plan of Implementation are as follows: