The largest United Nations’ conference to date took place in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil from June 20th to the 22nd to discuss the world’s path toward sustainable development. The conference was a follow up to the historic 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED), also known as the Earth Summit that was held shortly after the dissolution of the Soviet Union, at a time that the world was radiant with hope for reform and cooperation within the international community.
At the 1992 Earth Summit, the principal concept implemented was that of “sustainable development,” a global policy initiative designed to restructure economic growth, advance social equity, and ensure environmental protections for current generations, as well as for those to come. Unfortunately, the last twenty years have not demonstrated the desired implementation of sustainable development among states. Sustainability issues, such as climate change, biodiversity loss, access to basic necessities, and poverty remain existent.