The 49th United Nations General Assembly's Second Committee considered Agenda Item 89, "Environment and Sustainable Development," from 19-21 October 1994. Topics of discussion included the implementation of decisions and recommendations of the UN Conference on Environment and Development (document A/49/463), the protection of global climate for present and future generations of mankind (A/49/485), and the sustainable use and conservation of the marine living resources of the high seas (A/49/254 and A/49/522). Discussions on related issues, including the Convention to Combat Desertification and the Conference on the Sustainable Development of Small Island Developing States, will be discussed officially in the General Assembly plenary, although several delegates referred to them in their statements.
Most delegates noted a number of areas where progress has been made over the last year, including: the entry into force of both the Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Convention on Biological Diversity; the negotiation and adoption of the Convention to Combat Desertification; the successful conclusion of the Conference on the Sustainable Development of Small Island Developing States; the restructuring and the replenishment of the Global Environment Facility (GEF); and the conclusion of the GATT Uruguay Round and its decisions in the area of trade and environment. Many delegates stated, however, that in spite of these accomplishments much more needs to be done to see Agenda 21 translated from words to action, especially in the areas of financial resources, transfer of technology, poverty alleviation and changes in production and consumption patterns.