Rio + 5: picking up the pieces.
The UN General Assembly Special Session held during June 1997 has failed to take forward the objectives set out at the Earth Summit in Rio, casting doubt on the global effort to create a sustainable future. This article presents a balance sheet set out by Don Hinrichsen in the wake of Rio+5. It outlines the progress made by the UN as well as the prevailing issues, which need to be acted upon immediately. It is noted that little progress has been made since the Summit; only the issues of population, forests, and oceans have been given attention, subsequently achieving a significant progress. However, the UN has failed in addressing the issues of poverty, high consumption, management of freshwater, and the continued loss and impoverishment of biological diversity. Little or lack of progress has been made since Rio in implementing recommendations tackling such problems. In the context of the issues regarding land degradation and climate change, assessing progress would be too early for these aspects.