The Development of Agenda 21: Generating a Viable Formula

Spector, B.I. (1991). The Development of Agenda 21: Generating a Viable Formula. IIASA Working Paper. IIASA, Laxenburg, Austria: WP-91-014

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The Preparatory Committee (PrepCom) of the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) was in session between March 18 and April 5, 1991. The Project on the Processes of International Negotiation (PIN) sent two observers to the session. Many issues were discussed and debated among the national delegations. One of them, presented in detail for the first time, was Agenda 21, a program to coordinate action on environmental and developmental issues after the 1992 UNCED conference.

The joint purpose of this working paper is to witness the generation of a new formula -- an agreement in principle -- concerning Agenda 21 and to provide guidance and recommendations to the Secretariat on how to handle this issue to achieve an early convergence of interests among the national delegations. First, the paper presents initial reactions to the Agenda 21 proposal that PIN observed at the meeting. Based upon these reactions, the goals of Agenda 21, and a conceptual understanding of how stable formulas are generated, a range of options for the further development of an Agenda 21 proposal is derived. These options contain what may be a workable formula for Agenda 21 -- one that can be debated and hopefully accepted by the national delegations. Finally, a set of next steps is presented.

This working paper is the product of a larger study of issue and coalition dynamics in the prenegotiation phase of UNCED. Within that study, this paper serves the purpose of documenting and analyzing the development of a new and important issue for the PrepCom -- the generation of a substantive formula for Agenda 21. While the content of such a formula is being developed, the paper also begins to analyze the initial behavioral development of national perspectives, preferences, and interests concerning this issue. It is hypothesized that these perspectives will eventually result in the formation of coalitions in the context of Agenda 21.

Item Type: Monograph (IIASA Working Paper)
Research Programs: Processes of International Negotiation Network (PIN)
Depositing User: IIASA Import
Date Deposited: 15 Jan 2016 02:01
Last Modified: 27 Aug 2021 17:14

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