United Nations-Sponsored World Conferences: Focus on Impact and Follow-up

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What value were the widely publicized and well-attended United Nations-sponsored World Conferences in the 1990s? How important are non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to the success of such conferences? What was actually accomplished at the global meetings in Rio, Vienna, and Beijing? Were they worth the resources expended on them? Should conferences like the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED, the Earth summit) or global conferences on human rights be held in the twenty-first century?

The authors demonstrate that answering these sorts of questions requires a focus on the follow-up to and implementation of the Conferences and not simply attention to the conferences themselves. They argue that the terms of public debate on the accomplishments of such conferences, and thus the future of similar conferences, must include a careful assessment of their impacts long after the final documents have been passed and the final gavels sounded; even after the "plus five" follow-up conferences have all been convened.

United Nations-sponsored World Conferences fills a gap in the literature on UN Conferences, multilateralism, and global governance. It also seeks to contribute to the ongoing international debate on whether such conferences are worthwhile by suggesting that precious works on such conferences have only told part of the story and thus should not, by themselves, be used as a basis for public policy decisions regarding their future.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9789280810486
  • Publisher: United Nations University Press
  • Publication date: 2/28/2001
  • Pages: 340
  • Lexile: 1700L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Michael G. Schechter is a professor at James Madison College of Michigan State University.

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Table of Contents

Tables and figures vii
Acknowledgements ix
Editor's introduction xi
Part 1 Conferences 1
1. UN-sponsored world conferences in the 1990s 3
2. Implementing global goals for children: Lessons from UNICEF experience 10
3. The United Nations World Conference on Human Rights: Evaluation, monitoring, and review 29
Part 2 The Beijing and Rio conference processes 63
4. Effectiveness of the Beijing Conference in fostering compliance with international law regarding women 65
5. Development, implementation, and effectiveness of the CBD process 85
6. The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change: Implementation and compliance 122
Part 3 Non-state actors and conference follow-up and implementation 167
7. From consensus-building to implementation: The follow-up to the UN global conferences of the 1990s 169
8. Making meaningful UN-sponsored world conferences of the 1990s: NGOs to the rescue? 184
9. Conclusions 218
Appendix A Chronology of conference-related events 223
Appendix B From PrepCom to follow-up: Researching the United Nations conferences of the 1990s 233
Acronyms and abbreviations 276
Contributors 280
Index 283
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