World Summit on Sustainable Development

Key Resources

The achievement of sustainable development, in its environmental, social, and economic dimensions, is fundamental to improving health and well-being, and requires new levels of cooperation between between health and various development sectors. Of key importance is to strengthen the evidence-base regarding the health impacts of development sectors, ensuring a sound basis for the formulation of integrated and holistic policies and plans in all sectors that contribute to health and development.

Agenda 21, the global programme of action on sustainable development, forms an overall framework for the programmatic area of work, providing an entry point into a number of development sectors. The work is carried out along two dimensions, institutional and technical, both of which are closely interlinked and complementary. The work is done through close collaboration with a range of clusters and departments at headquarters and regional offices, and partners such as NGOs, the private sector, collaborating centres, research and academic institutions, and other UN agencies/bodies.

In respect of its institutional role in particular, emphasis is placed on ensuring that the health objectives of Agenda 21 (the global programme of action on sustainable development), are adequately addressed in the work of WHO, and that health was featured centrally on the agenda of the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD). Activities contribute to strengthening the role of health in the work of the Commission on Sustainable Development (responsible for overseeing implementation of Agenda 21), and to achieving the health goals of Agenda 21. The follow-up process for WSSD involves analyses of critical health, environment and development trends, identifying new and emerging key health and development issues, and assessing the implications for future policy development and implementation strategies.

The key resources listed below were either produced by or are relevant to WHO's Agenda 21 Programme and WSSD. For a complete listing of WHO resources regarding health and sustainable development, see Health Topics, WHO Sites, and the Web sites of the WHO regional offices.


Agenda 21, Chapter 6 - "Protecting and Promoting Human Health". Summary. [.pdf, 54KB]

HRH The Prince of Wales's Business and the Environment Programme Annual Lecture: Healthy People for a Healthy Planet. Brundtland, G.H., Director-General of WHO. 15 March 2001, London, UK.

Health in the Context of Agenda 21 and Sustainable Development: Meeting the Challenges of the 21st Century. von Schirnding, Y. (2001). Sustainable Development International. [.pdf, 55KB]

Health and Sustainable Development: Key Health Trends. WHO. (2002). (WHO/HDE/HID/02.2) [.pdf, 653KB]

Health and Environment in Sustainable Development Planning: Strengthening the Role of Cross-sectoral Collaboration. Report of WHO and South Bank University meeting held 21-22 May 2001 in London, UK. WHO/HDE/HID/02.03. WHO. (2002)

Making Health Central to Sustainable Development: Planning the Health Agenda for the World Summit on Sustainable Development. Report of the WHO meeting: "Making Health Central to Sustainable Development", Oslo, Norway, 29 November - 1 December 2001. WHO. (2002). (WHO/HDE/HID/02.5) [.pdf, 495KB]

Health in the Context of Sustainable Development. Background document prepared for the WHO meeting: "Making Health Central to Sustainable Development", Oslo, Norway, 29 November - 1 December 2001. WHO. (2002). (WHO/HDE/HID02.6) [.pdf, 537KB]

Health and Sustainable Development. Summary Report. Meeting of Senior Officials and Ministers of Health, Johannesburg, South Africa, 19-22 January 2002. WHO. (2002). (WHO/HDE/HID/02.7) [.pdf, 454KB]

Johannesburg Declaration on Health and Sustainable Development. Meeting of Senior Officials and Ministers of Health, Johannesburg, South Africa, 19-22 January 2002. WHO. (2002). (WHO/HDE/HID/02.8) [.pdf, 353KB]

The World Summit on Sustainable Development: Report by the Secretariat (Agenda Item 13.3). Fifty-Fifth World Health Assembly, WHA 55.1 (18 May 2002). [.pdf, 113KB]

Resolution on Health and Sustainable Development (Agenda Item 13.3). Fifty-Fifth World Health Assembly, WHA 55.1 (18 May 2002). [.pdf, 96KB]

WHO Preparations for the World Summit on Sustainable Development. von Schirnding, Y & Cassels A. (2002). Sustainable Development International. [.pdf, 7.02MB]

Special Report on Selected Side Events at WSSD Prepcom III. Health in Sustainable Development: Key Issues and Action Strategies. WHO Side-event, Prepcom III, New York, USA, 03 April 2002. UNDP. (2002).

Special Report on Selected Side Events at WSSD Prepcom IV. Implementation Conference: Stakeholder Action for Our Common Future. Prepcom IV, Bali, Indonesia, 28 May 2002. UNDP. (2002). [.pdf, 530KB]

World Summit on Sustainable Development. Brundtland, G.H., Director-General of WHO. (2002). British Medical Journal. [.pdf, 147KB]

Health and Sustainable Development: Can we rise to the challenge? von Schirnding, Y. (2002). The Lancet. [.pdf, 84KB]

Health and Sustainable Development: Addressing the Issues and Challenges. WHO Background Paper prepared for the World Summit on Sustainable Development. WHO. (2002). (WHO/HDE/HID/02.12) [.pdf, 312KB]. French version.

A Framework for Action on Health and Environment WEHAB Working Group (August 2002). [.pdf, 196KB]

World Summit on Sustainable Development, Plenary Address. Brundtland, G.H., Director-General of WHO. 29 August 2002, Johannesburg, South Africa.

Statement at the Opening of the Side Event "Health and Environment in the 21st Century: Priorities and Action Strategies to Secure our Children's Future". Brundtland, G.H., Director-General of WHO. 30 August 2002, Johannesburg, South Africa.

Address at the Foundation of the Healthy Environments for Children Alliance. Brundtland, G.H., Director-General of WHO. 1 September 2002, Johannesburg, South Africa.

Brochure on the "Healthy Environments for Children" Alliance. WHO. (2002). (.pdf, 2,980KB]

Partnering for Health. WSSD brochure on selected WHO partnerships for health. WHO. (2002). [.pdf, 80KB]

Health and Sustainable Development Selected Case Studies. WHO. (2002).

Policy Briefs on Health and Sustainable Development. WHO. (2002)

Actions Taken by WHO in Assisting Developing Countries to Implement Agenda 21: Regional Examples. WHO. (2002).

Health and Sustainable Development Planning: The Role of Indicators. von Schirnding, Y. WHO/HDE/HID/02.11. WHO. (2002).

Health Impact Assessment in Development Policy and Planning. Report of an Informal WHO Consultative Meeting, Cartagena, Colombia, 28 May 2001. WHO. (2002). (WHO/HDE/HID/02.4) [.pdf, 411KB]

Addressing the Impact of Household Energy and Indoor Air Pollution on the Health of the Poor: Implications for Policy Action and Intervention Measures. Working Paper prepared for the Commission on Macroeconomics and Health. WHO. (2002). (WHO/HDE/HID/02.9) [.pdf, 613KB]

Addressing the Links Between Indoor Air Pollution, Household Energy, and Human Health. WHO. (2002). (WHO/HDE/HID/02.10) [.pdf, 629KB]