“"One of the fundamental prerequisites for the achievement of sustainable development is broad public participation in decision-making"

Agenda 21 Chapter 23

Rio '92 recognised the need to engage a diverse range of stakeholders from across the world and at differing levels in sustainable development processes, as they will be the ones most affect by change and also the groups likely to instigate the changes needed to achieve sustainable development.

Agenda 21 officially recognised the concept of Major Groups. These are key-stakeholders who should participate and be involved in the process.  The 9 Major Groups are

  • Indigenous Peoples
  • Farmers
  • Workers  & Trade Unions
  • Local Authorities
  • Business and Industry
  • Science and Technology Community
  • Women
  • Children & Youth
  • NGOs

Each cycle of the Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD) has a focal point for each major group. This focal point acts as the conduit between their constituencies and the CSD bureau. 

Each Major Group will bring a different viewpoint to the negotiating table, and will deliver this viewpoint through posiiton papers and statements to the government delegates