They launched Agenda 21 - a far reaching plan encouraging co-operation and action, at both global and local levels, towards a sustainable future.
Agenda 21 says that all human concerns are interdependent. Health, poverty, education, social justice, the exploitation of natural resources, environmental quality and many others all underpin our quality of life. If one is neglected, everything will fall apart.
So Agenda 21 is not about development versus environment, because people need jobs and a decent standard of living. It is about shifting to ways of development which do not overburden our natural life-support systems: the atmosphere, the oceans, the forests and global biodiversity.
We must start to make that shift now, for the sake of people today and in the 21st Century. In short, we must develop sustainably. The widely quoted definition of sustainable development is:
"development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs".