In a semi-official 1993 book in which he explained the plan, Daniel Sitarz enthusiastically described it as „a document of hope,” a „complete plan for humanity to find its way into the next century by proceeding more smoothly on Earth. As its comprehensive programs are implemented around the world, it will eventually impact all human activities on our planet. Profound and dramatic changes in human society are proposed by this monumental historic agreement. Agenda 21 calls on governments to integrate sustainable development into their national strategies and stresses the importance of involving non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and the public in the process. For sustainable development to work, problems must be addressed at the local, national and international levels, and nations must work towards international agreements that respect the interests of all and protect the integrity of the global environmental and development system. The issue of trade rules was not just about extraterritoriality, which are two of the key issues discussed by the GATT Working Party on Environmental Measures and International Trade. Whether trade restrictions in global environmental agreements were a sine qua non for the protection of the environment and human health remains the subject of the WTO debate. But by that time, the Great Recession had already swept across America, and development projects from Maine to California to Baldwin County had come to an abrupt halt. The bulldozers were now sitting quietly under the Alabama sun. Planning and zone meetings have been postponed to once a month. At some meetings, there were no items on the agenda.
A meeting lasted a record time of six minutes. „That`s how fast he appeared here,” Dyas said. „So the plan has never had the chance to be fully implemented here in Baldwin County.” Agenda 21, in chapter 27, also explicitly acknowledges the role of NGOs in the implementation of the Agenda: in Missoula, Mt., police had to be called upon to calm a government meeting in December 2012 during which approximately $1,200 in fees to ICLEI were discussed. In Albemarle County, Virginia, the board suspended its contributions to ICLEI in 2012 and also withdrew its support for a national agreement on climate change. In 2013, in the Springboro, Ohio school district, the ACLU threatened to act when officials proposed a „controversial policy” that required sustainability students to also read Agenda 21 conspiracy theories. Other mechanisms for implementing the goals set out in Agenda 21 include the Programme for the Further Implementation of Agenda 21 (1997), the United Nations Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) (also known as the International Development Goals) (2000) and the Johannesburg Plan of Implementation (2002). The MDGs are a compiled version of the agenda items identified at international conferences and summits in the 1990s – including Rio Agenda 21. The goals were set at the United Nations Millennium Conference in New York, which aimed to intensify efforts to meet the needs of the world`s poorest people. The Millennium Development Goals provide a common framework for measuring development progress and encourage actors in the United Nations system to work together in a coherent manner. The targets are divided into eight categories and include several quantitative indicators to be achieved by the 2015 target date. The goals include (1) the eradication of extreme poverty and hunger; (2) to provide general elementary education; (3) promoting gender equality and women`s empowerment; (4) reduce infant mortality; (5) the improvement of maternal health; the fight against HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases; (7) ensure environmental sustainability; and (8) developing a global partnership for development.
The United States is a signatory state to Agenda 21, but since Agenda 21 is a non-legally binding declaration of intent and not a treaty, the U.S. Senate has not held a formal debate or vote on it. It is therefore not considered a law within the meaning of Article Six of the United States Constitution. President George H. W. Bush was one of 178 heads of government who signed the final text of the agreement at the 1992 Earth Summit, and in the same year, Representatives Nancy Pelosi, Eliot Engel, and William Broomfield voted in favor of U.S. House of Representatives Resolution 353 supporting the implementation of Agenda 21 in the United States.   The Presidential Council for Sustainable Development (CPSD), established by a 1993 decree, has the explicit task of recommending to the President a national action plan for sustainable development.
The PCSD is made up of government and industry leaders, as well as environmental, labour and civil rights organizations. .