In 1987, the World Commission on Environment and Development (WCED), which had been set up in 1983, published a report entitled «Our common future». The document came to be known as the «Brundtland Report» after the Commission's chairwoman, Gro Harlem Brundtland. It developed guiding principles for sustainable development as it is generally understood today.
The Brundtland Report stated that critical global environmental problems were primarily the result of the enormous poverty of the South and the non-sustainable patterns of consumption and production in the North. It called for a strategy that united development and the environment – described by the now-common term «sustainable development». Sustainable development is defined as follows:«Sustainable development is development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.»In 1989, the report was debated in the UN General Assembly, which decided to organize a UN Conference on Environment and Development.