As preparations for Earth Summit 2002 gather pace, the urgent need to prioritize poverty has become increasingly apparent. Events such as the Ghanaian Meeting of Environment Ministers that I chaired in September 1999 have clearly identified poverty elimination as one of the lead issues for the Sustainable Development Agenda for the start of the millennium. Earth Summit 2002 – ten years after Rio – provides a timely opportunity for the global community to make serious commitments towards bettering the basic standards of living of many of the world’s inhabitants.