In 1991, the Women’s International Policy Action Committee (IPAC), a committee established by the Women’s Environment and Development Organization (WEDO) held the World Women’s Congress for a Healthy Planet in Miami, Florida, November 8-12, 1991. The Congress had three basic objectives were to: produce a Women’s Action Agenda for the decade to be presented to those involved in the June 1992 Earth Summit; ensure that all governmental and non-governmental delegations to the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) were gender balanced, so that no delegation had more than 60 percent of either sex; and, build an international network of women acting in solidarity to ensure a strong women’s voice on all issues pertaining to environment and development.
The Miami Women’s Congress resulted in a strong international network and the Women’s Action Agenda 21 policy document, which were used to catalyze a strong lobbying effort at the UNCED preparatory meetings and the Earth Summit itself. Through their influence, the Rio Declaration of Environment and Development that emerged from the proceedings of the Earth Summit acknowledges the role of women and girls in sustaining the environment. This became a key part of the build up of women’s caucuses influencing major UN World Conferences throughout the 1990s.