When the UNITED Nations General Assembly decided to convene the 1972 Stockholm Conference and take the Swedish government`s offer as host, UN Secretary-General U Thant invited Maurice Strong to chair it as Secretary-General of the conference, given that the Canadian diplomat (led by Pierre Trudeau) launched the project and had been working on it for more than two years.   The Stockholm conclusions were presented to the General Assembly later in 1972 and the Assembly accepted the Declaration and Plan of Action set out in resolution 2995 (XXVII). Some argue that this conference, and more particularly previous scientific conferences, had a real influence on the environmental policy of the European Community (later the European Union). Thus, in 1973, the EU set up the Directorate for the Environment and Consumer Protection and drew up the first environmental action programme. Developing countries supported the creation of UNEP, not because they supported environmental policy, but because of its headquarters in Nairobi, Kenya, given that UNEP would be the first UN agency based in a developing country.  Finally, the Stockholm conference identified a theme that has been at the centre of the international debate on the environment: sustainable development. Since then, the 1972 debates have hinted at discussions: who is responsible for climate change? How can we lift people out of poverty while preserving ecosystems? Perhaps the real legacy of the 1972 conference is the constant search for solutions to reconcile economic development and environmental management and belief in global cooperation. . . .