1) Conferences have played a key role in guiding the work of the United Nations since its very inception.
2) These problems otherwise would not have the political urgency to grab front-page headlines and command the attention of world leaders.
3) These events have put long-term, difficult problems like poverty and environmental degradation at the top of the global agenda.
4) In fact, the world body was born when delegates from 50 nations met in San Francisco in April 1945 for the United Nations Conference on International Organization.
5) The recent high-profile conferences on development issues, which have continued a series that began in the 1970s, have broken new ground in many areas: by involving Presidents, Prime Ministers and other heads of state - as pioneered at the 1990 World Summit for Children.