The Global Forum on Environment and Poverty (GFEP) was set up in Rio by over 400 NGOs who mandated the Bangladesh Centre for Advanced Studies to act as the first secretariat. The GFEP organized an "International Workshop on Environment and Poverty" in Dhaka in April 1993. The workshop objectives included: follow-up on the Agenda 21 initiative on poverty, establishing linkages between poverty and environment, identifying elements of a proposed poverty convention and drawing up an action plan on poverty and environment. Then in July it brought together over 100 delegates from all over the world in Dhaka to discuss the linkages between Poverty and Environment, where the need for a global convention on poverty was underlined.

The Conference on Social Development and Poverty took place in Oaxaca, Mexico, from 8 to 11 September 1993. Representatives from UNDP, ECLAC, OAS and the Earth Council were present. The conference underlined the importance complementing sustainable economic growth with social support programs for basic education, health and nutrition, and put forth recommendations for the World Summit on Social Development to be held in 1995.

An international panel of experts gathered on 27 June 1994 in Lusaka, Zambia, to discuss the deepening global dimensions of poverty and what to do about it. The Poverty Experts' Group Meeting in Preparation for the World Summit for Social Development examined such issues as the effectiveness of poverty-reduction strategies; how to enhance the contributions of women and minority groups to economic development; the social consequences of structural adjustment; and the role of NGOs and local communities in the struggle against poverty.