In what seemed like a tacit acknowledgment of the failure of the World Summit on Sustainable Development, which ended last week, the United Nations has announced that it will not plan any more summits on the environment and development until governments have taken serious steps toward meeting the goals for progress established at Johannesburg and earlier summits. In place of the high-cost, high-profile meetings, the U.N. will create an unprecedented watchdog operation to campaign for change and report on how well governments are meeting their goals. U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan appointed Mark Brown, who is currently in charge of the U.N. Development Programme, to coordinate the new initiative, which will issue annual reports on the progress of individual nations. Praising the change, Clare Short, the U.K.’s International Development Secretary, said, “We do not need more big multilateral agenda-setting conferences, we need a real period of intensive implementation.”