The Donostia Declaration is one of the only documents produced that was based on interaction between governmental and non-governmental stakeholders. Enshrined within the Donostia Declaration is the principle of multi-stakeholder dialogue and a common vision.

The workshop in San Sebastian followed a similar pattern to those organised by Stakeholder Forum from February 1998 to April 2000, leading up to the World Summit in 2002.

In 1998 governments recovering from a less than successful Rio+5 were apprehensive about the need for a Rio+10. As governments attending the workshops discussed the possibilities of a Summit, that apprehension turned into enthusiasm. It became clear that the sustainable development agenda needed an influx of energy to focus governments, intergovernmental organisations and stakeholders into addressing why much of the Rio Agenda 21 was not being implemented, and, importantly, it was recognised that a Summit was needed to address new and emerging issues.

The workshops created a necessary space for discussion and drafted 'non-papers' identifying topics for the agenda, and also drafted decisions on the operational nature of the World Summit in 2002.