I have to respond to this discussion post’s questions.
Once the term ‘sustainability’ came on the scene and then recognized as an essential policy in 1970 and 80’s, it has been understood that successful gains towards sustainable economic growth require sustainable social and environmental practices working in concert. The United Nation’s Agenda 21, section 2.10(d) recommends that, among many others, activities include “[ensuring] that environment and trade policies are mutually supportive, with a view to achieving sustainable development” (1992:6). Successful implementation of policy at such large scale seems an impossible task when considering the other all important factors such as economic, social, political, and environmental conditions of many, many individual nations. Section 3.1 acknowledges that there is “[n]o uniform solution…for global application. Rather, country-specific efforts…” are needed to make successful gains (1992:14).
Throughout our reading about colonization, development, and globalization, we have seen the strong, common thread of greed driving economic policy and subsequent growth, internationally dominated by nations with financial muscle. Despite good-faith signatures by half of the nations in the world, there are no teeth to enforce policy implementation that will ensure that these goals are achieved.
To ensure that trade policies are ‘mutually supportive’, will nations place sustainable importance above profit and the bottom line of the national budget? Can this be viewed as giving profit away to other nations?
Understanding that these agreements are not enforceable and are voluntarily entered into, is it reasonable to believe that governments will make economic decisions that will result in less economic gain for their nation?
Agenda 21 states “[t]he development process will not gather momentum … if the developing countries are weighted down by external indebtedness…” (1992:4).
What could be the repercussions, or benefits for that matter, if nations were to forgive international debt in the interest of global economic growth, when considering the costs involved to develop and implement policies to eliminate poverty and debt in the developing countries?
I attached the document that is used to answer this question.
Only focus on the following sections: Preamble, Introduction (sections 2.1 – 2.22), Combating Poverty (sections 3.1-3.4), Changing Consumption patterns, industry (30.1-30.4)