The report on sustainable development, Our Common Future, argued that protecting natural resources, ensuring justice and strengthening the economy are complementary goals (Victor 1). A healthy environment provides the necessary natural resources for the economy. Unfortunately, this theory of interconnection is now being distorted for personal gains, which was avoidable. This "slide" of sustainable development can be traced back to the UN where it was first proposed by then Norwegian Prime Minister Gro Brundtland. The UN is not solely responsible but it represents the root of the problem. The Earth Summit in 1992 resulted in a decade of ineffectiveness where only two documents were produced; Agenda 21 and the Rio Declaration (Victor 2), where these remained action plans and a list of principles, nothing more. This whole process also resulted in developing new institutions that mostly remained ineffective. For instance, The Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD) did not do much due to lack of concrete goals and coherent strategies between the UN system and the governments. The initiative by the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) was supported by the participants of the World Summit in 2002. Nevertheless, the outcome has not been encouraging as the governments have little authority in these matters. The main problem with the MDGs is that they have been largely affected by the diplomatic process. The Brundtland's fundamentals offer concrete plan to fix this mess. The primary focus should be on poverty alleviation as it holds the key to the other two prongs of sustainability; social justice and environmental protection. Another hurdle in achieving sustainability is the difference in implementation between the West and the developing world. One solution to this problem is that the plan should be open to interpretation for each country (Victor 8). Kyoto Protocol is an example of this being implemented in Europe. Technology can help, but it is yet to achieve the level of efficiency expected of it when it comes to sustainable developmental apparatus.
ReferenceVictor, David G. "Recovering sustainable development." FOREIGN AFFAIRS-NEW YORK- 85.1 (2006): 91.
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