"Sustainable development is development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs"
In this field not many binding MEAs have been adopted by the International Community. Neverthless the succession of several international meeting on environmental issues and development has facilitate the establishement of the sustainable development principle and itS adoption in all the international, regionals and national agendas.
The principal meetings and outputs for the development of PICs committments on sustainable development are:
- 1972 United Nations Conference on the Human Environment (UNCHE) (Stockholm Conference)
- 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) (Rio 1992)
- 1994 Global Conference on Sustainable Development of SIDS (Barbados Conference)
- 2000 Millennium Summit
- 2002 World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD)
- 2005 Mauritius International Meeting
- 2012 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD) (Rio+20)
It espouses mostly broad environmental policy goals and objectives rather than detailed normative positions.
a) Rio Declaration on Environment and Development
polluter pays principle . "where there are threats of serious or irreversible damage, lack of full scientific certainty shall not be used as a reason for postponing cost-effective measures to prevent environmental degradation"
b) Agenda 21
encompasses 40 chapters, divided into four main sections: Social and Economic Dimensions, Conservation and Management of Resources for Development, Strengthening the Role of Major Groups, Means of Implementation.
- Chapter 17 endorses Small Island Developing States (SIDS) and its coastal areas as a special case.
Agenda 21: 17.124. "Small island developing States, and islands supporting small communities are a special case both for environment and development. They are ecologically fragile and vulnerable. Their small size, limited resources, geographic dispersion and isolation from markets, place them at a disadvantage economically and prevent economies of scale". .
- Agenda 21 also called for a global conference on the sustainable development of SIDS.
Global Conference on the Sustainable Development of SIDS
UN Global Conference on the Sustainable Development of Small Island Developing States, was established by the UN GA Res.47/189 and was held in Barbados from 25 April to 6 May 1994.
Main output of the Conference has been the adoption of the Barbados Declaration, a statement of political will underpinning the commitments contained in the BPOA. a) Declaration of Barbados
b) Programme of Action for the Sustainable Development of Small Island Developing States
The comprehensive structure of the BPOA elaborates principles and sets out specific strategies at national, regional and international levels over the short, medium and long terms in support of the sustainable development of SIDS.
since special challenges are faced by SIDS: i) climate change and sea- level rise; ii) natural and environmental disasters; iii)management of wastes; iv) coastal and marine resources; v) freshwater resources; vi) land resources; vii) energy resources; viii) tourism resources; ix) biodiversity resources; x) national institutions and administrative capacity; xi) regional institutions and technical cooperation; xii)transport and communication; xiii) science and technology; xiv) human resource development.
The BPOA highlights the special challenges and constraints that cause major set-backs to the socio-economic development of SIDS, some of which had already been addressed in Agenda 21, including small size and geographic isolation that prevent economies of scale. In addition, the BPOA underlines the excessive dependence of SIDS on international trade; high population density, which increases the pressure on already limited resources; overuse of resources and premature depletion; relatively small watersheds and threatened supplies of fresh water; costly public administration and infrastructure; and limited institutional capacities and domestic markets.
New York, 2000
The main document, unanimously adopted, was the Millennium Declaration.
a) Millennium Declaration
contains a statement of values, principles and objectives for the international agenda for the twenty-first century. It also set deadlines for many collective actions.The document also b) Millennium Development Goals
The eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) – which range from halving extreme poverty rates to halting the spread of HIV/AIDS and providing universal primary education, all by the target date of 2015 – form a blueprint agreed to by all the world’s countries and all the world’s leading development institutions.
The Millennium Development Goals are to: (1) eradicate extreme poverty and hunger; (2) achieve universal primary education; (3) promote gender equality and empower women; (4) reduce child mortality; (5) improve maternal health; (6) combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases; (7) ensure environmental sustainability; and (8) develop a global partenership for development.
World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD)
a) Johannesburg Declaration on Sustainable Development
b) Plan of Implementation of the World Summit on Sustainable Development (JPOI)
Mauritius Int. Meeting to undertake the 10 year Review of the Implementation of the Programme of Action for the Sustainable Development of SIDS
a) Mauritius Declaration
It recognizes that particular attention should be given to building resilience in small island developing States, including through technology transfer and development, capacity-building and human resource development. It further recognizes that international trade is important for building resilience and sustainable development and, therefore, calls upon international financial institutions to pay appropriate attention to the structural disadvantages and vulnerabilities of small island.
b) Mauritius Strategy for the Further Implementation of the Programme of Action for the Sustainable Development of Small Island Developing States
United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20)
Rio de Janeiro, 2012
a) The Future We Want
b) Sustainable Development Goals
One of the main outcomes of the Rio+20 Conference was the agreement by member States to launch a process to develop a set of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which will build upon the Millennium Development Goals and converge with the post 2015 development agenda
c) Pacific Plan 2005