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This chapter concludes this book by exploring the success, limitations and future global outlook of the pan-European UNECE environmental regime including challenges for future non-UNECE accession, drawing upon an unparalleled seventy years of experience supporting international law on transboundary watercourses and freshwater ecosystems. From the key findings, this book draws a series of overarching and cross-cutting insights into the rising impact and contribution of the UNECE regime to the clarification and development of international law, which also raises outstanding areas for future research. It explores questions of legitimacy as the UNECE regime moves towards its new global role. This research bears in mind the importance of distinguishing policy arguments for signing up to the UNECE regime with legal arguments. The problem arising from a legal perspective is to ask whether it is good legally when international courts or international institutions endorse a regionally specific detailed regime as global law? This analysis demonstrates that the UNECE environmental instruments were never intended to be geographically exclusive and have also already been co-developed by non-UNECE countries for some time. This research supports the UNECE’s endeavour to embrace a global role but cautions that a strong mandate from non-UNECE countries must drive this process.
There is a pressing need to strengthen systemic integration and mutually supportive interpretation of norms and institutional coordination between the UNECE environmental agreements with a view to understanding their collective contribution to clarifying and further developing international water, environmental and general international law. This chapter identifies the contribution of the UNECE regime to established ‘central or cornerstone rules and principles’ of international water law, including the due diligence rule to avoid or mitigate transboundary harm, the duty to cooperate, the principle of equitable and reasonable use and transboundary environmental impact assessments (EIAs). Key findings demonstrate that these rules and principles are defined in greater detail in the UNECE treaties compared to global treaties, which fills gaps in international law. For example, the UNECE clarifies international law regarding transboundary EIAs by providing criteria to identify what level of risk triggers the obligation to conduct an EIA and compulsory minimum content of EIAs. The UNECE regime also clarifies the effect of applying general principles, like the precautionary and polluter pays principles to the ‘no harm’ rule which strengthens these obligations. The strengths and weaknesses of UNECE’s contribution to developing reporting mechanisms for the Sustainable Development Goals, especially SDG 6 on water, are discussed.
The chapter turns to consider two key implications of the environmental minimum for international environmental law. For one, there is considerable difficulty in applying the human rights-based framework of the book to issues surrounding transboundary environmental harm, particularly the overarching global issue of man-made climate change. Due to enduring difficulties establishing causality, as well as temporal, geographic concerns, and the at most lacklustre commitment of most states to upholding them as practical safeguards, human rights are unlikely to contribute decisively to the current policy debate. The environmental minimum and its human rights framework presuppose a robust commitment to human rights, environmental protection and the rule of law that is questionable at best with respect to many of the most notorious global polluters. The environmental minimum is more suited to specifying the scope, context, and relationship of competing environmental obligations, notably among the sustainable development goals, as well as provide a viable framework to enforce otherwise non-binding or underenforced treaty obligations under international environmental law.
Surviving climate chaos needs communities and ecosystems able to cope with near-random impacts. Their strength depends upon their integrity, so preserving and restoring this is essential. Total climate breakdown might be postponed by extreme efforts to conserve carbon and recapture pollutants, but climate chaos everywhere is now inevitable. Adaptation efforts by Paris Agreement countries are converging on community-based and ecosystem-based strategies, and case studies in Bolivia, Nepal and Tanzania confirm that these are the best ways forward. But success depends on local empowerment through forums, ecosystem tenure security and environmental education. When replicated, networked and shielded by governments, they can strengthen societies against climate chaos while achieving sustainable development. These vital messages are highlighted for all those who seek or have already found a role in promoting adaptation: for students, researchers and teachers, government officials and aid professionals, and for everyone who is now living under threat of climate chaos.
This chapter takes up the challenge to see the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as integrated and indivisible, and does so through the lens of slavery survivors’ own accounts. It draws from a major new collection of contemporary survivor narratives to answer a key question: which SDG target achievements are more likely to prevent or end enslavement? Focusing on India and on forced marriage as a case study, it looks beyond the SDG targets on forced labor (8.7) and forced marriage (5.3) themselves to identify three main SDG target issues as drivers of enslavement: 1.2 (poverty), 4.5 (gender disparities in education), and 5.1 (discrimination against women). Survivors also highlight the multi-directional relationships between these target issues that led to their exploitation. As an approach, this multi-SDG coding of narratives suggests that survivors’ own voices could be more central to the global antislavery and development agendas. In the detail of individuals’ unique lived experiences, we can identify the interrelated causal factors for vulnerability, and better enable the global antislavery community to tackle the socio-economic, cultural, and political drivers for slavery that are embodied in a range of SDG target combinations.
This chapter provides a brief overview of health and how it is influenced by different contextual factors. It describes the guiding frameworks of health promotion and how these are applied to address health challenges. It concludes with a preliminary exploration of how communication can support the acheivement of desired health promotion goals.
The exercise of formative agency in global justice cannot be entrusted to any single category of agents exclusively, be it states, advocacy groups, or citizens. However, interactions across categories can compensate for the deficiencies of all of them. A systemic account of deliberative governance shows how formative agency can be distributed and cultivated across multiple sites, actors, and institutions. It is the deliberative capacity of the entire system that matters most. The process that yielded the Sustainable Development Goals implicitly recognized this by establishing multiple venues, decision-making groups, and negotiation tracks, infused with participatory norms. Yet there was no logic to their interaction – and links were often simply absent. This chapter supplies the logic and the links. Specific shortcomings can then be identified and corrected. For example, the absence of citizens in the interstate negotiations of the Open Working Group could be corrected by links with deliberative citizens’ assemblies. It is important to cultivate the agency of citizens and the global poor, in nodes, sites, and interactions in the system. Deliberative systems in global justice governance should develop reflexive capacity in order to reflect on and improve their own performance.
This chapter sets out the logic of the practical pursuit of global justice through global democratization. The theory rests on the concept of formative agents of justice, who shape what justice should mean in specific contexts, and how it should be sought. The chapter analyses formative agents’ role in bridging the gap between democracy and justice, thereby situating this book’s contribution within existing debates on international ethics, global justice, global governance, and deliberative democracy, before outlining the ways deliberative democracy can promote global justice. This approach meets challenges arising from the irreducible disagreement over the content of justice in both theory and practice, and from the need to identify who exactly should be responsible for the advancement of justice. The theoretical arguments of the book will be informed by and applied to the process that yielded the Sustainable Development Goals, and to climate governance inasmuch as it takes on climate justice. These two cases are introduced, along with a discussion of the kinds of justice they promote, ignore, and obstruct. Chapter 1 concludes with a brief overview of the remaining chapters.
The Introduction situates contemporary public banks as socially contested and institutionally dynamic financial institutions. It presents the book's core argument that public banks are resurgent not by virtue of being publicly owned but because of the institutional functions they have acquired over time and can perform within class-divided society. These functions are not neutral within global financialised capitalism but are pulled between private and public interests. This leaves open the possibility for pro-public, green & just orientations. The chapter provides the book's methodology, rationale, and overview of the book’s structure.
How can we include the affected interests of future generations and non-humans in deliberations about global justice given that they cannot exercise formative agency themselves? Starting from the role moral imagination plays in moral reasoning, and hence in formative agency concerning the meaning of justice as well, this chapter looks at ways in which deliberations can be enhanced so as to promote inclusion of these neglected interests. Visual and experiential prompts should complement talk-centric deliberative processes. This would expand the deliberators’ moral imagination, enabling them to internalize the interests of future generations, animals, ecosystems, and the Earth system, and reach decisions reflecting all affected interests, even those bound to be silent – though that seeming silence itself may reveal an incapacity to listen. These kinds of considerations can be reflected in institutional design. Currently these frontiers of justice are only weakly present in the Sustainable Development Goals, which look ahead only to 2030, turned down the chance to incorporate planetary boundaries, and say little or nothing about non-humans.
States and international organizations are central to global governance, and are significant formative agents of justice (and injustice), in advancing, sifting, or undermining principles. Despite their formal authority, states and international organizations cannot be relied upon to promote global justice. States in practice often veil their material self-interest in the language of justice. International organizations too can promote their own interest, as well as adhering rigidly to dominant discourses such as neoliberalism that restrict the kind of justice they can advance. Thus states and international organizations should primarily act as effectors of global justice whose task is to ensure the outcomes determined in more extensive deliberation are implemented. Some of their problematic formative agency aspects can be ameliorated by deliberative democratic means. The Open Working Group that finalized the content of the Sustainable Development Goals is indicative of the possibilities here, as it embodied novel deliberative features that curbed polarization, overcame impasse, and facilitated common-interest justifications. Engagements with civil society of the kind now glimpsed in global climate governance can open international organizations to deliberating competing conceptions of justice. This chapter concludes by showing how states and international organizations might expand their deliberative engagements.
The endorsement of the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs) triggered a remarkable process accelerating the recognition of human rights responsibilities for corporations in law and governance. Perhaps even more important is the emergence of an authoritative narrative on business and human rights (BHR), which arguably has the potential to overcome the often-fragmented approach to global issues. This article discusses the degree to which the BHR narrative has been able to penetrate competing powerful narratives that shape societal and regulatory responses. To what extent is the need to address the responsibility and accountability of corporations for human rights violations acknowledged? This is an especially pertinent question where it concerns imminent major global challenges such as climate change, which poses one of the greatest threats to human rights. Two major milestones of the last decade in the area of (environmental) sustainability are analysed: the Paris Climate Agreement and the Sustainable Development Goals. What role does the BHR narrative play in this context?
The tensions between democracy and justice have long preoccupied political theorists. Institutions that are procedurally democratic do not necessarily make substantively just decisions. Democratizing Global Justice shows that democracy and justice can be mutually reinforcing in global governance - a domain where both are conspicuously lacking - and indeed that global justice requires global democratization. This novel reconceptualization of the problematic relationship between global democracy and global justice emphasises the role of inclusive deliberative processes. These processes can empower the agents necessary to determine what justice should mean and how it should be implemented in any given context. Key agents include citizens and the global poor; and not just the states but also international organizations and advocacy groups active in global governance. The argument is informed by and applied to the decision process leading to adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals, and climate governance inasmuch as it takes on questions of climate justice.
The aim of this review paper is to explore the strategies employed to tackle micronutrient deficiencies with illustrations from field-based experience. Hidden hunger is the presence of multiple micronutrient deficiencies (particularly iron, zinc, iodine and vitamin A), which can occur without a deficit in energy intake as a result of consuming an energy-dense, but nutrient-poor diet. It is estimated that it affects more than two billion people worldwide, particularly in low- and middle-income countries where there is a reliance on low-cost food staples and where the diversity of the diet is limited. Finding a way to improve the nutritional quality of diets for the poorest people is central to meeting the UN sustainable development goals particularly sustainable development goal 2: end hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture. As we pass the midpoint of the UN's Decade for Action on Nutrition, it is timely to reflect on progress towards achieving sustainable development goal 2 and the strategies to reduce hidden hunger. Many low- and middle-income countries are falling behind national nutrition targets, and this has been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic as well as other recent shocks to the global food system which have disproportionately impacted the world's most vulnerable communities. Addressing inequalities within the food system must be central to developing a sustainable, cost-effective strategy for improving food quality that delivers benefit to the seldom heard and marginalised communities.
A brief introduction to Part Two presents key international documents on human rights and clears up some misunderstandings, drawing particularly on Henry Shue, Alan Gewirth and John Ruggie. Today not only does the obligation to secure human rights lie with nation-states, but also it pertains to non-state actors such as business enterprises, universities, civil society organizations and religious communities. - In line with the UN Framework for Business and Human Rights, all 30 internationally recognized human rights are listed and deemed necessary for a human life with dignity. They include the civil and political rights as well as the economic, social and cultural rights of the International Covenants and four ILO Core Conventions. They are also incorporated in the G4 Sustainability Reporting Guidelines of the Global Reporting Initiative. The chapter concludes with a brief discussion of the indivisibility, interdependence and interrelatedness of human rights.
This article examines the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) framework as a political project in tension with its universal and multilateral aspirations to serve as a counterbalance to narrow populist visions increasingly dominating global politics. Building upon Laclau and Mouffe’s theory of populism and their notion of ‘radical democracy’, we conceptualise the SDGs as a struggle for hegemony and in competition with other styles of politics, over what counts as ‘development’. This hegemonial struggle plays out in the attempts to form political constituencies behind developmental slogans, and it is here that religious actors come to the fore, given their already established role in organising communities, expressing values and aspirations, and articulating visions of the future. Examining how the SDG process has engaged with faith actors in India and Ethiopia, as well as how the Indian and Ethiopian states have engaged with religion in defining development, we argue that a ‘radical democracy’ of sustainable development requires a more intentional effort at integrating religious actors in the implementation of the SDGs.
Building on Chapter 5 and embedded in a discussion of two competing paradigms – Africa as “hopeless” and “hopeful” continent – this chapter deals with the economic and socioeconomic situation after 2000. It discusses various geopolitical and economic changes that took place since then, including the rise of China and efforts to give the continent a “big push”, which culminated in the “Year for Africa” 2005. It shows that there have been more trading partners, more consumption, more foreign direct investment, more private economic activities, more efforts against corruption, and leapfrogging. The chapter also discusses the shape and importance of the informal sector and turns to the socioeconomic development, providing facts and figures. The Millennium Development Goals and their successors, the Sustainable Development Goals as well as to what extent African states have achieved them are analysed as is the effectiveness of development aid.
In this editorial, we are delighted to introduce the seven papers in this Special Issue. Each article considers various aspects of how management research can assist in the achievement of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in different contexts. Starting from a desire to provide a mechanism to drive real research outcomes for management research, this editorial considers the SDGs and their implementation/adoption in universities and businesses to date. It then introduces the different contexts for management research and the SDGs explored in the seven articles in the Special Issue. Finally, in a Postscript at the end of this Special Issue, we look at current progress against the SDGs, how COVID-19 has impacted this progress and what the future may hold for the links between management research and the SDGs.
This chapter examines the path from the origins of the United Nations and its Charter to the 2030 Global Agenda on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and charts the interconnectedness of fundamental concepts that underpin the human rights movement to today’s implementation of the SDGs. Specifically, we explore how the twentieth-century origins of the United Nations transformed into twenty-first-century platforms of action and advocacy through support from psychological research. Early concepts provided by key historical figures are linked to the evolution of those concepts to form the current global agenda. For example, how do the basic pillars of the UN system form a conceptual foundation for planning and advocating for human rights? The chapter illustrates the inter-relatedness of these foundations and presents perspectives to create support for successful implementation through the value of psychological science to facilitate behavior change in formal educational settings, in community settings, and with technology. We address ways in which informing civil society plays a vital role in achieving success in addition to financial support from Member States. Finally, the chapter describes how the education of citizens globally is essential to the implementation of the SDGs and presents the promise of psychological research to potentiate the effectiveness of educational models.
The chapter outlines how behavioral insights can aid measures to enhance human rights. It introduces the origins of behavioral insights and explains how they can encourage positive behaviors, enhance access to service, and strengthen human rights institutions. The chapter goes on to examine the limitations of behavioural insights and to discuss the ethical implications of their use.