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Global Cooperation in the Age of Sustainable Development

Vuk Jeremić, Jeffrey Sachs

 

Achieving sustainable development will be the overriding strategic challenge of this generation. Throughout most of history, the tasks of integrating economic development, social inclusion, and environmental sustainability were local or regional. In the 21st century, however, they are indisputably global. Only through global cooperation can individual nations overcome the interconnected global-scale crises of extreme poverty, economic instability, social inequality, and environmental degradation.

The crises of sustainable development have already become crises of national and global security. Every country faces increasingly complex challenges of energy, food, and water security. Every country faces the crisis of rising frequency and intensity of natural disasters, with a soaring number of floods, droughts, heat waves, extreme storms, and forest fires. Many countries face the unsolved problem of creating jobs for their young people, and many poor countries have populations growing too fast to meet their respective education and employment needs. Many of the today's conflicts -- in the Sahel, the Horn of Africa, Syria, and Western Asia -- are being stoked by droughts, famines, mass migration, and other manifestations of economic, social, and environmental unsustainability.

This is no time for despair, but for resolve. The United Nations must become the functional center of the global sustainable development effort, one that draws on every stakeholder through the UN's unique convening power and universally-recognized legitimacy. Sustainable development must become the daily work of UN Member States, private businesses, non-governmental organizations, universities and research centers, international financial institutions, and the UN organs themselves.

 

Read the full article at The Hufftington Post  > The World Post

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