Sustainable development is a “security imperative”, claims Powell - despite Bush’s Johannesburg no show


Thursday, August 8, 2002
from Sustainable Development International

Sustainable development is vital to the creation of a more stable world, according to US Secretary of State, Colin Powell. Writing in a special edition of the United Nations Environment Programme’s (UNEP) magazine, Powell says that not only is sustainable development a “compelling and humanitarian issue”, but also a “security imperative”.

“Poverty, environmental degradation and despair are destroyers of people,” Powell says, adding that “this unholy trinity can destabilise countries, even entire regions.”

However, despite such rhetoric, it is unclear if US President George Bush will be attending August’s World Summit, billed as the most important gathering of world leaders in a decade. The leader of the world’s largest economy and polluter, Bush is not expected to visit the South Africa based meeting, which is dedicated to finding a solution to global poverty and environmental degradation.

The no-show is expected to lead to widespread criticism from global leaders, NGOs and the media, especially regarding the US’s past behaviour towards environmental meetings. In 2001, the US abruptly pulled out of the Kyoto treaty, which was set to regulate controls on carbon dioxide emissions, claiming it was not in the interests of the US economy.

The Johannesburg Summit is expected to attract over 65,000 delegates from 174 countries, including 107 heads of state.

By Ben Townley

Also see:

UN officials promote World Summit with a four city tour of the US

Outrage from NGOs, as UK minister cut from World Summit

See Colin Powell's Speech here

Is Sustainable Development what the American people want?  
Plenty of stories and research here.

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