The theme of the address is the relevance of nationalism in the globalising world of today. The focus is on the global economy and ecology, but with an initial narration of the history of nationalism and globalisation and the spot they have brought us to as of now.
This address was about how the clash of environment and development concerns played out in the Brundtland Commission and the 1992 Rio Conference.The author was personally involved with this quite intimately as the Senior Economic Adviser to the Brundtland Commission, as the Deputy Secretary General of the Rio Summit of 1992, as the UN Under Secretary General in charge of the Commission on Sustainable Development and as the Secretary General of the World Summit on Sustainable Development of 2002.I The address however limits itself to the Brundtland Commission and the 1992 Rio meeting leaving the later history for another occasion in the belief that the both the Brundtland report and the outcome of the Rio Conference have had a longer a deeper impact than almost any other exercise of a similar nature
This paper explores the geopolitics of climate change by examining the current state of climate diplomacy, the geopolitical;itics of mitigation actions that may be undertaken and the consequences of the climate change that is inevitable.
Ecological interdependence involves uncertainty, long-range cause and effect relationships, thresholds and discontinuities, a scale of impact that is reaching limits in some areas, a close connection with the processes of economic globalisation, a geography of impact that cuts across national jurisdictions and an incidence of impact that reflects power relations. For all of these reasons it requires a qualitatively different form of global response.This paper looks at the challenge of environmental governance from four distinct but related perspectives-the ecological, the economic, the ethical and the decision making challenges that need to be addressed by the governance mechanism
The question this paper asks is whether the institutions and the mechanisms for coordinating national actions are adequate for the challenge of sustainable development. The immediate answer is obvious-they are not because the world is not any closer to the path of sustainability than when we started this journey forty years ago. Yes there is some advance in awareness amongst citizens, corporations and governments. There are some hopeful signs of change in the energy and material intensity of production and in green consumerism. But the world is still very far from accepting the fundamental changes in production and consumption that sustainable development requires. The core issues of finance and technology for sustainable development remain as contentious as they have always been. The paper lays out the changes required for addressing these shortcomings.
Asia is a geographical expression rather than a cultural construct. It has four very different ecosystems-the hot deserts to the West, the cold wastes in the North, the grasslands in the centre and the well watered areas in the South and East of the continent. The peoples who populate these ecosystems do not even have an indigenous word for this continent and often connect more with others than with fellow Asians. West Asia for instance has stronger cultural connections with North Africa and the Mediterranean world than with civilizations to its east. Central Asia, that waiting room for tribes on the move, shares its Islamic ethos with West Asia. Though both of these regions have impinged on the Sinic and Indic civilisations to their east, their face is turned towards the west. This article is really about Monsoon Asia, the area east of the Indus and the Central Asian highlands and south of Mongolia. This region, whose ecology is defined by the seasonal monsoon winds that bear beneficent rain, is home to more than half of humanity, where two long-lasting civilizations, the Chinese and the Indian, have held sway for millennia and have provided a matrix for cultural interaction. It is a region whose cultural unity is not defined by a religion as is the case in West Asia, or Central Asia or Europe and a syncretic tolerance of diverse beliefs is a characteristic but threatened feature of its societies. The Resurgence of Monsoon Asia Monsoon Asia was the dominant part of the world economy for the greater part of the second millennium. Right up to the early nineteenth century, Asia accounted for 60-70 per cent of world GDP. Europe had little that it could export and its purchases of spices, silks and cotton were financed largely through the flows of silver that it obtained from the Americas. The change comes with the industrial revolution and the outward expansion of Europe after the eighteenth century and by the middle of the twentieth century most of Asia (with perhaps Japan as the only exception) fell way behind the civilizations of Europe and its American off shoots. But the narrative turns thereafter and the past several decades have seen a steady expansion of the Asian economies. The resurgence of Monsoon Asia will surely be the lead story in any future history of our times. The story begins with the quick recovery of Japan after the end of the war and its rapid growth till the " oil shoku " of 1973. Hong Kong, to which much of China's capital had fled after the revolution, followed suit with a rigorously laissez-faire capitalist path. South Korea and Taiwan began their break-out from poverty around the early sixties and Singapore and South East Asia a little later. With very high growth rates sustained over 20-30 years these countries leap-frogged into middle and even high income status.
Asian countries differ greatly in the options available and the constraints that bind their energy prospects. West and North-West Asia are energy rich with huge reserves of oil and gas in the Gulf region and in the Central Asian “stans”. The part of Asia which lies to the East and South of these areas, call it Monsoon Asia for convenience, is energy poor, particularly in petroleum resources. Hence to speak about ‘Asian’ imperatives when it comes to energy and climate change is misleading. In any case ‘Asia’ is only a geographical expression and, as an idea, has played only a minor role, if any, in shaping geo-political perceptions in the region. This contribution focuses mainly on energy options in Monsoon Asia, particularly India and China
The International Conference on Finance for Development hosted by Mexico at Monterrey in March 2002 came after nearly two decades of contention between the North and the South on macro economic issues in the UN and elsewhere. Ever since President Ronald Reagan had delivered his stark message at the North-South Summit held at Cancun, Mexico in 1981, the developed world did not see global finance as a matter for North-South negotiation. The change came from three things – the consciousness of interdependence created by the financial crises of 1997-98, the strong support from several donor countries for the Millennium Development Goals and the concerns about alienation that came with the terrorist attacks of 9/11. The Monterrey Consensus was reached because the UN managed to put together a credible process that used the political space created by these events.
Economic, social and environmental factors can be looked at as the cause of conflict, as conditions that shape the direction and duration of conflict and as consequences of conflict. It is important to keep these dimensions of relevance in mind as they have different implications for policy and institutional development. Thus a dispute over natural resources could be the cause of a conflict, trade in natural resources may provide the resources to fuel a conflict or conflict may disrupt the paths of trade. The paper analyses economic instruments from these three perspectives
The first note on sustainable development placed before the members of the World Commission on Environment and Development (The Brundtland Commission) at their Ottawa meeting in 1986. It also includes marginal notes on changes requested by the Commissioners