UN Politics Development versus Environment

With the establishment of the United Nations and the common expressed goal of the international community to foster economic and social prosperity worldwide, it became necessary to help the developing countries engage more effectively in the UN discussions, especially given the wide disparity in the interests of the developed and developing countries. This led to the establishment of the G-77 and China in 1964 as a caucus to help developing countries negotiate at international level. The G-77 has grown from its original 77 members to more than 130 members today. Their initial goal was to promote the New International Economic Order (NIEO), based on their shared vision of developmental problems and their common position on how trade should take place and also because they believed that "The injustice and neglect of centuries need to be redressed" [67]. Although the NIEO instruments were successfully negotiated at the international level, these were never implemented, and it is argued today that development issues have been neglected in the international arena compared to other issues such as environmental problems [68-71]. The G-77 [12] submits that "international cooperation for development has been downplayed on the agenda of the international community." As Hurrell [72] puts it: "First, the centrality and complexity of the normative dimension has been neglected or downplayed; above all in terms of the importance of a shared sense of community in understanding how the cooperative enterprise can get off the ground, and in terms of reviewing ethics as intrinsic to the process by which order is produced."

For many in the G-77, the last forty-two years have been a struggle for equitable treatment at the international level [63,66,73] especially since the gap between developed and developing countries has increased and globalization is perceived to exacerbate the gap between the rich and the poor, even as some benefits of globalization may trickle down to the poorest of the poor.

Negotiating Essentials

Negotiating Essentials

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