Summits, Sustainable Development and Stability Jayati Ghosh

The weariness and cynicism the phrase arouses are almost palpable. "Another UN Summit" people say, as their eyes glaze over and they shrug their shoulders, barely having the enthusiasm to enquire about the objectives, the means to be adopted, or even the participants. And at one level, such impatience with UN Summits is completely understandable. In the past decade, there have been at least seven major UN Summits, including the first Earth Summit in Rio in 1992, the Population Summit in Cairo in 1995, the Social Summit in Copenhagen and the Women’s Conference in Beijing in 1995, the Habitat II…

The Future of Water

From the Middle East to South America to Los Angeles to Australia, water is becoming a central political and economic issue. This is because water, which is a basic human requirement, has become a scarce resource. However, some major MNCs, backed by multilateral institutions, have seized this opportunity to push through their agenda of treating water like any tradable commodity and making profit out of it. This is evident in the ongoing services negotiations at the WTO, as well as from the draft "Johannesburg Declaration" being discussed at the World Summit for Sustainable Development. Encapsulating the future of water, the…