Agenda 21 - Chapter 2
INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION TO ACCELERATE SUSTAINABLE
DEVELOPMENT IN DEVELOPING COUNTRIES AND RELATED DOMESTIC
2.1. In order to meet the challenges of environment and development, States have decided to establish a
new global partnership. This partnership commits all States to engage in a continuous and constructive
dialogue, inspired by the need to achieve a more efficient and equitable world economy, keeping in
view the increasing interdependence of the community of nations and that sustainable development
should become a priority item on the agenda of the international community. It is recognized that, for
the success of this new partnership, it is important to overcome confrontation and to foster a climate of
genuine cooperation and solidarity. It is equally important to strengthen national and international
policies and multinational cooperation to adapt to the new realities.
2.2. Economic policies of individual countries and international economic relations both have great
relevance to sustainable development. The reactivation and acceleration of development requires both
a dynamic and a supportive international economic environment and determined policies at the
national level. It will be frustrated in the absence of either of these requirements. A supportive external
economic environment is crucial. The development process will not gather momentum if the global
economy lacks dynamism and stability and is beset with uncertainties. Neither will it gather
momentum if the developing countries are weighted down by external indebtedness, if development
finance is inadequate, if barriers restrict access to markets and if commodity prices and the terms of
trade of developing countries remain depressed. The record of the 1980s was essentially negative on
each of these counts and needs to be reversed. The policies and measures needed to create an
international environment that is strongly supportive of national development efforts are thus vital.
International cooperation in this area should be designed to complement and support - not to diminish
or subsume - sound domestic economic policies, in both developed and developing countries, if global
progress towards sustainable development is to be achieved.
2.3. The international economy should provide a supportive international climate for achieving
environment and development goals by:
A. Promoting sustainable development through trade Basis for action
2.5. An open, equitable, secure, non-discriminatory and predictable multilateral trading system that is
consistent with the goals of sustainable development and leads to the optimal distribution of global
production in accordance with comparative advantage is of benefit to all trading partners. Moreover,
improved market access for developing countries' exports in conjunction with sound macroeconomic
and environmental policies would have a positive environmental impact and therefore make an
important contribution towards sustainable development.
2.6. Experience has shown that sustainable development requires a commitment to sound economic
policies and management, an effective and predictable public administration, the integration of
environmental concerns into decision-making and progress towards democratic government, in the
light of country-specific conditions, which allows for full participation of all parties concerned. These
attributes are essential for the fulfilment of the policy directions and objectives listed below.
2.7. The commodity sector dominates the economies of many developing countries in terms of production,
employment and export earnings. An important feature of the world commodity economy in the 1980s
was the prevalence of very low and declining real prices for most commodities in international markets
and a resulting substantial contraction in commodity export earnings for many producing countries.
The ability of those countries to mobilize, through international trade, the resources needed to finance
investments required for sustainable development may be impaired by this development and by tariff