IS SUSTAINABLE SUSTAINABLE? - 2002-08-01
Al-Ahram Weekly, Egypt - Issue No. 597 - Opinion: Ahead of the UN Summit on Sustainable Development, to be held in Johannesburg, South Africa, later this month, Sadruddin Aga Khan questions the very notion of sustainable development. The following is the text of a recent speech he delivered: It will be my thesis today that the dogma of 'sustainable development' is inherently misleading, and is now deluding our mindsets in much the same way as the flat earth theory once did -- but with implications which are infinitely more dangerous to our future survival. Accordingly, I will refrain from the politically correct -- and attempt to highlight how the once noble notion of 'sustainable development' has been diverted. Despite all the rhetoric about basic needs and poverty alleviation -- and despite several decades officially dedicated to development -- the number of people in extreme or absolute poverty continues to increase.