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    Commentary - empty promises: why declarations and international cooperation on sustainable development often fail to deliver

    Leal, W ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-1241-5225, Vasconcelos, CRP, Dinis, MAP and Viera Trevisan, L (2022) Commentary - empty promises: why declarations and international cooperation on sustainable development often fail to deliver. International Journal of Sustainable Development and World Ecology, 29 (8). pp. 850-857. ISSN 1350-4509

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    Abstract

    Over the past decades, many declarations on sustainable development (SD) have been produced, various of which led to no real changes or improvements. This article discusses the role of declarations and international cooperation on SD, outlining their evolution. It also highlights the reasons why instruments and international cooperation have failed to meet their targets and specifies measures that may be deployed so that they may yield the SD’s expected benefits. To this end, it is recommended that more significant efforts be made to operationalise the commitments established in the declarations and international cooperation. Also, it is important to develop and implement SD follow-up strategies, once these have been agreed upon. The implications of this article to society and other studies are two-fold. Firstly, it shows the need for greater care when writing declarations on SD, since they are not always followed up and do not fulfill their purposes. Secondly, it is important to mobilise the relevant actors so that the actions the SD declarations expected to trigger, through international cooperation, are implemented. Moreover, future declarations and commitments should ideally have institutions and infrastructures in place to implement the SD actions called upon. The evidence gathered in this article also points out the need to intensify investment in education, science, technology, and innovation, while encouraging the expansion of international cooperation strategies aimed at supporting the declarations and promoting SD.

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