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Post-Rio Sustainable Development and the Summit

Maurice F. Strong

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Rich, Poor, North, South

Approaching the 21st century, the common need to protect the environment and life support systems of our planet provides a new dimension to the NorthSouth relationship. Industrialized countries have a responsibility to reduce their demands on the Earth's resources and environment to leave "space" for developing countries to grow. The rights of developing countries to grow must not be denied, nor should such growth be constrained by conditions imposed on countries in the name of the environment. However, if the developing countries are becoming the primary engines of economic growth, how they manage their growth will be the key to a common environmental future. The battle to ensure a secure environment for all the people of earth ¾ rich, poor, North, South ¾ will be won or lost in the developing world, and most particularly in Asia. What happens there should concern us all.

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