Financial regulation, human rights and sustainability (November 2012)

Rethinking Bretton Woods | Fri, Nov 30, 2012


Issue No. 5 of a series by the "A bottom up approach to righting financial regulation" reflects on the links between human rights, sustainability and financial regulation.

In 1992 governments pledged to pursue sustainable development, “development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.”

Today, the continuity of climate-related disasters, growing food insecurity, sky-rocketing unemployment and lack of decent work and gaps in care provision are only some of the most urgent indicators of the seriousness of what is at stake in meeting such pledge.

A review of the paradigm for regulating financial markets is urgently needed to put the world back on a path towards that goal. See, for instance, the volatility and unbalanced accumulation patterns observed in financialized commodity markets that have rendered sustainable and equitable management of natural resources more difficult.

Issue No. 5 of a series of primers prepared by the “A bottom up approach to righting financial regulation initiative” reflects on the parallels between efforts to draw links between human rights and financial regulation, and those between sustainability and financial regulation. It also argues that none of those two streams of efforts can succeed on its own, so it calls for an integrated and inclusive approach to determine what human rights and sustainable development actually mean for financial regulation, and provides some ideas of where to start.

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