Sustainable Development: A Soft Law Concept Transforming SD-Oriented Initiatives of the UN System into Hard Law Instruments in UN Member-states and Promoting Partnerships Around the Globe

Edward T. Bristol-Alagbariya


This study examines the subject-matter of Sustainable Development (SD) as a soft law concept, which is transforming SD-oriented initiatives of the UN and beyond into hard law instruments in sovereign states of the world, which are UN member-states. It demonstrates that in the process, SD-oriented initiatives, which are increasingly being backed by law in sovereign states, are promoting and enhancing partnerships towards SD in the nooks and crannies of these states. Its aim is to underscore the significance of ongoing global efforts, which are designed to promote the achievement of SD, and how the private sector, peoples, communities, countries, regions and entire global community are taking advantage of the fruits of these ongoing efforts to enter into or consummate various forms of SD-oriented partnership relationships. The study thus exemplifies various forms of partnerships being arrived at in the global march towards SD, as these arrangements go beyond those which are entered into on the platform of the UN, to many more which, consequent upon the continuing UN Conferences aimed at fostering and enhancing SD, are being entered into between and among many domestic and international entities, such as between and among local communities, the private sector, such as multinational companies (MNCs), and relevant institutions and agencies of host governments, as well as bilateral, regional and other international groups and oganisations. These include partnerships between and among entities of the Global South-South and the Global North-South, as well as Public Private Sector Partnerships (PPSPs) between host governments of developing countries, advanced countries, developmental agencies of advanced countries and MNCs, for various forms of development and SD plans, policies and programmes (including projects (PPPs) in developing countries. While underscoring the significant, key, compelling and inevitable roles of public sector governance, especially Government Social Responsibility (GSR), embedded in good, transparent, accountable and responsible political leadership [good governance: GG]), the study advocates and recommends the need for more and more SD-oriented partnership arrangements around the world, in the course of ongoing global efforts to promote and achieve SD, so as to secure the wellbeing of humans and overall nature, towards a fairer, kinder, more just, sustainable and peaceful existence on Planet Earth.

Keywords: Sustainable Development (SD); Business Sustainability; Government Social Responsibility (GSR); Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR); SD-oriented Partnerships; Plans, Policies and Programmes (including Projects (PPPs); Public Private Sector Partnerships (PPSPs); Stockholm, Rio, Johannesburg  and Rio (SRJR) Process; Good Governance (GG); Wellbeing; and Planet Earth.

DOI: 10.7176/JLPG/94-06

Publication date: February 29th 2020

Full Text: PDF
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