I am going to talk briefly, as dictated by the format of this seminar, about the law of sustainable development and how it has been developing. Sustainable development is, today, the guiding theme for both public and private measures to improve social conditions and strengthen economic conditions around the world. It did not become a guiding theme overnight. The recognition that sustainable development is fundamental has been growing gradually. The concept recognizes that the sort of development that was popular in the 1960s and 1970s in the United States of America and elsewhere was, by itself, an inadequate base on which to establish a humane, productive society. Each sector of the economic infrastructure in this past model of development considered that its mission was the most important mission of all. Few of these sectors cooperated with each other. They all tried to be primary, competing for and controlling the allocation of financial and natural resources.
Nicholas A. Robinson, The Law of Sustainable Development, 13 Pace Envtl. L. Rev. 507 (1996), http://digitalcommons.pace.edu/lawfaculty/379/.