McGeorge School of Law

Sustainable Development Symposium Tackles Front-Page Issues

November 27, 2007

An on-campus conference, “Taking Stock of Sustainable Development at 20,” in mid-November brought together some of the leading experts in the world on sustainable development. The two-day symposium, sponsored by the McGeorge Center for Global Business and Development’s Institute for Sustainable Development, featured a presentation by Ambassador Alberto Szekely, member, Legal Experts Group to the Brundtland Commission and former member of the International Law Commission. Szekely delivered a paper, “The Promise of the Brundtland Commission: Honored or Betrayed?,” which sharply criticized world leaders for their failure to address environmental issues in the past two decades.

“Panels on the first day (November 16) focused on a relatively untraditional aspect of sustainable development -- human and labor resources, rather than natural resources,” said Global Center Director Dr. Michael Malloy. “It raised issues that were echoed two days later in the New York Times, the issues of labor migration (“Brain Drain” as well as outsourcing) and the current $300 billion flow of remittances linked to labor migration. It’s nice to see that once again the Center was ahead of the curve of current issues.” UC Davis School of Law Professor Anupam Chander and Professor Miriam Cherry joined Malloy on the symposium’s first panel that examined the “Brain Drain.”

Professor Mark Baker from the University of Texas Austin’s McCombs School of Business headlined the second panel that looked at outsourcing and economic development. Long Beach State Business Professor Barbara George and McGeorge’s Brian Landsberg were also panelists. A video presentation by Dr. Gro Brundtland, UN Special Envoy for Climate Change, kicked off the second day (November 17). Professor David Caron, C. William Maxeiner Distinguished Professor of International Law, University of California, Boalt Hall, Vice President, American Society of International Law, and Dr. Iwona Rummel-Bulska, Chief, Law Branch, Division of Policy Development and Law, UNEP, spoke on the substantive content and significance of sustainable development to international organizations.

Professor Malin Falkenmark, Professor of Applied and International Hydrology, Stockholm International Water Institute, delivered the keynote address on “Durable River Basin Agreements.” Flavia Loures, Programme Officer, World Wildlife Fund, and McCaffrey wrapped up the conference’s formal events with two different perspectives on the future on international water use. “Special notes should be sounded for Professor Gregory Weber, the Institute’s Director, and for Steve McCaffrey, the Institute’s Counselor, both of whom participated not only in the planning but also in the presenting,” said Professor Malloy. “Thanks as well to the administrative staff — particularly Rachel Dubay, Clemence George, Ron Marcroft, and student assistant John Doyle.”