Multilateral Development Banks and Sustainable Development: On Emulation, Fragmentation and a Common Law of Sustainable Development

Law and Development Review, vol. 10, no. 2 (2017)

Posted: 25 Oct 2017

See all articles by Makane Mbengue

Makane Mbengue

University of Geneva

Stéphanie de Moerloose

Universidad Austral; Humboldt University Berlin

Date Written: September 26, 2017

Abstract

Multilateral Development Banks (hereinafter MDBs) have evolved from avoiding non-economic considerations, as required in most of their charters, to officially supporting sustainable development. This transformation is due not only to international law, civil society pressure or internal adjustments, but in part to the emulation phenomenon between the international effort for sustainable development made by international conferences and commissions and the sustainable development effort by MDBs. The paper first examines this emulation phenomenon and its strong impact on MDB creation of substantive instruments – the environmental and social safeguards – and of procedural instruments – the accountability mechanisms – for the integration of sustainable development. Following this discussion, the second part points out that MDBs’ environmental and social safeguards still differ substantially, revealing a fragmentation in MDBs’ normative understanding of sustainable development. After presenting the arguments supporting this fragmentation, the last part of the paper argues in favor of the harmonization of MDBs’ environmental and social safeguards, resulting in the creation of a common law of sustainable development, the promotion of international law and the facilitation of investments.

Keywords: Multilateral Development Banks, Sustainable Development, Social And Environmental Safeguards, Accountability Mechanisms, Conditionality, Fragmentation, Harmonization

Suggested Citation

Mbengue, Makane and de Moerloose, Stéphanie, Multilateral Development Banks and Sustainable Development: On Emulation, Fragmentation and a Common Law of Sustainable Development (September 26, 2017). Law and Development Review, vol. 10, no. 2 (2017), Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3058795

Makane Mbengue

University of Geneva ( email )

102 Bd Carl-Vogt
Genève, CH - 1205
Switzerland

Stéphanie De Moerloose (Contact Author)

Universidad Austral ( email )

Cerrito 1250
Buenos Aires, 1010
Argentina

Humboldt University Berlin ( email )

Berlin
Germany

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Abstract Views
251
PlumX Metrics