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Social and Cultural Sustainability

The key concerns are to promote international dialogue, counter inequality, and secure peace. Social sustainability is especially concerned with all of those social, cultural and political issues that affect the quality and continuity of peoples lives, within and between nations. Sustainable societies are considered just and inclusive societies, that may be characterised by participation, emancipation, freedom, security and solidarity (Koning, 2001, Thin et al, 2002). ‘Solidarity’ is often considered important in this sense in generating social cohesion based on empathy and co-operation between individuals and social groups:

"We emphasize the responsibilities of all States, in conformity with the Charter, to respect human rights and fundamental freedoms for all, without distinction of any kind as to race, colour, sex, language or religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status". (2005 World Summit; 122)

Sustainable development therefore requires an ethos of compassion, respect for difference, equality and fairness (Carness, 2001, Chan, 2006, Siraj-Blatchford, 2007) and:

"...cultural diversity is as necessary for humankind as biodiversity is for nature”
       (The Universal Declaration on Cultural Diversity, UNESCO, 2001)




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