Sustainable Debt Slavery

In this first instalment of a new series, Iain Davis and Whitney Webb explore how the UN’s “sustainable development” policies, the SDGs, do not promote “sustainability” as most conceive of it and instead utilise the same debt imperialism long used by the Anglo-American Empire to entrap nations in a new, equally predatory system of global financial governance.

The UN’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development is pitched as a “shared blueprint for peace and prosperity for people and the planet, now and into the future.” At the heart of this agenda are the 17 Sustainable Development Goals, or SDGs.

Many of these goals sound nice in theory and paint a picture of an emergent global utopia – such as no poverty, no world hunger and reduced inequality. Yet, as is true with so much, the reality behind most – if not all – of the SDGs are policies cloaked in the language of utopia that – in practice – will only benefit the economic elite and entrench their power.

This can clearly be seen in fine print of the SDGs, as there is considerable emphasis on debt and on entrapping nation states (especially developing states) in debt as a means of forcing adoption of SDG-related policies. It is then little coincidence that many of the driving forces behind SDG-related policies, at the UN and elsewhere, are career bankers. Former executives at some of the most predatory financial institutions in the history of the world, from Goldman Sachs to Bank of America to Deutsche Bank, are among the top proponents and developers of SDG-related policies.

Are their interests truly aligned with “sustainable development” and improving the state of the world for regular people, as they now claim?  Or do their interests lie where they always have, in a profit-driven economic model based on debt slavery and outright theft?

In this Unlimited Hangout investigative series, we will be exploring these questions and interrogating – not only the power structures behind the SDGs and related policies – but also their practical impacts.

In this first instalment, we will explore what actually underpins the majority of the 2030 Agenda and the SDGs, cutting through the flowery language to deliver the full picture of what the implementation of these policies means for the average person. Subsequent instalments will focus on case studies based on specific SDGs and their sector-specific impacts.

Read more: Sustainable Debt Slavery

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