A state’s dilemma between foreign aid and foreign trade : lessons from Latin America
The Covenant on Economic Social and Cultural Rights requires states to seek international assistance and cooperation in case they are not able to fulfil their obligations by themselves. As the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights observed already in a 1990 General Comment the full realization of these rights will remain an unfulfilled aspiration as long as there is no active international assistance programme. How is international cooperation taking place today? The study analyses three main elements cooperation: financial assistance through International Financial Institutions like the International Monetary Fund, cooperation agreements like the EU-Central America Association Agreements including the free trade agreement pillar and EU development cooperation. A challenge for the progressive realization of especially economic, social and cultural rights, that has been taken into account more and more in the last decades, is sovereign debt and trade liberalization. In putting sustainability first, as the Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development does, the academic discourse also points to the contributing factors, like the level of equality and illustrates the connection between sovereign debt sustainability and development, which is reflected to a large degree in the realization of economic, social and cultural rights. The following study aims to analyse three highly interconnected areas of international cooperation, that are often only dealt with separately, together, by looking into the examples from Latin America.