A Global Pact for the Environment? A story continued  - NASA - CC BY 2.0

A Global Pact for the Environment? A story continued

On 10 May 2018, the General Assembly of the United Nations (UN) adopted, by a very large majority, a resolution: Resolution A/72/L.51, titled ‘Towards a Global Pact for the Environment’.

Almost one year ago, we informed our readers in these blogs on the preliminary draft of the Global Pact for the Environment, an initiative by the Club des juristes, a French think tank. The draft text was made public in good company on 24 June 2017. The President of the French Republic, Emmanuel Macron, committed himself to bring up the proposal for discussion in the forum of the United Nations, with the aim of helping it become a binding treaty text.

The French remain committed: France continues to promote the initiative. Resolution A/72/L.51 decides to a step-by-step plan. By September 2018, the Secretary-General of the UN must draw up a technical and ‘evidence-based’ report to identify and evaluate any gaps in the international environmental law and environmental instruments. An ad hoc working group is established, that will take the report into consideration and that will discuss possible options to eliminate any gaps in the international environmental law and environmental instruments. That ad hoc working group will be open to non-governmental organisations, with the status of observer. If it deems it necessary, the working party may, among other things, specify the feasibility of an international instrument – that is: a Global Pact for the Environment – with a view to making recommendations. These recommendations may include the convening of an intergovernmental conference to adopt such international instrument in the first half of 2019.

In terms of international law, this case is proceeding rapidly.

Thinking of the most recent EU climate case, discussed in another blog, we quote Article 3, paragraph 1, and Article 4 of the current preliminary draft of this Global Pact: “People shall integrate the requirements of environmental protection into the planning and implementation of their policies and national and international activities, especially in order to promote the fight against climate change, the protection of oceans and the maintenance of biodiversity”; “Intergenerational equity shall guide decisions that may have an impact on the environment. Present generations shall ensure that their decisions and actions do not compromise the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.”

Photo: NASA - CC BY 2.0

Carole Billiet

By Carole Billiet

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