AND MECHANISMS

NOTE:     This is a final, advanced version of a chapter of
          Agenda 21, as adopted by the Plenary in Rio de
          Janeiro, on June 14, 1992.  This document will be
          further edited, translated into the official
          languages, and published by the United Nations
          for the General Assembly this autumn.

39.1.          The recognition that the following vital
aspects of the universal, multilateral and bilateral
treaty-making process should be taken into account:

     a)   The further development of international law on
     sustainable development, giving special attention to
     the delicate balance between environmental and
     developmental concerns;

     b)   The need to clarify and strengthen the
     relationship between existing international
     instruments or agreements in the field of environment
     and relevant social and economic agreements or
     instruments, taking into account the special needs of
     developing countries;

     c)   At the global level, the essential importance of
     the participation in and the contribution of all
     countries, including the developing countries, to
     treaty-making in the field of international law on
     sustainable development. Many of the existing
     international legal instruments and agreements in the
     field of environment have been developed without
     adequate participation and contribution of developing
     countries, and thus may require review in order to
     reflect the concerns and interests of developing
     countries and to ensure a balanced governance of such
     instruments and agreements;

     d)   Developing countries should also be provided with
     technical assistance in their attempts to enhance
     their national legislative capabilities in the field
     of sustainable development;

     e)   Future codification projects for the progressive
     development and codification of international law on
     sustainable development should take into account the
     ongoing work of the International Law Commission; and

     f)   Any negotiations for the progressive development
     and codification of international law concerning
     sustainable development should, in general, be
     conducted on a universal basis, taking into account
     special circumstances in the various regions.


39.2.          The overall objective of the review and
development of international environmental law should be to
evaluate and to promote the efficacy of that law and to
promote the integration of environment and development
policies through effective international agreements or
instruments, taking into account both universal principles
and the particular and differentiated needs and concerns of
all countries.

39.3.          Specific objectives are:

     a)   To identify and address difficulties which
     prevent some States, in particular developing
     countries, from participating in or duly implementing
     international agreements or instruments and, where
     appropriate, to review or revise them with the
     purposes of integrating environmental and
     developmental concerns and laying down a sound basis
     for the implementation of these agreements or

     b)   To set priorities for future international law-
     making on sustainable development at the global,
     regional or sub-regional level, with a view to
     enhancing the efficacy of international law in this
     field through, in particular, the integration of
     environmental and developmental concerns;

     c)   To promote and support the effective
     participation of all countries concerned, in
     particular developing countries in the negotiation,
     implementation, review and governance of international
     agreements or instruments, including appropriate
     provision of technical and financial assistance and
     other available mechanisms for this purpose, as well
     as the use of differential obligations where

     d)   To promote, through the gradual development of
     universally and multilaterally negotiated agreements
     or instruments, international standards for the
     protection of the environment that take into account
     the different situations and capabilities of
     countries.  States recognize that environmental
     policies should deal with the root causes of
     environmental degradation, thus preventing
     environmental measures from resulting in unnecessary
     restrictions to trade.  Trade policy measures for
     environmental purposes should not constitute a means
     of arbitrary or unjustifiable discrimination or a
     disguised restriction on international trade.
     Unilateral actions to deal with environmental
     challenges outside the jurisdiction of the importing
     country should be avoided.  Environmental measures
     addressing international environmental problems
     should, as far as possible, be based on an
     international consensus.  Domestic measures targeted
     to achieve certain environmental objectives may need
     trade measures to render them effective.  Should trade
     policy measures be found necessary for the enforcement
     of environmental policies, certain principles and
     rules should apply.  These could include, inter alia,
     the principle of non-discrimination; the principle
     that the trade measure chosen should be the least
     trade-restrictive necessary to achieve the objectives;
     an obligation to ensure transparency in the use of
     trade measures related to the environment and to
     provide adequate notification of national regulations;
     and the need to give consideration to the special
     conditions and development requirements of developing
     countries as they move towards internationally agreed
     environmental objectives.

     e)   To ensure the effective, full and prompt
     implementation of legally binding instruments, and to
     facilitate timely review and adjustment of agreements
     or instruments by the parties concerned, taking into
     account the special needs and concerns of all
     countries, in particular developing countries;

     f)   To improve the effectiveness of institutions,
     mechanisms and procedures for the administration of
     agreements and instruments;

     g)   To identify and prevent actual or potential
     conflicts, particularly between environmental and
     social/economic agreements or instruments, with a view
     to ensuring that such agreements or instruments are
     consistent.  Where conflicts arise, they should be
     appropriately resolved;

     h)   To study and consider the broadening and
     strengthening of the capacity of mechanisms, inter
     alia in the United Nations system, to facilitate,
     where appropriate and agreed by the parties concerned,
     the identification, avoidance and settlement of
     international disputes in the field of sustainable
     development, duly taking into account existing
     bilateral and multilateral agreements for the
     settlement of such disputes.


39.4      Activities and means of implementation should be
considered in the light of the above Basis for Action and
Objectives without prejudice to the right of every State to
put forward suggestions in this regard in the General
Assembly of the United Nations.  These suggestions could be
reproduced in a separate compilation on sustainable

       A.Review, assessment and fields of action in
       international law for sustainable development

39.5.          While ensuring the effective participation
of all countries concerned, Parties should at periodic
intervals review and assess both the past performance and
effectiveness of existing international agreements or
instruments as well as the priorities for future law-making
on sustainable development.  This may include an
examination of the feasibility of elaborating general
rights and obligations of States, as appropriate, in the
field of sustainable development, as provided by General
Assembly resolution 44/228.  In certain cases, attention
should be given to the possibility of taking into account
varying circumstances through differential obligations or
gradual application.  As an option for carrying out this
task, earlier UNEP practice may be followed whereby legal
experts designated by governments could meet at suitable
intervals to be decided later with a broader environmental
and developmental perspective.

39.6.     a)   Measures in accordance with international
          law should be considered to address, in times of
          armed conflict, large-scale destruction of the
          environment that cannot be justified under
          international law.  The General Assembly and the
          Sixth Committee are the appropriate fora to deal
          with this subject.  The specific competence and
          role of the International Committee of the Red
          Cross should be taken into account.

     b)   In view of the vital necessity to ensure safe and
     environmentally sound nuclear power, and in order to
     strengthen international cooperation in this field,
     efforts should be made to conclude the ongoing
     negotiations for a nuclear safety convention in the
     framework of the International Atomic Energy Agency.

               B. Implementation mechanisms

39.7.          The parties to international agreements
should consider procedures and mechanisms to promote and
review their effective, full and prompt implementation.  To
that effect, States could, inter alia:

     a)   Establish efficient and practical reporting
     systems on the effective, full and prompt
     implementation of international legal instruments;

     (b)  Consider appropriate ways in which relevant
     international bodies, such as UNEP, might contribute
     towards the further development of such mechanisms.

  C. Effective participation in international law-making

39.8.          In all these activities and others that may
be pursued in the future, based on the above Basis for
Action and Objectives, the effective participation of all
countries, in particular developing countries, should be
ensured through appropriate provision of technical
assistance and/or financial assistance.  Developing
countries should be given "headstart" support not only in
their national efforts to implement international
agreements or instruments, but also to participate
effectively in the negotiation of new or revised agreements
or instruments and in the actual international operation of
such agreements or instruments.  Support should include
assistance in building up expertise in international law
particularly in relation to sustainable development, and in
assuring access to the necessary reference information and
scientific/technical expertise.

   D. Disputes in the field of sustainable development

39.9.          In the area of avoidance and settlement of
disputes, States should further study and consider methods
to broaden and make more effective the range of techniques
available at present, taking into account, among others,
relevant experience under existing international
agreements, instruments or institutions and, where
appropriate, their implementing mechanisms such as
modalities for dispute avoidance and settlement.  This may
include mechanisms and procedures for the exchange of data
and information, notification and consultation regarding
situations that might lead to disputes with other States in
the field of sustainable development and for effective
peaceful means of dispute settlement in accordance with the
Charter of the United Nations including, where appropriate,
recourse to the International Court of Justice, and their
inclusion in treaties relating to sustainable development.

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Note 450      A21/40 Information
unced                               7:26 am  Jul 10, 1992

From: UNCED 
Subject: A21/40 Information


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