Source: Small Island Developing States
15 January 2019: In the context of the first substantive session of the Ad Hoc Open Ended Working Group Towards a Global Pact for the Environment, experts have released a draft report on legal foundations for a Global Pact for the Environment. Through 26 chapters, the report discusses various principles and aspects of the Draft Global Pact for the Environment, which was developed in 2017 by the International Group of Experts for the Pact (IGEP). The report is a publication from the University of Cambridge.
The Draft Global Pact seeks to strengthen the coherence of global environmental governance, and to gather principles of environmental law in a concise text. It is presented as an indicative document to illustrate the concrete form a Global Pact for the Environment could take. The draft was introduced by France’s President Emmanuel Macron on the sidelines of the 72nd UN General Assembly (UNGA) in September 2017, at a summit to launch consultations on the proposed instrument.
A Global Pact should be a binding treaty, providing an umbrella to a wider body of MEAs.
In May 2018, the UNGA adopted resolution 72/277 titled, ‘Towards a Global Pact for the Environment,’ by which Member States request the UN Secretary-General to submit a technical and evidence-based report that identifies and assesses possible gaps in international environmental law and environment-related instruments. This report was issued in December 2018. Also by resolution 72/277, the UNGA decides to establish an ad hoc open-ended working group to consider the Secretary-General’s report and discuss options to address possible gaps in international environmental law and environment-related instruments, with a view to making recommendations.
This Ad Hoc Open Ended Working Group held its organizational meeting in September 2018, and is convening for its first substantive session from 14-18 January 2019, in Nairobi, Kenya. The co-chairs of the Working Group are Francisco António Duarte Lopes, Permanent Representative of Portugal, and Amal Mudallali, Permanent Representative of Lebanon.
Edited by Yann Aguila, President, Environment Commission of the Club des Juristes, France, and Jorge Viñuales, Professor, Cambridge University, UK, the report titled, ‘A Global Pact for the Environment: Legal Foundations,’ compiles studies from experts in international environmental law from around the world. In its first chapter, the report outlines the conceptual foundations of a Global Pact, including reasons why a Global Pact would constitute an important milestone in the evolution of international environmental law and of global environmental governance. It notes that a Global Pact should be a binding treaty, providing an umbrella to a wider body of multilateral environmental agreements (MEAs).
In its other chapters, the report also considers, inter alia: the right to a healthy and sustainable environment; sustainable development and integration; intergenerational equity; prevention; precaution; access to justice; the effective implementation of environmental law; the principle or resilience; and non-regression.
For updates from the substantive session in Nairobi, see the Earth Negotiations Bulletin’s coverage here. [SDG Knowledge Hub sources]