16 May 1994 COMMISSION ON SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT Second Session New York, 16-27 May 1994 BACKGROUND PAPER Task Manager's Report on Decision-Making Structures: International Legal Instruments and Mechanisms (Chapter 39) (Prepared by DPCSD as Task Manager) TABLE OF CONTENTS PARA NO. INTRODUCTION ......................... 1 - 4 I. The Effectiveness of International Agreements for Sustainable Development ..................... 5 - 70 II. Priorities for Future Law-Making in Sustainable Development ...... 71 - 81 III. Initiatives to Promote a Balance Between Environmental Concerns Expressed in International Law and Social and Economic Concerns .... 82 - 102 IV. Initiatives to Encourage Cooperation with the International Law Commission in Projects for the Progressive Development and Codification of International Law ............... 103 V. Efforts to Support the Ongoing Negotiations for a Nuclear Safety Convention in the Framework of of International Atomic Energy Agency .......................... 104 - 106 VI. Technical Assistance to Developing Countries in Strengthening their Capacity to Implement International Agreements ...................... 107 - 123 VII. Technical Assistance and Initiatives to Support Effective Participation of Developing Countries in the Negotiation, Implementation and Review of International Agreements or Instruments ....... 124 - 132 VIII.Initiatives in the Area of Dispute Settlement .............. 133 - 145 ANNEXES .............................. I. Summary of UN System Cooperative Activities ...................... II. Acronyms ........................ Introduction 1. The overall objective of the review and development of international environmental law, as contained in Chapter 39 of Agenda 21, is 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. 2. In addition, the objective of the Interagency Committee on Sustainable Development, with respect to all Task Manager reports, is to ensure collaboration and cooperation in the follow up to, including reporting on, the implementation of Agenda 21 by the United Nations system. 3. This Report, therefore, is organized to address both sets of concerns. Part I identifies the major international legal agreements and examines their efficacy; Part II looks at priorities for future agreements; Part III discusses some of the initiatives within the United Nations system to promote a balance between environmental concerns expressed in international law and social and economic concerns; Part IV reports on initiatives to encourage cooperation with the International Law Commission; Part V identifies efforts to support the on-going negotiations for a nuclear safety convention; Part VI looks at technical assistance to developing countries in strengthening their capacity to implement international agreements; Part VII examines technical assistance and initiatives to support effective participation of developing countries and countries in transition in the negotiation, implementation and review of international agreements or instruments; and Part VIII reviews some of the initiatives in the area of dispute settlement. 4. All of the material contained in this Report is based on material provided by the organizations themselves in response to an outline provided by DPCSD; informal consultations in New York, in October 1993; the third session of the Interagency Committee on Sustainable Development (March 1994); and written comments and amendments provided by the organizations following the IACSD meeting. I. The Effectiveness of International Agreements for Sustainable Development General Comments 5. In March 1994, UNEP convened a coordination meeting to provide a forum for consultations, exchange of information and experience, and for identifying areas of mutual concern and modalities for harmonization. UNEP focused on developing a coherent body of international environmental law; examining the adequacy of global treaties; promoting their effective implementation; and enhancing the operative functioning of the secretariats of conventions developed under UNEP auspices. UNEP is also convening a series of meetings aimed at strengthening the legal regime of toxic chemicals in international trade. This will include efforts to develop legally binding instruments for the mandatory application of the prior informed consent (PIC) procedure, in cooperation with FAO, WHO and GATT and other relevant organizations. 6. ILO has precise procedures concerning monitoring the application of all of its conventions. At the same time, the vast majority of other environment-related Conventions are monitored by their respective Secretariats and the Parties to each of those Conventions. This may lead to an inefficient and costly monitoring and enforcement process and also be a potentially significant burden on reporting countries. It would be useful to organize an international symposium or workshop to discuss ways and means to encourage more harmonized and rationalized approaches to monitoring the application of environmental Conventions at national, regional and international levels. 7. The UNU has involved itself in activities pertaining to the cutting issues in international law and international institutions related to environmental governance. The UNU Global Workshop on International Environmental Law and Institutions is planned for May 1995 in Barcelona, Spain, with a focus on training university staff and international lawyers from developing countries. Regional Workshops, organized in cooperation with UNEP and UNITAR, will follow. 8. UNU has also initiated a project on International Law and Global Environmental Change to anticipate approaches in international law for preventing environmental harm and to identify major themes in developing and applying international law to problems of global environmental change. Research on issues related to environmental law and governance will be carried out in the framework of the development of the Centre for the Study of Governance in Barcelona, Spain. The first phase of this project is focused on questions of compliance, implementation and enforcement of international environmental policy and management; the second phase, starting in the spring of 1995 and continuing for the following four years, will focus on the enforcement of some specific conventions such as the biodiversity convention and corollary legislation in the perspective of sustainable development. 9. UNEP and FAO have been collaborating for the implementation of the prior informed consent (PIC) procedure based on their joint programme. There is on-going work by UNEP in consultation with FAO and other partners to strengthen the legal basis for the PIC procedure, and, in particular, the development of modalities for a legally binding instrument for the mandatory application of the PIC procedure. FAO has proposed that this effort proceed on a truly joint basis between itself and UNEP, leading to the convening of a joint diplomatic conference. Regional Level 10. The Economic Commission for Europe notes that compliance monitoring of its relevant instruments, implementation and verification measures will be reviewed under UN/ECE auspices, taking into account the negotiating history of each convention and the specific problems of the countries in transition, for presentation to the Signatories or Parties to these conventions. A recent analysis by the ECE Secretariat, reviewed by the Working Group of Senior Governmental Officials central coordinating body of the "Environment for Europe Process", noted that more effective implementation of international agreements requires greater attention to the following issues: (1) detailed guidelines for and follow-up to national reporting requirements; (2) mechanisms for the public to provide information on compliance; (3) wide dissemination of information on the agreement itself and on relevant activities undertaken in relation to it; (4) establishment of implementation committees entrusted with reviewing compliance; (5) improved mechanisms both for prevention of disputes and dispute settlement; (6) unambiguous criteria, rules and procedures regarding responsibility and liability; (7) provision of adequate support to assist countries in transition with resources, experience and technical skills; and (8) provision of adequate funds to support the participation of the Parties in the meetings, as needed. 11. More specific evaluation of the respective Conventions is undertaken periodically, with generally positive results, as follows: (i) 1979 Convention on Long-range Transboundary Air Pollution; 1985 Protocol on the Reduction of Sulphur Emissions or their Transboundary Fluxes; and 1988 Protocol on Emissions of Nitrogen Oxides or their Transboundary Fluxes; 1991 Protocol on Control of Emissions of Volatile Organic Compounds or their Transboundary Fluxes 12. These Conventions and Protocols have established a regional course of action. The Parties to the 1985 Protocol, as a whole, reached the thirty percent reduction target by 1990. With respect to the 1988 Protocol, overall emissions of NOx had by 1990 been stabilized at the 1987 level. Five Cooperative Programmes for Assessment and Monitoring of Air Pollution Effects, and on Integrated Monitoring of Air Pollution Effects on Ecosystems are now operational and help in implementing the 1979 Convention. (ii) 1991 Convention on Environmental Impact Assessment in a Transboundary Context 13. This Convention, pending its entry into force, is being used as an instrument promoting both an integrated approach to environmental protection and management and the preventive and precautionary principles and sustainable development. New regulations have been introduced or existing regulations modified at the national level in order to arrange for the EIA process, in particular in a transboundary context. (iii) 1992 Convention on the Protection and Use of Transboundary Watercourses and International Lakes 14. Pending its entry into force, this Convention is already encouraging countries in the European region to develop and implement water management strategies on the basis of water- quality objectives, set emissions limits on the basis of the best technology available, develop and use best environmental practice and other measures of prevention, control and reduction of water pollution from non-point sources. (iv) 1992 Convention on the Transboundary Effects of Industrial Accidents 15. Examples of activities which have already been undertaken in order to anticipate the Convention on the Transboundary Effects of Industrial Accidents pending its entry into force include the elaboration of new or adaptation of existing legislation; the setting up of a coordinating centre for exchange of information; the development and implementation of the UN/ECE Accident Notification System; and preparations towards the establishment of regional mechanisms for training and exercises and industrial safety management. 16. ESCAP has emphasized that the effectiveness of existing international agreements or instruments requires a mutually reinforcing system of international and national environmental legislation. While international legal instruments establish a harmonized set of obligations, national legal instruments reflect these obligations for appropriate implementation. A number of countries in the Asian and Pacific region have not yet incorporated these obligations in their national legislation due largely to a lack of national capacity. ESCAP has been assisting in this regard particularly with reference to the following four areas: (i) Ramsar Convention on Wetland Management 17. ESCAP conducted a review of the status of this Convention. The review covered 24 countries in the region and examined the main constraints in the implementation of the Convention at the national level. (ii) Climate Change 18. ESCAP, in cooperation with countries in the region, is developing a regional strategy on climate change. This would assist in identifying the socio-economic implications of climate change and developing mechanisms that would help to implement the provision of Framework Conventions on climate change. (iii)Basel Convention 19. ESCAP undertook an inter-country project, involving 15 countries, on the preliminary assessment of illegal traffic in toxic and dangerous products and wastes. A workshop is planned in Yokohama in March 1994 to examine the existing situation and make recommendations. (iv) Desertification 20. ESCAP is organizing an intergovernmental expert group meeting in March 1994 to provide regional inputs to the draft international convention on desertification. 21. ECA has also noted that, while a number of regional instruments of international agreements have been developed, work carried out so far needs to be increased in order to generate significant impact. There is a need for more interagency cooperation and more resources. 22. UNEP is involved in the development and facilitating of a number of regional agreements, such as the Regional Seas Programme which was initiated in 1974 and is implemented through regional components. The Programme, which is supported by respective Regional Conventions and Protocols, provides measures to prevent, reduce and control marine degradation. UNEP is also contributing to the development of an agreement to combat illegal trade in wildlife in the South African Region. International Agreements Fishing: Agreement for the Establishment of the Indian Ocean Tuna Commission; Agreement to Promote Compliance with International Conservation and Management Measures by Fishing Vessels on the High Seas; UN Conference on Straddling Fish Stocks and Highly Migratory Fish Stocks; and International Code of Conduct for Responsible Fishing 23. The Agreement for the Establishment of the Indian Ocean Tuna Commission was just approved by the FAO Conference in November 1993 for managing stocks of tuna and tuna-like species in the Indian Ocean Region. Its effectiveness cannot yet be determined. 24. The Agreement to Promote Compliance with International Conservation and Management Measures by Fishing Vessels on the High Seas was also approved by the FAO Conference in November 1993 as a direct implementation of UNCED recommendations calling upon States to take action to deter reflagging of vessels as means of avoiding compliance with applicable conservation and management rules for fishing activities on the high seas. 25. The United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea has served as the overall legal framework for Chapter 17 of Agenda 21 and the ongoing UN Conference on Straddling Fish Stocks and Highly Migratory Fish Stocks. FAO expects that this Conference will accord a major role for regional fishery management bodies in the management of these stocks; consequently FAO is already carrying out a review of the effectiveness of its regional fishery bodies to prepare them to implement the decisions of the Conference. 26. The International Code of Conduct for Responsible Fishing is voluntary, but parts of it will be drawn up in such a way as to lend themselves to incorporation into national laws or adoption as separate international legal instruments. Plants: International Plant Protection Convention; International Code of Conduct for Plant Germplasm Collecting and Transfer; Principles of Plant Quarantine as Related to International Trade; International Undertaking on Plant Genetic Resources; and the Agreement for the Establishment of the Near East Plant Protection Organization 27. FAO is working to make the International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC) into a more effective mechanism for setting international standards and guidelines for phytosanitary measures, in light of concerns expressed in the Uruguay Round of Multilateral Trade Negotiations of GATT. In particular, FAO has established a Secretariat for the IPPC and a Committee of Experts on Phytosanitary Measures (CEPM) to advise on standards and guidelines. 28. Both the International Code of Conduct and the Principles were adopted by the FAO Conference only in November 1993. The Code is voluntary and non-binding. The International Undertaking is a revision of an earlier agreement. 29. The Agreement for the Establishment of the Near East Plant Protection Organization was opened for signature on 18 February 1993 at a Diplomatic Conference convened in Rabat under the aegis of FAO. Convention on Biological Diversity 30. The Convention entered into force on 29 December 1993; the first Conference of the Parties is scheduled for 28 November to 9 December 1994. UNEP has provided the Interim Secretariat and has been a catalyzing force behind the early implementation of the Convention. Coordination among several Secretariats is important for implementation, including FAO, UNESCO, IUCN, WRI, WWF and other organizations. The complementary nature of the Biodiversity Convention, CITES and CMS is evident. The implementation of these instruments should be based on the integration of environmental protection and economic development. Consequently, close coordination between these instruments and cooperation between their Secretariats is essential. While the enforcement of other environmental regimes may contribute to the preservation of wildlife, these particular conventions provide a framework for the comprehensive protection of wildlife and biodiversity in a sustainable manner. 31. UNCTAD is contributing to UNEP's Expert Panel on evaluation of the potential economic implications of conservation of biological diversity, established as a follow-up to the Convention, in particular as regards loss of biodiversity and the use of economic instruments to counteract such loss; and as regards valuation of the benefits and costs of biological diversity. 32. FAO is cooperating with the Intergovernmental Committee on the Convention on Biological Diversity. With the Treaty Section of the United Nations Office of Legal Affairs and the United Nations Division for Ocean Affairs and the Law of the Sea, FAO is providing legal advise to the Secretariat of the Committee. The Twenty-Seventh Session of the FAO Conference (November 1993) requested the Director-General, inter alia, to provide a forum for negotiations among Governments for the adaptation of the International Undertaking on Plant Genetic Resources, in harmony with the Convention of Biological Diversity and for consideration of the issue of access on mutually agreed terms to plant genetic resources, including ex-situ collections not addressed by the Convention. 33. UNESCO has established an International Network of Biosphere Reserves, and its General Conference in 1993 asked the Director General to devise an appropriate statutory framework for Network. This Network is seen as a "significant tool to implement the Convention" on biological diversity, since it provides sites suitable for research, monitoring, conservation and sustainable development cooperation. The Action Plan for Biosphere Reserves is implemented by UNESCO in cooperation with UNEP, FAO and IUCN. Code of Conduct on Biotechnology 34. This Code of Conduct is under preparation by FAO. 1986 Conventions on Early Notification of a Nuclear Accident and on Assistance in the Case of a Nuclear Accident or Radiological Emergency 35. In order to enhance the effectiveness of these two Conventions, IAEA operates an emergency response system to provide affected countries with timely notifications plus additional information and assistance as required. Collaboration with other concerned organizations is assured through the Inter- Agency Committee for Response to Nuclear Accidents (IAC/RNA). 36. Within the Framework Convention on Early Notification of Nuclear Accidents, WMO is cooperating with IAEA towards an agreement to use the WMO Global Telecommunications system (GTS) as carrier for radiological and related information in both routine and emergency situations. Radioactive Waste: IAEA Code of Practice on the International Transboundary Movement of Radioactive Waste; IAEA/IMO/UNEP Code of Practice for the Safe Carriage of Irradiated Nuclear Fuel, Plutonium and High-Level Radioactive Wastes in Flasks on Board Ships; and the London Convention of 1972 (London Dumping Convention) 37. In 1990, the IAEA Code was adopted by consensus. IAEA can send experts on request to Member States requiring assistance related to any suspected "dumping" of radioactive material. More could be done if funds were available to strengthen waste management infrastructures in developing countries. 38. IAEA has also, under its Nuclear Safety Standards (NUSS) programme, issued five codes of practice for nuclear power plant safety and a comprehensive set of 55 safety guides for implementation of the codes. Expert services, advisory missions and technical cooperation are also provided. 39. IAEA has provided the main input to the technical part of the work of the Intergovernmental Panel of Experts on Radioactive Waste Disposal at Sea (IGPRAD). It has also established an international assessment project to assess the health implications of dumping of high-level radioactive wastes into the Arctic Seas, with the final results to be reports to the Parties to the London Convention, in 1996. Hazardous Waste: Safe Transport of Dangerous Goods; Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and Their Disposal 40. Concerning Safe Transport of Dangerous Goods (on which ICAO works closely with the UN Committee of Experts on the Transport of Dangerous Goods), Annex 18 to the Convention is complemented by detailed "Technical Instructions for the safe Transport of Dangerous Goods" which are also incorporated into the regulations of the International Air Transport Association. While these provisions are applied strictly by governments and airlines, there is nevertheless a certain dependence on the integrity of packers and shippers of dangerous goods. In addition, in close coordination with WMO and IAEA, ICAO is undertaking a task entitled "Monitoring and provision of warnings to aircraft of radioactive debris and toxic chemical clouds." 41. The ECE has promoted legally binding instruments related to the international carriage of dangerous goods by road, rail and inland waterways, in order to ensure safe and environmentally sound conditions of transport of chemicals without impeding their movement in international trade. The ECE is, in particular, responsible for the development and updating of existing international instruments and provisions in this field such as the European Agreement concerning the International Carriage of Dangerous Goods by Road (ADR) and the European Provisions concerning the International Carriage of Dangerous Goods by Inland Waterways (ADN); and on behalf of the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), of recommendations covering the basic requirements for world-wide transport of these goods by all modes. The Convention on Civil Liability for Damage Caused During Carriage of Dangerous Goods by Road, Rail and Inland Navigation Vessels (CRTD) to life, property and the environment was adopted by the Inland Transport Committee in 1989. The Convention is based on the principles of strict and limited liability, the channelling of responsibility and compulsory insurance. 42. The Basel Convention has developed tools to encourage and facilitate its implementation, including the preparation of a draft protocol on liability and compensation for damage and the drafting of technical guidelines for the environmentally sound management of wastes subject to the Convention. The Secretariat of the Convention is also providing legal and technical advice for the elaboration of regional conventions and protocols for the control of transboundary movements of hazardous wastes in Africa, the Mediterranean, Caribbean and South Pacific. Still, according to UNEP, a wider participation, particularly by the main generators of hazardous wastes, is needed to enhance further effectiveness. 43. The Secretariat of the Convention and UNEP are providing assistance to developing countries for improvement of infrastructure and institutional capacities, including appropriate legislative frameworks and enforcement mechanisms. One of the more important means for ensuring effectiveness includes efforts to facilitate the transfer of clean technologies. Conventions dealing with occupational safety, health and working environment 44. A unique feature of ILO is its system of supervising the implementation of ratified Conventions. The ILO has a number of International Labour Standards concerning the working environment, the most recent of which are the ILO Chemicals Convention (No. 170), 1990 and the Prevention of Major Industrial Accidents Convention (No. 174), 1993. Each government is required to send regular reports and to send copies of these reports to both employers' and workers' organizations in their countries. These organizations may, in turn, make their own comments on the reports. The reports are further examined by an independent Committee of Experts on the Application of Conventions and Recommendations, and all comments are made public. A selection of these is then taken up by the annual ILO Conference for further public discussion on a tripartite basis. Such close supervision and consensus-building yields a high rate of effectiveness. Regulations for Telecommunications 45. The ITU makes international legal instruments, such as Radio Regulations as adopted or modified by World Radio Conferences and embodied in the Final Acts of those Conferences. Regulations successfully ensure that the limited natural resources -- the electromagnetic Radiofrequency Spectrum and the Geostationary Satellite Orbit -- are equitably and efficiently shared, and are used harmoniously to avoid harmful interference between the various users. Standards for Civil Aviation 46. ICAO is faced with some problems in general terms in encouraging States to implement Standards and also in ensuring that they file differences when obliged to do so. However, technical standards for noise and engine emission certification are of particular concern to aircraft manufacturing states and no particular difficulty with implementation of the standards is experienced. Regulations and standards for Telecommunication 47. The International Radio and Telecommunication regulations, which have the full status of international law, enjoy considerable compliance among signatory and even non-signatory nations, largely because the cost of ignoring them -- direct endangerment to life -- is so high. In addition, equipment manufacturers must comply or equipment would be largely unmarketable. In short, there are considerable moral, technical and financial incentives to comply. 48. This may serve as a model for other Agreements. That is, compliance is enhanced when a direct link between the terms of the Agreement and the physical or economic well-being of people can be unambiguously demonstrated. Similarly, where the marketing of specific technologies depends on acceptance of clearly identified standards, there is an added incentive to comply. Ozone Protection Instruments: Vienna Convention for the Protection of the Ozone Layer; The Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer; London Amendment and Adjustments 49. According to UNEP, the improvement of the effectiveness of the ozone protection regime has been pursued by the decisions of the five meetings of the parties to the Montreal Protocol, by the establishment of a permanent Multilateral Fund for financing the implementation of the Protocol; and by the high number of participating States. Furthermore, the phase-out of Halons by the end of 1993, and of all the CFC's, carbon tetrachloride, methyl chloroform and all hydrobromofluorocarbons by the end of 1995 is helped by the development of alternative environmentally safe substances. Finally, the work of both the Scientific and the Technology and Economic Assessment Panels provide a strong scientific underpining to international and national decision- making. 50. UNCTAD has launched a programme of studies relating to financing environmental protection, with special emphasis on ensuring that environmental and developmental concerns are appropriately balanced. Within the framework of the UNCTAD secretariat's proposal for a global system of tradeable carbon emission entitlements, studies are underway on new mechanisms for joint implementation of commitments utilising entitlements; essential design requirements of a global system of entitlements; and on model rules and regulations of a global entitlements market. The UNCTAD secretariat is also designing a carbon emission offset scheme for application in a developing country. 51. Implementation of the Vienna Convention and the Montreal Protocol creates the potential for joint programmes with UNDP, the World Bank, WMO, UNIDO, WHO, IPCC and INC/FCCC. Collaboration between UNEP, industry associations and organizations as well as with non-governmental scientific and environmental organizations is underway. 52. According to WMO, they, with UNEP, have concluded that the London Amendment and Adjustments are insufficient to ensure full compliance with the Montreal Protocol, and that, due to the expanded threat of ozone depletion, more must be done. However, there are two problems associated with this. One, the Global Ozone Observing Station at present is below the needs of the Convention and verification of Protocol; it requires expansion, improvement and greater funding. Two, some ozonesonde stations still fail to deposit their data at the Observing Station in Toronto. Convention on the Law of the Sea 53. For more than a decade, even before its entry into force, the Convention on the Law of the Sea has provided the basic principles and rules on the protection of the marine environment and the sustainable development of marine living resources. It has further provided the global legal framework both for the development of marine environmental law at global and regional levels and for Chapter 17 of Agenda 21 and the ongoing UN Conference on Straddling fish Stocks and Highly Migratory Fish Stocks. 54. Following the Convention's entry into force on 16 November 1994, the Secretary-General of the United Nations will be called upon, inter alia, to assist in the establishment of two new bodies, the International Seabed Authority to administer the deep seabed regime and the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea. He will also be responsible for setting up and servicing the Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf, which envisages cooperation with UNESCO/IOC and the International Hydrographic Organization. 55. The Convention calls on relevant international organizations to formulate and keep under review detailed international rules, regulations, procedures and recommended practices in a number of areas. In the interrelated areas of marine environmental protection, promotion of marine scientific research and sustainable development of marine living resources, the main "competent international organizations" in the UN system responsible for such tasks are IMO, IAEA, UNEP, UNESCO/IOC, WMO and FAO, as well as secretariats of related conventions. The Secretary-General is entrusted with promoting its uniform application by States and harmonized implementation by international organizations. 56. The Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO, for example, provides expertise and advice to the Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf and assists in the formulation of guidelines, criteria and procedures for marine scientific research in the Exclusive Economic Zone. 57. UNEP has developed a set of regional seas convention and protocols covering nine regions of the world. These instruments represent an important contribution to the comprehensive legal regime of protecting and preserving marine environment as stipulated by UNCLOS. In the field of land-based sources of marine pollution, UNEP has promoted the development of the 1985 Montreal Guidelines for the protection of the marine environment against pollution from land-based sources. The most recent initiative, the programme for the development and periodic review of environmental law for the 1990s calls for further UNEP action related to the UNCLOS regime. International Shipping, Maritime Safety and Prevention of Pollution 58. This area of international cooperation includes several Conventions related to sustainable development, including, for example, the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS), with amendments; the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from ships, with amendments; the International Convention relating to Intervention on the High Seas in Cases of Oil Pollution Casualties; the International Convention relating to Intervention on the High Seas in Cases of Pollution by Substances other than Oil; and many others regarding oil pollution damage, including the Establishment of an International Fund for Compensation for Oil Pollution Damage, with protocols; the International Convention for Safe Containers, with amendments; the International Convention on Oil Pollution Preparedness, Response and Cooperation (1990); and the Convention on the Prevention of Marine Pollution by Dumping of Wastes and Other Matter, with amendments. 59. IMO works through the Maritime Safety Committee (MSC), the Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) and the Legal Committee to review and update the various conventions, codes and guidelines in their specialized fields of expertise. A significant development in this context was the recent establishment of a new Sub-Committee on Flag Statement Implementation which reports to the MSC and MEPC. The fundamental nature of the approach being taken by this Sub- Committee is to address the difficulties encountered by Member States in administering IMO safety and pollution prevention requirements. 60. The ITU has collaborated with IMO in the elaboration of the Global Maritime Distress and Safety System (GMDSS), designed to improve the safety of shipping and the safety of life of seafarers. The increased safety of shipping inherently minimizes environmental pollution resulting from shipping accidents. 61. UNEP contributes to the London Convention on the Prevention of Marine Pollution by Dumping of Wastes and Other Matter. Consideration is presently being given (with development of a long-term strategy for the Convention) to expanding the regime to cover marine pollution from all sources. This requires further cooperation between UNEP and IMO. Convention to Combat Desertification 62. This Convention is still under negotiation, although it is considered likely to be finalized in Paris in June 1994. The Secretariat of the Convention noted that, since desertification is caused by complex interactions among various factors, the Convention in its Articles 4, 5, and 6 on obligations provides the constitutive elements of a coherent long-term strategy at all levels to combat desertification. This strategy is based on obligations of a general nature, as well as obligations of affected country parties and obligations of developed country parties. 63. UNEP promoted the 1977 United Nations Conference on Desertification which adopted a plan of action to combat desertification (PACD) and mandated UNEP to coordinate and monitor world wide action to implement the plan. The recommendations of the PACD have not been implemented to the extent envisioned due to financial constraints and a lack of political commitment. Both UNEP and WMO are actively involved in the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee on Desertification (INC-D). Convention on International Trade on Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) 64. Violations of CITES occur in a variety of situations. In a number of cases, CITES permits are forged or altered to facilitate the illegal trade or simply to indicate a greater quantity of specimens or even a different species being shipped. The CITES Secretariat assists the Parties in a variety of measures to stop permit fraud. However, in order to ensure effective implementation of CITES, relevant provisions should be integrated into national legislation; personnel trained; resources made available for enforcement purposes; and government policies developed to prevent political interference with CITES processes. Public education and awareness are also essential. 65. The formation of a law enforcement consultative group is now being considered as a possible means to address enforcement problems within CITES. The Secretariat also organizes numerous regional and national training seminars in CITES implementation and is involved in a far-reaching project to improve national legislation. 66. In many ways, CITES is the most successful of all international treaties concerned with the conservation of wildlife. Its success is explained primarily because it has been able to balance environmental and economic goals in such a way that States have been willing to accept it. Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species (CMS) 67. Over the first few years the Convention was characterized by limited progress but in recent years a more dynamic development has occurred. There are now 42 Contracting Parties who, by joining the Convention, have committed themselves to strictly protect migratory species that are threatened with extinction. The member States have also been encouraged to take coordinated conservation actions for these and other non-endangered migratory species within the framework of specialized agreements with other countries. United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change 68. This Convention deals with global, complex and cross- sectoral environmental issues in a comprehensive and holistic manner, and is in the forefront of the progressive development of international environmental law. The Convention provides for the adequacy of commitments by developed countries to limit their emissions of greenhouse gases to be reviewed by the Conference of the Parties (COP) at its first session (scheduled for Berlin, 28 March to 7 April 1995). Discussion on the review of adequacy started at the ninth session of the INC/FCCC. It is through this review and subsequent ones that the Convention is likely to evolve into a more effective instrument. Forms of such evolution could include protocols or amendments to the Convention. 69. WMO, jointly with UNEP, initiated the discussions on the Framework Convention on Climate Change and is actively involved in its Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee (INC/FCCC). UNEP participated in establishing the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which continues to facilitate the work under the Convention, and assists the interim secretariat of the Climate Change Convention, located within the United Nations, pending the decision by the Conference of Parties at its first session on its permanent location. UNESCO and its Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) provide technical support to both the IPCC and the interim secretariat of the FCCC. 70. The programme of studies related to a global system of tradeable carbon emission entitlements being undertaken by UNCTAD pay particular attention to means of ensuring that any legal instruments eventually negotiated make appropriate provision of the specificity of the developing countries. UNCTAD is also considering studies on the development of tax-based instruments for financing environmental protection, including domestic carbon taxes, international carbon tax arrangements, and environmental value-added tax. II. Priorities for Future Law-Making in Sustainable Development Air Pollution 71. Follow-up on the 1985 Protocol to the 1979 LRTAP Convention on Reduction of Sulphur Emissions or their Transboundary Fluxes within the European region. A new protocol for further reduction of sulphur emissions after 1993 has been finalized. This new protocol contains provisions for differentiated obligations among countries, taking into account environmental damage and cost- effective, optimized abatement strategies for the region as a whole. Parties may apply new economic instruments, and two or more Parties may, pending decision by the Executive Body, jointly implement obligations for emission reductions. Following the adoption of the new sulphur protocol, highest priority will be given to the development of a strategy for the second step of the Protocol on nitrogen oxides, possibly taking into account a multi-pollutant and multi-objective approach. Work is also carried out to substantiate information on emissions, transport, effects and abatement options concerning persistent organic pollutants and heavy metals as a basis for the elaboration of possible protocols. (ECE) 72. Efforts should be intensified to address the possible contribution of aircraft engine emissions to environmental problems in the upper atmosphere, a task being undertaken by the ICAO Committee on Aviation Environmental Protection, in cooperation with the atmospheric science community. Any measures to control emissions at source would be expected to be incorporated in the Annex 16 Standards. (ICAO) 73. Preparations should be completed by 1994 of a new Annex to MARPOL 73/78 on Prevention of Air Pollution from Ships, as well as the development of a new annex to MARPOL on prevention of pollution by noxious solid substances transported in bulk. (IMO) 74. Both UNEP and WMO suggest that the Montreal Protocol needs to be strengthened, including enhancing the capability of the Global Ozone Observing Station. Water 75. For the Transboundary Water Convention, priority is given to finalize lists of hazardous substances and industrial sectors from which these substances derive and recommendations for Member States on the application of these lists. This may lead to the elaboration of a Protocol. (ECE) 76. Priority is also being given to the preparation of guidelines for monitoring and assessing the conditions of transboundary waters in the European region as a basis for elaboration of a protocol on harmonization of monitoring systems. (ECE) 77. Focus is also on legal and administrative aspects of the practical application of relevant provisions of the Water Convention and experience gained in their application. Guidelines on practical approaches to, and instruments of, water- demand management for the promotion of sustainable water management, are being prepared. (ECE) 78. At the subregional level, transboundary water pollution is becoming so critical, complex and urgent that there is a felt need to do more. Particular attention must be given to the new States in region. (ECE) Industrial Accidents 79. Efforts are required by the ILO and others to facilitate the effective implementation of the principles contained in ILO's Convention concerning the Prevention of Major Industrial Accidents (No. 174) 1993 and to promote its ratification. (ILO) 80. Priority is being given to strengthening the ability of future Parties, and in particular, countries in transition, to prevent and prepare for and respond to industrial accidents and to establish an assistance programme and set up a systematic funding mechanism. (ECE) 81. There is a need to develop national coordinating mechanisms and national legislation dealing with industrial accidents, coordinate activities under existing bilateral and multilateral agreements and/or programmes in this field with those carried out under the Convention, as well as strive for compatibility with legal regimes under existing conventions during the elaboration of new agreements. (ECE) Plant Genetic Resources and Plant Protection (1) Revision of the International Undertaking for Plant Genetic Resources (FAO) (2) Establishment of an international network of gene banks (FAO) (3) Progressive elaboration and adoption of further international standards and guidelines on phytosanitary measures (FAO) Fisheries (1) review and possible restructuring of FAO's regional fishery management bodies (FAO) Nuclear Safety (1) intensified efforts to conclude on-going negotiations for a nuclear safety convention (IAEA) Transport and disposal of hazardous materials (1) organize a Workshop, in March 1994, to follow-up on an inter-country project, in support of the Basel Convention, on the preliminary assessment of illegal traffic in toxic and dangerous products and wastes in the ESCAP region. The project collected information in fifteen countries on national legislation and regulations, mechanisms and human resource capability for the implementation of the Convention. (ESCAP) (2) Draft an International Convention on Liability and Compensation for Damage in Connection with the Carriage of Hazardous and Noxious Substances by Sea. (IMO) (3) Improvement of the Code for the Safe Carriage of Irradiated Nuclear Fuel, Plutonium and High-Level Radioactive Wastes in Flasks on Board Ships (INF Code), taking into account the Joint IAEA/IMO/UNEP Working Group and paragraph 17.22 of Agenda 21. (IMO) Maritime (1) Revise 1976 Convention on Limitation of Liability for Maritime Claims. (IMO) (2) Draft convention on offshore mobile craft (subject to the outcome of the International Conference of the Comit'e Maritime International (CMI). (IMO) (3) Prepare a new convention on wreck removal. (IMO) (4) Complete preparation by 1994 of a new Annex to MARPOL 73/78 on Prevention of Air Pollution from Ships; as well as the development of a new annex to MARPOL on prevention of pollution by noxious solid substances transported in bulk. (IMO) (5) Promote further development of an international legal regime for protection of the marine environment from land- based activities. See also references to maritime transport in the section above on transport and disposal of hazardous materials. Toxic Chemicals (1) Strengthen the legal regime of toxic chemicals in international trade, particularly with respect to the development of legally binding instruments for the mandatory application of the prior informed consent (PIC) procedure. UNEP, FAO, WHO, GATT and other organizations were requested to cooperate in undertaking these activities. (UNEP) (2) Preparation of a Code of Ethics on the international trade in chemicals as a complement to the Amended London Guidelines. (UNEP) (3) Efforts are required by the ILO and others to facilitate the effective implementation of the principles contained in the ILO Chemicals Convention (No. 170), 1990 and to promote its ratification. (ILO) EIA and Environmental Emergencies (1) For the Environmental Impact Assessment Convention, the focus within the ECE region is on the promotion of bilateral and multilateral cooperation, public participation in EIA, strengthening the capability of future Parties to comply with the obligations under the Convention and methodological aspects of EIA in a transboundary context. (ECE) (2) Develop legal regimes in environmental impact assessment and environmental emergencies. (UNEP) (3) Strive for compatibility with legal regimes under existing conventions during the elaboration of new agreements in the field of environmental impact assessment. III. Initiatives to Promote a Balance Between Environmental Concerns Expressed in International Law and Social and Economic Concerns 82. The Economic Commission for Europe notes that three Conventions -- those concerning Environmental Impact Assessment, Transboundary Water and Industrial Accidents -- have been drawn up in anticipation of UNCED and thus consistent with the interrelationships inherent in sustainable development. 83. EIA is an excellent instrument to implement and strengthen sustainable development as it not only combines the precautionary principle with the principle of preventing environmental damage but also arranges for public participation. Within the ECE region, EIA has already proved to be an effective instrument at the national level, and it is expected to lead to environmentally sound and sustainable development by providing information on the interrelationship between economic activities and their environmental consequences in particular in a transboundary context. 84. Both the precautionary principle and the polluter pays principle have been recognized as guiding principles in the implementation of the Transboundary Water Convention. This Convention also respects the principle of meeting the needs of the present generation without compromising the ability of future generations to meet own their needs. 85. Under the Industrial Accident Convention, countries are guided by principles of good-neighborliness, reciprocity, non- discrimination and good faith, public participation, prevention, environmentally sound and sustainable development, environmental impact assessment, immediate notification, peaceful resolution of environmental disputes and the recognition of the polluter-pays principle as a general principle of international law. 86. Furthermore, ECE has promoted legally binding instruments related to the international carriage of dangerous goods by rail, road and inland waterways, in order to ensure safe and environmentally sound conditions of transport of chemicals without impeding their movement in international trade. 87. In order to promote regional initiatives for a balanced consideration of environmental and development concerns in the process of further development of international law on sustainable development, ESCAP, in cooperation with IUCN, has developed a proposal for the establishment of a regional law centre at the National University of Singapore to provide training and assist in enhancing the relevant national capacities of countries in the Asia and Pacific region. ESCAP has also been developing a regional strategy on climate change both to identify the socio-economic implications of the Framework Convention and to develop mechanisms to assist in implementing the provisions dealing with climate change. 88. The Framework Convention for Climate Change as a whole represents a synthesis of the global environmental concern and the need for people of all countries, especially developing countries, to improve their well being, through economic and social development. This synthesis is apparent in the objective and principles of the Convention, as well as in certain statements contained in the Preamble. For this reason, the Convention can be appropriately referred to, not as an "environmental convention," but as a "convention on sustainable development." 89. The Convention on Biological Diversity has as its premise that nations are responsible for conserving their biological diversity and for using their biological resources in a sustainable nature not only because of the "intrinsic value of biological diversity" but also because of the "ecological, genetic, social, economic, scientific, educational, recreational and aesthetic values of biological diversity and its components" (Preamble). 90. Among the different follow-up recommendations of UNCED, only one, the Convention to Combat Desertification, concerned the elaboration of an international Convention. As such, this Convention constitutes the first international negotiating process towards the implementation of the concept of sustainable development in fragile ecosystems through legally binding commitments at the national, regional and global levels. The balance between environmental concerns and social and economic concerns is duly reflected in several Articles of the Convention, particularly in Article 2 on Objectives and in several articles of the Preamble. 91. To establish international instruments or agreements in the field of environment and socio-economic aspects of development, it is necessary to establish mechanisms at all levels to take into account all members of society. Mechanisms should be based on data assessment, information systems and participatory action- oriented research and policy analysis. INSTRAW is preparing a time-use study and methodologies for gathering information disaggregated by gender in all sectors of development and environment in order to produce cross-sectoral indicators applicable for both sector and cross-sectoral issues of Agenda 21. 92. GATT's Working Group on Domestically Prohibited Goods was established in July 1989 to examine issue of trade in products that are banned or severely restricted in the country where they are produced. The Group drafted a Decision on Products Banned or Severely Restricted in the Domestic Market which would cover all products, ranging from consumer products to agricultural products and which would include chemicals. However, the Decision specified that where a product is covered by another international agreement or scheme, and a GATT contracting party is participating in that scheme, that scheme would take precedence. The Decision remains in draft form, not yet adopted by GATT Council. 93. The Group on Environmental Measures and International Trade, within GATT, has been tasked with examining trade and environment issues, including trade provisions contained in existing multilateral environmental agreements vis-a-vis GATT principles and provisions. The Group has not yet reached any conclusions but the contracting Parties have emphasized that the approach should not be to judge existing agreements, but rather to take a forward-looking approach so that problems in the future can be avoided. The Group has proceeded with a generic analysis both of different types of trade measures which could be used in multilateral environmental agreements and whether there is a need to use trade measures which are inconsistent with GATT principles. The Group's work, as well as the work on Domestically Prohibited Goods, will likely be carried into a new work programme on trade and environment, currently being negotiated, following the adoption of the Decision on Trade and Environment by the Trade Negotiations Committee on 15 December 1993, which commits governments to continue work on trade and environment in the world Trade Organization. 94. UNEP has also addressed the concerns relating to a potential conflict between multilateral environmental agreements and the GATT regime. Since the beginning of 1993, UNEP has carried out preliminary studies on the issue of compatibility between such environmental instruments as CITES, the Montreal Protocol, the Basel Convention and the Convention on Biological Diversity and the GATT regime, and more indepth studies are contemplated. UNCTAD, with UNDP, has launched a programme of studies relating to financing environmental protection with special emphasis on ensuring that environmental and developmental concerns are appropriately balanced. 95. The ILO is implementing programmes concerning the development of international labour standards, codes of practice, research and policy advisory services focused on three main ILO issues: the working environment, employment and poverty alleviation, and vocational and management training. These programmes are enhancing the capacity of employers' and workers' organizations and ministries of labour and employment to deal directly with critical environment and sustainable development matters at all levels. A special Interdepartmental Project on Environment and the World of Work is aimed at assisting countries to integrate these world of work issues within their national Agenda 21 and sustainable development strategies. Reference should also be made to the ILO's Indigenous and Tribal People's Convention (No. 169), 1989, which has specific provisions of direct relevance to the environment. 96. Strategies for environmentally sound industrial development are based on a holistic approach that brings the environmental dimension to bear on all planning, policies and expenditures related to industry. UNIDO's approach stresses pollution prevention and waste minimization, which requires the correction of market failures resulting from pollution externalities that cause divergence between private and social costs and benefits. The integration of environmental and industrial policies requires the proper functioning of economic mechanisms and the integration of environmental considerations into the industrial development process without adversely affecting the objectives of industrial growth. 97. The World Heritage Committee (December 1993) emphasized that links with other Conventions, especially with Biodiversity, Ramsar and CITES, should be strengthened, and the UNESCO Secretariat was asked to prepare a reflection on the relation between the World Heritage Convention of the Committee and sustainable development. 98. In all of its initiatives, FAO's approach is to promote the sustainable use of natural resources for food and agriculture in parallel with environmental concerns. This is particularly relevant with respect to the Biodiversity Convention and Resolutions as well as to the revision of the International Undertaking on Plant Genetic Resources and the establishment of an international network of gene banks. 99. The IAEA is mandated by its Statute to establish, in collaboration with competent organs of the UN and its specialized agencies, standards of safety for protection of health. Under the Nuclear Safety Standards (NUSS) programme, the Agency has issued five codes of practice for nuclear power plant safety and a comprehensive set of fifty-five safety guides for implementation of the codes. A joint IAEA/UNIDO/UNEP/WHO project on risk assessment and management has produced a procedural guide and a manual for classification and prioritization of risk. Case studies and training form an important part of this initiative which concentrates on large industrial areas with multiple risks. 100. Because of the nature of international civil aviation, aviation environmental questions are handled on a global basis. Nevertheless environmental concerns do differ from region to region; thus, for example, the Assembly of ICAO in 1990 adopted a resolution on operating restrictions on aircraft exceeding prescribed noise levels to reconcile the concerns of certain developed countries obliged to keep noise levels to a minimum in heavily populated areas, and the concerns of developing countries that operating restrictions would impose a heavy economic burden on their airlines. ICAO expects to continue to strive for an appropriate balance between environmental and developmental concerns. 101. As part of its 1994-1995 programme, the UNU has initiated a programme on Integrated Studies of Eco-Systems which aggregates issues of environmentally sustainable development from the entry point of eco-systems and their ability to support, resist or recuperate from the long-term impact of major transformations. UNU's projects will approach issues from three perspectives: one focuses on integrated studies of fragile eco-systems and other vulnerable regions in given geographical zones like mountains and low-lands, and fragile eco-systems in critical zones. A second set of projects comprises sectoral studies of critical resources such as forests, water, oceans and biodiversity resources. A third set of projects covers improved methods of measuring and monitoring sustainability and environmental management. 102. UNU is also reviewing the current status of Environmental Impact Assessment and further developing methodologies to respond to the need for improved management tools for sustainable development, especially in developing countries. IV: Initiatives to Encourage Cooperation with the International Law Commission in Projects for the Progressive Development and Codification of International Law (para 39.1 A) 103. ECE has indicated that, at regular intervals, the International Law Commission has been informed regarding relevant legal activities undertaken under the auspices of the UN/ECE which were taken into account and commented when elaborating elements for relevant legal instruments. V: Efforts to Support the Ongoing Negotiations for a Nuclear Safety Convention in the Framework of the International Atomic Energy Agency 104. The draft text of a nuclear safety convention is presently under consideration within the IAEA by an open-ended group of legal and technical experts. It is expected that the Group of Experts will reach consensus on the main outstanding issues early in 1994, and submit a draft nuclear safety convention to a diplomatic conference in 1994. The Convention will apply to nuclear power plants. Preparations for a Convention on the safety of radioactive waste management will be initiated by the IAEA as soon as the on-going process of developing waste management safety fundamentals results in broad international agreement. Also of relevance in this context are the IAEA Code of Practice on the International Transboundary Movement of Radioactive Waste and the IAEA/IMO/UNEP Code of Practice for the Safe Carriage of Irradiated Nuclear Fuel, Plutonium and High- Level Radioactive Wastes in Flasks on Board Ships. 105. The Economic Commission for Europe has had close contacts with IAEA during elaboration of the Industrial Accident Convention to ensure complementarity between various treaties. Provisions of the two Conventions form part of complementary legal instruments in a comprehensive international legal regime for accident notification and mutual assistance. 106. ILO participated in the first meetings on drafting of a nuclear safety convention by IAEA. There were two main concerns voiced at the meetings: the need to provide for a supervisory mechanism similar to one established at ILO; and the importance of ensuring conformity with the relevant ILO Conventions, in particular the Radiation Protection Convention and the Occupational Safety and Health Convention. VI: Technical Assistance to developing countries and countries in transition in strengthening their capacity to implement international agreements 107. Between the start of 1992 and January 1994, the membership of ECE increased from 34 to 54 countries, including 27 countries in transition. This has had a profound effect on the nature of the Commission's work. It is playing an increasingly important role in providing assistance to countries in transition, and, with UNDP and UNEP, in giving emphasis to building and strengthening their national capacities for sustainable development, reviewing their performance in meeting domestic environmental policy objectives and relevant international commitments, and strengthening their environmental management and planning capabilities, in particular for the implementation of environmental laws and Conventions. Specifically, the ECE Secretariat has added the post of regional adviser in the field of environment in order to provide countries in transition with a standing and substantive advisory and training service. 108. In addition, the Executive Body for the Convention on Long- Range Transboundary Air Pollution is developing ways and means to facilitate the exchange of technology for the purpose of second general protocols on emission reduction which rely heavily on technological obligations. It is also investigating the feasibility of establishing a technical service network. 109. ESCAP provides technical assistance to countries in the region to enhance national legislative capacities in the field of environmental law, and to provide a national framework for implementation of environmental laws and agreements. In cooperation with IUCN, it is attempting to establish a Regional Law Centre at the National University of Singapore. Through the Interagency Committee on Environment and Development in Asia and the Pacific, it is establishing a data base on environment and development which could provide reference information on environmental law. 110. One of the pillars of the Framework Convention on Climate Change is the commitment by developed country Parties to provide financial resources and facilitate transfer of technology to developing country Parties to enable the latter to implement their commitments. Reference to cooperation in different aspects of implementation abound; they are perhaps best encapsulated in Article 12.7. The interim secretariat of the Framework Convention has taken some initiatives aimed at supporting capacity building in developing countries. One of these is a training programme being undertaken jointly with UNITAR and being financed by UNEP/GEF. Another is an information exchange system on country activities (CLIMEX), undertaken jointly with UNDP, designed to facilitate the provision of financial assistance to developing countries. 111. Many articles of the Convention to Combat Desertification call for assistance to strengthen the capacity of developing countries to implement their obligations under the terms of the Convention through national, sub-regional and regional action programmes. Relevant dispositions on the terms of such an assistance are spelled out in Articles 20, 22 and 23 of the Convention. 112. INSTRAW conducts training seminars at all levels on issues dealing with women in relation to a number of issues, including those related to sustainable development and obligations under international Conventions. It is felt that the legal aspects of Agenda 21 could be extended specifically to both genders and included in capacity-building and dissemination of information activities. 113. UNEP undertakes activities for the development of national environmental legislation and institutions in many countries in all regions. It also sponsors, with UNITAR and other organizations, a number of training programmes in the field of environmental law for developing countries in all regions. UNEP, in cooperation with UNDP, has developed a joint project for the development of environmental legislation and institutions in Africa. This project will be implemented in close collaboration with such bodies as FAO, the World Bank and IUCN. 114. Consistent with its October 1991 global Conference on Ecologically Sustainable Industrial Development (ESID), UNIDO offers governments advice on industrialization strategies and policies and provides assistance to developing countries in formulating and implementing policy measures that seek to achieve the dual objectives of industrial growth and environmental protection. This is done primarily through technical cooperation and information services, and includes training workshops on various environmental management tools such as environmental auditing, environmental impact assessment methods and techniques, information system design and public awareness campaigns. 115. UNITAR in Geneva organizes a series of training seminars on the negotiation and implementation of international environmental agreements for participants from developing countries and countries whose economies are in transition. 116. Under the Multilateral Fund of the Montreal Protocol, UNEP, UNDP and the World Bank, as the implementing agencies, are assisting a number of developing countries in the planning, preparation and implementation of country-programs, projects and sectoral activities to replace and phase out CFCs, halons and other ozone-depleting substances. In addition, UNDP has joined UNCTAD in a program of technical assistance to analyze the interlinkages between trade and environment and to reconcile environmental, trade and commodity policies. 117. ILO, by its own account, is the only organization in the United Nations system to declare an explicit link between standards it adopts and the technical cooperation it provides. This is not a conditionality but rather a commitment by ILO to back up its standards with the help needed to implement them in practice. 118. FAO is proposing a cooperative effort involving United Nations agencies, Governments, and NGOs concerned with forestry to prepare and disseminate guidelines for the application of the "Forest Principles" and implementation of forestry aspects of Agenda 21. The Development Law Service of the FAO Legal Office provides technical assistance to developing countries to enhance their national legislative capacities in the field of environmental law as an on-going activity. Some of this assistance is linked to implementation of international conventions or soft law instruments. In addition, FAO is planning to prepare in consultation with interested Member Governments model national legislation for the implementation of the recently approved International Agreement to Promote Compliance with International Conservation and Management Measures by Fishing Vessels on the High Seas. Finally, the Legal Office is in the process of computerizing its data bank on national and international legislation on food, agriculture, natural resources and environment, and is disseminating information on a continuing basis. 119. UNESCO and its IOC undertake activities aimed at strengthening the scientific and institutional capacity of developing countries to implement international agreements in the areas of competence of the Organization, in particular biological diversity, oceans and climate change. UNESCO also publishes scientific and technical reference documents relevant for the implementation of a number of international agreements. 120. The World Bank has a number of ongoing and planned projects or project components involving technical assistance for national environmental legislation and institutions in the World Bank Group (including IDA, GEF and trust fund projects). Through the Environmental Affairs Unit in its Legal Department, it provides technical assistance for environmental law and institutions in over thirty developing countries. The World Bank also supports training courses and seminars on environmental law and related issues, including specialized training for lawyers from developing countries. 121. The IAEA and UNDP have launched a major initiative to improve radiation protection systems and nuclear safety networks in the newly independent States of the former soviet Union. By determining where international assistance can best be focused, it is hoped that funds can be raised from both governments and private industry. With respect to developing countries, IAEA notes that more assistance is required for building a regulatory capacity and implementing the agreements to which they are party. In addition, more could be done if comprehensive collection of data could be undertaken in a greater number of developing countries, and if additional funds were available for national efforts to establish country-specific data bases. 122. The International Telecommunication Union provides technical assistance at the national level for legislation and regulatory aspects of national telecommunication entities, including structuring reforms of these entities so that they contribute more effectively to nation-building and sustainable development. 123. The World Meteorological Organization, within the Framework Convention on Early Notification of Nuclear Accidents, is working with IAEA toward an agreement to use the WMO Global Telecommunications System as a carrier for radiological and related information. Within this context, WMO has established four Regional Specialized Meteorological Centres (RSMCs) for generating specialized model products for environmental emergency response. The RSMCs are to make available operationally, on request, to WMO Members, the model products to assist them in case of a nuclear accident or other environmental emergency. Assistance is also given through short-, medium- and occasionally long-term fellowships, and through financial support for attendance at meetings. WMO also publishes several scientific and technical reference documents. VII: Technical Assistance and Initiatives to Support Effective Participation of Developing Countries in the Negotiation, Implementation and Review of International Agreements or Instruments 124. The Economic Commission for Europe noted that the integration of the countries of central and eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union, that are in transition to a market economy, into the international community depends to a considerable extent upon their capacity to participate in the meetings of international organizations and other international fora. Consequently, ECE has taken steps to facilitate the full participation of its Member States and has established a Trust Fund for Assistance to Countries in Transition. This Trust Fund provides a channel through which governments, international organizations, institutions and other donors contribute funds to help the transition countries and new independent States defray the costs of their participation; it may also cover other forms of technical assistance. However, the funds that are available do not yet match the requirements. 125. Based on General Assembly resolution 45/212, paras. 10 and 21, funding is available for the participation of developing and other countries in the meetings of the International Negotiating Committee of the Framework Convention on Climate Change. A similar arrangement is expected to be made for participation of developing countries in the sessions of the Conference of Parties. 126. Funding is available for the participation of developing countries affected by drought and/or desertification, particularly least-developed countries, in the negotiating process of the Convention to Combat Desertification. This funding is made possible through voluntary contributions to the Special Voluntary Fund, specifically created for the duration of the negotiations by General Assembly Resolution 47/188, para 15. Furthermore, a Trust Fund was set up to assist developing country parties in their preparatory activities in the framework of the negotiating process. A similar arrangement could be expected for the assistance of the affected developing country parties immediately after the adoption of the Convention so as to enable them to implement action programmes to be undertaken under the Convention and strengthen their capacity in terms of assessment and follow-up of such activities. 127. UNDP, through UNSO, has provided substantive support to the African preparatory process for the development of the Global Convention on Desertification, promoting regional and subregional consultations. Technical and financial support was also given to the preparation of national case studies. 128. FAO provides assistance for the formal process of signifying acceptance of international agreements, as well as in the substantive process of implementing those agreements. 129. UNEP has been continuously providing financial assistance to developing countries, and recently also to countries with economies in transition, to enable them to participate effectively in the negotiation of major environmental legal regimes. Such assistance had been rendered all through negotiations of the Vienna Convention for the Protection of the Ozone Layer and its Montreal Protocol, the Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movement of Hazardous Wastes and Their Disposal. The assistance is being further provided for the on-going negotiations on a binding instrument on chemicals in international trade, on strengthening the legal regime for protection of the marine environment from land-based activities and on agreement to combat illegal trade in wildlife in the South Africa region. 130. UNCTAD has launched a programme of technical assistance to improve the capacity of negotiators and policy-makers of the developing countries to take full account of development issues when involved in preparing and actually negotiating international environmental agreements. The project focuses on the preparation of training materials on environmental economics; environmental principles; environmental law and administration; dispute settlements; transfer of environmentally-sound technologies; finance; and trade issues. 131. The ICAO Technical Cooperation Programme assists states in building up the expertise needed to participate fully in specialized meetings and consultations prior to the adoption of standards. 132. IAEA fosters exchange of technical and safety-related information, provides advisory and peer review services, sponsors and coordinates research activities, provides radiological and environmental assessments of waste management facilities and repositories and provides extensive training in all aspects of radioactive waste management and disposal. VIII: Initiatives in the Area of Dispute Settlement 133. The ECE has a well-established procedure for preparing periodical reviews of national policies and strategies on air- pollution control, including exchange of data and information, under the Convention on Long-Range Transboundary Air Pollution. Parties to the Convention submit quadrennial in-depth national reports, following agreed-upon guidelines, and, annually, information on changes in respective policies and strategies. Signatories to the 1991 Convention on EIA in a Transboundary Context, the 1992 Convention on the Transboundary Effects of Industrial Accidents, and 1992 Convention on the Protection and Use of Transboundary Watercourses and International Lakes also adopted respective guidelines for national reporting. 134. The 1979 Convention on Long-range Transboundary Air Pollution and its related protocols contain provisions for seeking a solution by negotiation or by any other method of dispute settlement acceptable to the parties to the dispute. Proposals for prevention of disputes are also prepared in the context of the second sulphur Protocol. At present, this includes the possibility to establish an implementation committee, of eight members elected by the Executive Body, who are expected to review implementation of this Protocol and compliance by the Parties with their obligations. The Committee shall report to Parties at sessions of the Executive Body and may make recommendations to them. The Parties may, taking into account the circumstances of the matter and in accordance with Convention practice, decide upon and call for action to bring about full compliance with the Protocol, including measures to assist a country's compliance with the Protocol and to further the objectives of this Protocol. Application of compliance procedure is expected to be without prejudice to settlement of disputes procedure. 135. The 1991 Convention on Environmental Impact Assessment in a Transboundary Context includes provisions which aim at establishing mechanisms to prevent a dispute about application or interpretation of agreement. Article 3 arranges for a situation in which a country considers it would be affected by a significant adverse transboundary impact, and when no notification has taken place, the concerned countries shall, at the request of the affected country, exchange sufficient information for the purposes of holding discussions on whether there is likely to be a significant adverse transboundary impact. If they agree, the provisions of Convention will apply. If countries cannot agree, any such country may submit that question to an inquiry commission in accordance with provision of Appendix IV to the Convention to advise concerned Parties on likelihood of a significant transboundary impact. The 1992 Industrial Accidents Convention contains a similar procedure in relation to identification of hazardous activities. 136. The 1991 EIA Convention, the 1992 Industrial Accident Convention and the 1992 Water Convention also contain detailed provisions for consultations among Parties with respect to dispute settlement. Disputes may be brought to the International Court of Justice or settled through arbitration procedures described in these Conventions. 137. These approaches and similar ones are to be further examined within ECE, and possible, innovative, effective methods elaborated. This may lead to elaboration of more details related to mechanisms and procedures for exchange of relevant data and information, notification and consultations regarding situations that might led to disputes in the field of the environment. 138. An important consequence of the entry into force of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea concerns its dispute settlement procedures. Subject to certain exceptions, any dispute over its interpretation or application between States Parties may be submitted to compulsory procedures with binding decisions. For one of its procedures, i.e., special arbitration, FAO, IMO, UNEP and UNESCO/IOC are responsible for establishing and maintaining lists of experts within their respective fields of competence, from which members of special arbitral tribunals would be chosen. Furthermore, States Parties to related conventions, and not necessarily Parties to the Convention, are also entitled, if they so agree, to submit their disputes concerning the interpretation or application of such conventions to the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea. It should be noted that questions of interpretation and application of law of the sea provisions can have an important impact over a broad field of international environmental law. 139. Article 14 of the Framework Convention on Climate Change is a traditional article on dispute settlements. In addition, Article 13 provides for the establishment of a "multilateral consultative process...for the resolution of questions regarding the implementation of the Convention." Discussions on this latter subject will begin at the tenth session of the INC/FCCC in August 1994. 140. Article 30 on Settlement of Disputes of the Convention to Combat Desertification is still under negotiation. At this stage, the following means of dispute settlement have been identified and concern parties which are not regional economic integration organizations: (a) artibration in accordance with a procedure to be defined (adopted by the Conference of Parties) or procedure of the Permanent Court of Arbitration; (b) Submission of the dispute to the International Court of Justice. If the parties to a dispute have not accepted these means and if they have not been able to settle the dispute within twelve months, the dispute shall be submitted to Conciliation in accordance with a procedure to be defined, unless the parties otherwise agree. 141. UNU is organizing an Asian Water Forum in January 1995 and a Central Eurasian Water Forum, in March 1995, to provide both a comprehensive environmental management setting for sustainable development of these international waters and a basis for conflict resolution in terms of water allocation between the countries concerned. 142. ITU has well established mechanisms to avoid disputes, including a system of advance notification when applying for use of radio frequency and/or a geostationary satellite orbit, which ensures adequate consultation by all those countries likely to be affected by the request. 143. Meteorological data collection and distribution in real time are done on WMO's Global Telecommunications System (GTS). Data are also archived at national, regional and global centres. WMO is currently taking steps to implement its Distributed Databases (DDBs) concept to better meet the needs of Members. Data are invaluable for sustainable development programmes and in resolution of many types of environmental disputes. These may range from responsibility for emission of carbon dioxide and other pollutants to destruction of ozone layer, responsibility for weather modification and sharing of common water bodies in lakes and rivers. 144. As a part of its work on trade and environment, the UNCTAD secretariat prepared a study on "Trends in the field of trade and environment in the framework of international cooperation" (TD/B/40(1)/6), a part of which was devoted to questions relating to the avoidance of international trade disputes regarding environmental standards. After examining this study, the Trade and Development Board concluded, inter alia, that "a balance should be struck between the advantages of harmonization, from a trade and transparency point of view, and the advantages, from the point of view of sustainable development, of allowing for differences in national standards. With respect to processes, strict process standards may have positive benefits for sustainable development by removing some of the hidden costs of environmentally unsound practices. The harmonization of process standards would not be required where the processes in question had no transborder or global environmental effects. Where harmonization is appropriate, standardization bodies such as the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) could provide useful forums in their areas of competence (e.g., eco- labelling, life-cycle analysis and eco-management). Where harmonization is inappropriate, mutual recognition of standards and/or the development of comparable standards could be considered." 145. UNEP has consistently promoted the inclusion of adequate provisions for dispute settlement in the international conventions negotiated under its auspices, such as the 1985 Vienna Convention and its 1987 Montreal Protocol, 1989 Basel Convention and 1992 Convention on Biological Diversity. ANNEX I Summary of UN System Cooperative Activities (as reported by the organizations concerned) 1. UNCTAD and UNDP have launched a programme of studies relating to financing environmental protection with special emphasis on the relationship between the environment and development. 2. The Economic Commission for Europe and UNEP have developed a project to provide assistance to countries in transition for the integration of environmental considerations in planning and decision-making in the economic reform process, and for the strengthening of their environmental management capabilities. 3. FAO is cooperating with the Intergovernmental Committee on the Convention on Biological Diversity. With the Treaty Section of the United Nations Office of Legal Affairs and the United Nations Division for Ocean Affairs and the Law of the Sea, FAO is providing legal advice to the Secretariat of the Committee. FAO is also proposing a cooperative effort involving governments, NGOs and United Nations organizations concerned with forestry to prepare and disseminate guidelines for the application of the "Forest Principles" and implementation of forestry aspects of Agenda 21. The organization has proposed to entertain consultations on this subject and to hold regional workshops. FAO and UNEP have a joint programme to strengthen the legal basis for PIC and to reach full compatibility between the International Code of Conduct on the Distribution and Use of Pesticides and the London Guidelines. FAO, along with the United Nations and a number of UN System organizations, is cooperating with the Secretariat of the Convention to Combat Desertification, the UN Conference on Straddling Fish Stocks and Highly Migratory Fish Stocks and the UNEP environmental legislation project for Africa. 4. IAEA, IMO and UNEP are all cooperating on the Code of Practice for the Safe Carriage of Irradiated Nuclear Fuel, Plutonium and High-Level Radioactive Wastes in Flasks on Board Ships. IAEA, which seeks to address health, environmental and safety issues as an integral part of social and economic development, has a joint project with UNIDO, UNEP and WHO on risk assessment and management. Case studies and training form an important part of this initiative which concentrates on large industrial areas with multiple risks. IAEA also works in collaboration with competent organs of the United Nations and its specialized agencies to develop standards of safety for the protection of health, and, through the Inter-Agency Committee for Response to Nuclear Accidents, it operates an emergency response system in collaboration with organizations of the UN System. IAEA and UNDP have launched a major initiative to improve radiation protection systems and nuclear safety networks in the newly independent States of the former Soviet Union. 5. IAEA has noted that more could be done if its work on agrochemicals, residues and other chemical pollutants could be expanded; its International Programme on Chemical Safety could be funded; and if more support were provided to strengthen waste management infrastructure at the national level. 6. Through the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC), UNESCO cooperates with the Climate Change Secretariat in relation to the Framework Convention; with the UNEP Secretariat in relation to the Convention on Biological Diversity; with IMO for the London Convention and MARPOL; and with several regional conventions, such as those adopted within the framework of the UNEP Regional Seas Programme. The Action Plan for Biosphere Reserves is implemented by UNESCO in cooperation with UNEP, FAO and IUCN. The IOC also has specific responsibilities under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea. 7. In the context of the Global Environment Facility (GEF), the World Bank -- in partnership with UNDP and UNEP -- cooperates with the Secretariats of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Convention on Biological Diversity to implement these global conventions. The World Bank also manages approximately eighty percent of the projects financed under the Multilateral Fund for the Implementation of the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer. Several GEF projects implemented by the World Bank are aimed at strengthening agreements for the protection of international water, including the 1973/78 MARPOL Convention and the 1992 Convention on the Protection of the Black Sea Against Pollution. The "Mediterranean Environmental Technical Assistance Program" (METAP), cosponsored by UNDP, the World Bank, the European Investment Bank and the Commission of the European Communities, provides support for implementation of the 1976 Convention for the Protection of the Mediterranean Sea Against Pollution. 8. WMO carries out meteorological cooperation with ICAO, for aviation; with FAO, for agriculture; with UNESCO, for hydrology; with IOC, for oceanography; and with UNEP, for ozone, among others. The Global Atmosphere Watch (GAW) is the main contributor of data on the chemical composition and physical characteristics of the atmosphere to GEMS of UNEP and will be a main component of the Global Climate Observing System (GCOS). Through GAW, WMO collaborates with ECE and is responsible for the meteorological part of monitoring and evaluation of the Long- Range Transmission of Air Pollutants in Europe. Complementary data on air pollution within cities is coordinated through WHO and UNEP. WMO has initiated collaboration with WHO, UNESCO and UNEP for joint implementation of the GEMS/WATER programme for monitoring global freshwater quality. WMO, with WHO and UNEP, are addressing water quality concerns of Small Island States of the Caribbean. 9. Within the Framework Convention on Early Notification of Nuclear Accidents, WMO is cooperating with IAEA towards agreement to use the WMO Global Telecommunication System as a carrier for radiological and related information. ICAO, in close collaboration with WMO and IAEA, is undertaking monitoring and provision of warnings to aircraft of radioactive debris and toxic chemical clouds. 10. UNEP notes that the implementation of the Vienna Convention and the Montreal Protocol creates the potential for joint programmes with UNDP, the World Bank, WMO, UNIDO, WHO, IPCC and INC/FCCC. Collaboration is underway with the industry associations and organizations, as well as with NGOs. The multilateral fund of the Montreal Protocol, also includes cooperative arrangements between the World Bank, UNDP, UNIDO and UNEP, with each UN organization undertaking country programmes in accordance with its mandate and area of expertise. 11. In September 1993, UNEP organized an informal meeting comprising itself, UNCTAD, OECD, the International Trade Centre, IMF, the International Institute of Sustainable Development, and the World Industry Council of Environmental Management, to discuss the relationship between trade and environment, and the modalities of coordinating on-going work in various agencies. 12. UNEP has developed with UNDP a joint project funded by the Government of The Netherlands for the development of environmental legislation and institutions in African countries. The first tranche of the funds allocated for the purpose by the Dutch Government has been deposited in a Trust Fund at UNEP. It will be implemented by UNEP/UNDP in close collaboration with such bodies as The World Bank, IUCN and FAO. ANNEX II ACRONYMS ACC - Administrative Committee on Coordination ADN - European Provisions concerning the International Carriage of Dangerous Goods by Inland Waterways ADR - European Agreement concerning the International Carriage of Dangerous Goods by Road CEPM - Committee of Experts on Phytosanitary Measures CFC - Chlorofluorocarbons CITES - Convention on International Trade on Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora CLIMEX - Information Exchange System on Country Activities CMI - Comit'e Maritime International CMS - Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals CRTD - Convention on Civil Liability for Damage Caused During Carriage of Dangerous Goods by Road, Rail and Inland Navigation Vessels DDBs - Distributed Databases DPCSD - Department for Policy Coordination and Sustainable Development ECE - Economic Commission for Europe ECOSOC - United Nations Economic and Social Council EIA - Environmental Impact on Assessment ESCAP - Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific ESID - Global Conference on Ecologically Sustainable Industrial Development FAO - Food and Agriculture Organization GATT - General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade GAW - Global Atmosphere Watch GEF - Global Environment Facility GMDSS - Global Maritime Distress and Safety System GTS - Global Telecommunications System IAC/RNA - Interagency Committee for Response to Nuclear Accidents IACSD - Interagency Committee on Sustainable Development IAEA - International Atomic Energy Agency ICAO - International Civil Aviation Organization IDA - International Development Assistance IGPRAD - Intergovernmental Panel of Experts on Radioactive Waste Disposal at Sea ILO - International Labour Organization IMO - International Maritime Organization INC/FCCC - Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee for the Framework Convention on Climate Change INC-D - Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee on Desertification INSTRAW - International Research and Training Institute for the Advancement of Women IOC - Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission IPPC - International Plant Protection Convention ISO - International Organization for Standardization ITU - International Telecommunication Union IUCN - International Union for the Conservation of Nature LRTAP - Convention on Long-range Transboundary Air Pollution MARPOL - International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships, 1973 as modified by the Protocol of 1978 MEPC - Marine Environment Protection Committee METAP - Mediterranean Environmental Technical Assistance Program MSC - Maritime Safety Committee NGOs - Non-Governmental Organizations NUSS - Nuclear Safety Standards OECD - Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development PACD - Plan of Action to Combat Desertification PIC - Prior Informed Consent RSMCs - Regional Specialized Meteorological Centres SOLAS - International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea UNCED - United Nations Conference on Economic and Development UNCLOS - United Nations Conference on the Law of the Sea UNCTAD - United Nations Conference on Trade and Development UNDP - United Nations Development Programme UNEP - United Nations Environment Programme UNESCO - United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization UNIDO - United Nations Industrial Development Organization UNITAR - United Nations Institute for Training and Research UNSO - United Nations Sudano-Sahelian Office UNU - United Nations University WHO - World Health Organization WMO - World Meteorological Organization WRI - World Resources Institute
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Date last posted: 1 December 1999 12:18:30