On the second day of the first substantive session of the Ad hoc Open-ended Working Group (AHWG) established by the UN General Assembly to consider a technical and evidence-based report by the Secretary-General (A/73/419) identifying and assessing possible gaps in international environmental law (IEL) and environment-related instruments, delegations began a chapter-by-chapter consideration of its introduction and of chapters on gaps concerning principles of IEL and gaps relating to existing regulatory regimes.
Member states’ reflections related to, inter alia:
- Authoritative sources of principles of IEL and related instruments;
- Questions about the report’s analysis of gaps in the IEL system, including the evidence provided for this analysis;
- The report’s treatment of issues such as universalization and the role and underlying causes of fragmentation in IEL;
- The prioritization of universal participation and/or addressing implementation and compliance;
- The need for the AHWG to remain within its mandate;
- Consideration of established principles such as common but differentiated responsibilities and sovereignty over resources, and of the risk of undoing established context-specific principles in existing multilateral environmental agreements;
- Missing elements such as the intrinsic value of nature, planetary boundaries, and environmental justice;
- Consideration of new and emergent principles (e.g. intergenerational equity, environmental democracy, earth system approaches), including some already incorporated in regional environmental instruments, and consideration of principles in need of updating or qualification;
- The relationship between IEL and human rights, and other regimes; and
- The unintended consequences of certain principles such as non-regression and a possible weakening of new commitments in the context of IEL.
IISD Reporting Services, through its Earth Negotiations Bulletin (ENB) Meeting Coverage, is providing daily web coverage and will provide a summary and analysis report from the 1st Substantive Session of the Ad Hoc Open Ended Working Group Towards a Global Pact for the Environment.
Photos by IISD/ENB | Mike Muzurakis