In 2022, a Political Declaration will be adopted to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the 1972 Stockholm Conference on the Human Environment and the creation of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). This 2022 Declaration comes at a critical juncture for the global environment. It needs to be as ambitious as possible to achieve what is needed to save our environment.
With this in mind, we are proud to announce the launch the Pathway to the 2022 Declaration platform: a blog by jurists, for diplomats. Spearheaded by the world’s foremost authorities in environmental law, the blog’s experts will offer concrete proposals to the diplomats negotiating the 2022 Declaration.
I Joining Ambition with Expertise
On August 30, 2019, the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution calling for the adoption of a high-level Political Declaration in 2022. The content of this declaration is currently being debated between States and civil society organizations. These negotiations, which succeed a previous round initiated by the 2018 resolution entitled “Towards a Global Pact for the Environment”, are the occasion to push for a more ambitious legal framework to protect our planet.
But international law is no easy business. While diplomats negotiate the law, it is lawyers, judges, and jurists more generally who apply it on a daily basis. With their practical perspective, jurists can provide diplomats with the tools to make international law effective. To this end, we gather insights from practitioners and professors around the world to make the 2022 Declaration a game-changer for the environment.
A Declaration can be a tool for change. Despite not being legally binding, a political declaration can still effectively tackle pressing environmental matters. It can give guidance to lawmakers and the judiciary by compelling States into action. It can enshrine existing principles of environmental law on the international level or even recognize new principles. It can address the fragmentation of environmental law and governance or instead provide a roadmap for effective implementation of existing treaties.
II A broad network of support
We are proud to be joined in this initiative by a vast network of support. The Blog’s Advisory Board is headed by former COP 21/Paris Agreement President Laurent Fabius. Its members include eminent personalities from the world of law and diplomacy, including the current UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights and the Environment and his predecessor, Supreme Court judges, as well as renowned professors of international law.
The dissemination of the Blog will be supported by a wide network of partners, including the IUCN World Commission on Environmental Law, the International Council of Environmental Law (ICEL), the Club des juristes, and the Common Home of Humanity. More than ten associated organizations, including the European Environmental Bureau, the Cambridge Center for Environment, Energy, and Natural Resource Governance, and the Global Animal Law Association support the blog in its ambition.