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Correcting shortcomings in Global Governance. Dr. Marcel Szabó Deputy Commissioner for Fundamental Rights Responsible for the Protection of the Interests of Future Generations. Crisis of the international protection of the environment.

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Correcting shortcomings in global governance

Correcting shortcomings in Global Governance

Dr. Marcel Szabó

Deputy Commissioner for Fundamental Rights Responsible for the Protection of the Interests of Future Generations

Crisis of the international protection of the environment
Crisis of the international protection of the environment

Background: collapse of biodiversity and climatechangemechanisms

Since 1965:

  • 40 % loss of biodiversityinnon-maritimeareas

  • 20 % lossinmaritimeareas

  • Aichitargets: less than 50 % loss of biodiversityby 2020?

    Proposal: International cooperation of nationalinstitutionsfortheefficientprotectionofthe interest of futuregenerations

Common heritage of mankind
Common Heritage of Mankind

  • 1977 World Heritage Convention: cultural heritage and natural heritage of outstanding universal value

  • 1984 Moon Agreement: Moon, celestial bodies

  • 1994 UNCLOS: seabed and ocean floor

    • Concept of „common heritage of mankind” originates from these treaties

    • Newly emerging – disputed – elements of the common heritage of mankind: natural heritage, genetic resources, global climate and biodiversity

  • Dominant underpinning: intragenerational equity

  • Need for the elaboration of the concept of „intergenerational” and related values 

  • One possible solution: cross-constitutional dialogue and compiling the notion of the common heritage of mankind from the mosaic pieces of the different states’ national heritage

Cross constitutional dialogue
Cross-constitutional Dialogue

The concept of heritage is featured in many constitutions:

  • The Argentinian, Slovak and Portugese constitutions define natural and cultural values as heritage

  • The environment is defined as the common heritage of mankind in the Environmental Charter which forms part of the French Constitution  

International law
International Law

  • A recognized form of the development of international law is the identification of a general principle of law which is enshrinedinthe domestic law of the majority of states

    • Article 38 of the Statute of the ICJ

    • Jurisprudence of the ECJ

  • A possibility for the development of international environmental law:

    • Recognition of the protection of natural resources in the interest of future generations by great number of states

    • Such recognition would contribute to the evolution of a corresponding principle of international law

    • Efficient enforcement against infringing states

I concept of heritage in national laws
I. Concept of „Heritage” in National Laws

The concept of heritage is linked to the preservation of nature for the next generations

  • The interest of future generations (19): Albania, Andorra, Brazil, Eritrea, Georgia, Germany, Guyana, Iran, Cuba, East Timor, Malawi, Namibia, Norway, Papua New Guinea, Poland, South-Africa, Uganda, Vanuatu and Zambia

    Certain constitutions afford special protection to individual elements of the natural heritage: 

  • Ecological balance: Brazil, Costa Rica, Haiti, Mexico, Mongolia, Mozambique, Paraguay, Cape Verde.

  • Moderate /reasonable /monitored use of natural resources: Albania, Argentina, Andorra, Bulgaria, East Timor, Georgia, Guyana, Lithuania, Nicaragua, Panama, Portugal, Spain, Uganda, Uzbekistan, Vietnam

Ii concept of heritage in national laws
II. Concept of „Heritage” in National Laws

  • Protection of soil: Andorra, Eritrea, Finland, Guatemala, Cambodia, Cape Verde

  • Protection of arable land: Andorra, Cuba, Mongolia, Taiwan Province of China

  • Protection of natural waters: Albania, Algeria, Andorra, Austria, Eritrea, Guatemala, Guyana, Cambodia, Cuba, Laos, Lithuania, Mongolia, Panama, Switzerland, Tajikistan, Uganda, Uruguay, Venezuela

  • Protection of genetic heritage: Brazil

  • Preservation of natural diversity: Argentina, Brazil, Bulgaria, Columbia, Ecuador, Finland, Malawi, Namibia, Norvégia, Peru, Thailand.

  • Preservation of ecological balance (28): Andorra, Argentina, Angola, Brazil, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Eritrea, France, Guatemala, Haiti, Cambodia, Qatar, East Timor, Mexico, Mongolia, Mozambique, Philippines, Romania, Sao Tome and Principe, Seychelles, Suriname, Slovakia, Turkey, Thailand, Uganda, Ukraine, Venezuela and Cape Verde

Future cooperation
Future Cooperation

  • Key events on international level:

  • Proposal for a global Ombudsperson or High Commissioner for Future Generations (Rio+20) – unsuccessful

  • Rio+20 outcome: mandate to Secretary General to present a report on intergenerational solidarity, needs of future generations and the achievement of sustainable development.

International cooperation 1
International cooperation 1.

  • Proposal: Structured international cooperation of national ombudspersons under UN aegis

  • National ombudspersons striving towards the protection of national heritage should coordinate their efforts in the UN framework of the ICC- International Coordinating Committee of National Institutions for the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights

  • The ICC should act as UN Future Generation High Commissioner

International cooperation 2
International cooperation 2.

  • Advantages:

    • The member institutions of the ICC are best suited for promoting long-term environmental goals

      • Politically independent

      • Financially independent

      • May base their position on sole consideration of human dignity of present and future generations

    • ICC may act as a sort of collective ’ombudsman’ with the specific responsibility of protecting the interest of future generations within the UN

    • ICC recommendations and guidelines would be endorsed by well-established and respected national human rights institutions promoting national implementation