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Common But Differentiated Responsibility Principle

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Chapter Summary

States shall co-operate in a spirit of global partnership to conserve, protect and restore the health and integrity of the Earth's ecosystem. In view of the different contributions to global environmental degradation, States have common but differentiated responsibilities. One of the fundamental principles of public international law is that all states are sovereign and equal, whatever their size, the population, the military power or the economic status. This principle has been necessary for the harmonious relations among states and is codified in the UN Charter. Article 2.1 emphasizes that "The organization is based on the principle of the sovereign equality of its Members". This is also reflected in the "one-member, one-vote" policy of the UN General Assembly. This chapter discusses the application of this principle in environmental treaties. Many treaties outside the environmental protection field embody provisions on differential treatment.

Keywords: Article 2.1; earth's ecosystem; environmental protection; environmental treaties; global environmental degradation; public international law; sovereign equality; UN charter



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